A few days ago I wrote a post that was angry and scathing about goings on at my boys’ school.
While I don’t regret venting my feelings at the time, I thought I would use this post to put a positive spin on one of the hardest jobs in the world. Teachers.
I seriously don’t know how you teachers do it. And some of you do it with such grace and fun and love. Day to day. Everyday. All year long. Even during those -30 days when the kids are stuck inside all day and they’re hyper and out of control – you still come back the next day! I don’t know how you get through.
Look at all the wine I drink – I only have three boys to contend with. How do you do it? It’s not like you get paid that much more than me, a domestic goddess… and I personally think that since you are moulding the young minds of tomorrow, you should get paid more than the professional hockey, baseball, basketball & football players combined!
Every time I’m at my kids’ school, I wonder how these teachers do it. Every time I spend a few hours in the classroom volunteering, I really have to wonder how they do it!
And on a side note here, I have to say that I love volunteering at the kids’ school. In fact, I wish I could get paid for my volunteering. I love to go into the school and see all my boys’ buddies walking down the hall and saying, ‘oh, hey J’s mom! Look, there’s L’s mom! Hi, L’s mom! W’s Mom! Hey, W, it’s your mom!’
If that could be my job in September, I would jump at it! Just a few hours a day. No discipline, no homework assignments, no teaching, just fun stuff. Being the cool Mom (in my own mind). Being called by my first name and NOT Mrs. Pigeon. Doing a few jobs for the teacher, talking with other grown ups, having kids recognize me and actually like me…
Oh well, I guess that’s what my own kids are for.
I get paid about the same being a stay at home mom as I do with my volunteering. I think I’ll stick with that gig for now.
A couple of weeks ago I was at a friend’s house and she was talking about how she didn’t understand why teachers have so much work for us parents to do when we’re volunteering. When she’s at the school, she wants to be with her kids, not stuck in the photocopy room (makin’ copeeeees).
And she mentioned that when she’s at work and has a project due, she’s not asking other people to help her with her photocopying. If she needs to be in the office earlier to get her paper work done, she’s doing it. Why do teachers get that kind of help?
At the time I kinda just sat there with my mouth open. There might have been drool.
If you’ve read even a couple of my posts, you’ll know that I’m not great at thinking on the spot. Especially if it has anything to do with speaking my mind, making my point and trying to be polite at the same time.
So I didn’t say much.
Hey, she had just fed me and I’m drinking wine in her living room. So I just said something like, ‘seriously?’
Not much of an argument for all those hard working teachers out there.
What I should have said though, was more along the lines of this:
Imagine the time you could spend with your own children if you didn’t have laundry, cooking, sweeping, dusting, grocery shopping, toilet cleaning and yard work. What if I took away the laundry? Or your cooking chores? What would you do with that time? Maybe head to the park with the kids? Play some video games with them or go to the library? Cuddle, tickle, wrestle with them?
Multiply your two kids by 10. That’s right. 20 kids.
Isn’t my photocopying for the teacher so they can spend more time having show and tell in class or helping the kids with their spelling or math the same thing as helping you with preparing meals?
Personally, I’d give my left arm if I didn’t have to make school lunches anymore (I’d give both my arms if I didn’t have to look in their lunch bags after they’ve been sitting in backpacks for a weekend, but I digress)…
I have such a high regard for teachers. In fact, my aunt is a teacher (she may be retired, but once a teacher, always a teacher). My cousin is a teacher. They are fabulous, strong, funny people full of love and life and they want to share all of that with young minds.
There are however, some pinheads who give teachers a bad name. I’m not naming them in this post though. I’m sure at one time they were fantastic. Or maybe they just decided they wanted summers off. Not sure what led them down the path towards education, but maybe they should have taken a different direction at some point or another.
I’m not talking about them here. And I’m sure there aren’t that many of them anyway.
All I really remember are the good teachers.
Kindergarten: Okay, actually I don’t remember her. I think the red wine has actually deleted the name of my kindergarten teacher from my mind – I’m sorry to that wonderful lady, whoever you are!
Grade One: Miss Hardy. She had a huge blonde afro and I loved carpet time with her. She was a great teacher.
Grade Two: Miss. Wright. We were in a grade one/two split. I loved her. That year there was a teachers strike – I remember hugging her and crying – I was so sad I wouldn’t get to see her everyday.
Grade Three: Mrs. Saunders. I remember sitting in class and having her read to us. Loved that. And I remember going on a field trip to Heritage Park and dressing like a pioneer. We even had class time in the school house (I won the spelling bee. Nerd.). And I remember sitting in that old desk, loving the history, wearing a long skirt (I felt like Laura Ingalls)… and then I got the chicken pox at lunch time.
Grade Four: Mr. Taylor. Now some people I went to school with claim Mr. Taylor used to pick his nose. I don’t remember that. Maybe it’s that old red wine acting up again, but I don’t think so. Anyway, that’s not what I remember him for. I remember him pushing me to read and read and read. And I looooved every book he gave me. Even Clan of the Cave Bear. Which, looking back on it now, maybe wasn’t the most appropriate book for a nine year old… but it was a great novel and let me tell you, Darryl Hannah in the movie version, didn’t do the book justice. Just saying.
Grade Five: Mrs. Dalke. No big memories that stand out. Nice lady… darn wine…
Grade Six: Mr. Tailor. Different teacher. So cool. Younger guy. Mustache. He was awesome!
And my music teacher WAY back then was Mrs. Reynolds. What a flamboyant lady. She was great. Handbells*. Seriously. Handbells. I remember performing handbells at the mall. With my brother (sorry, bro). Whose a nerd now? Did I mention I had glasses and braces? Oh yeah, baby. Whose teacher’s pet? Me. That’s right.
I’m going to leave it at that. No honorable mentions from junior high. Too many hormones. Too many bitchy girls. Too many mean boys. Ugh.
You couldn’t pay me to go back to those years. Did I mention glasses and braces?
High school. A bit better, but not that much.
Mr. Ryan – my journalism teacher. He was the greatest. He’s the one who helped me on the school newspaper, which actually catapulted me into believing that writing was what I wanted to do with my life and led me to the University of Victoria for their Creative Writing program.
That’s a whole other post.
Back to here and now.
Today was my little stinkergartener’s last day of school. Next year he’ll be in grade one. And I’ll miss his teacher so much. She taught him and my middle boy. She is fantastic. I wish I had more kids just so she could teach them.
But I’ll try not to be too sad. I’ll stay on the positive side of things. I think she and her hubby would be an excellent addition to our Friday night happy hours. Now that there isn’t any of that pesky conflict-of-interest stuff happening between teachers and student’s families, we can invite them! Yay!
I’m also in mourning because my middle son is moving on from grade one tomorrow. His teacher not only taught him, but my oldest. I found out today that she won’t get my youngest son next year. I’m so sad. She is a sweetheart and a wonderful teacher for that tough transition from kindergarten to grade one. I’ll see her at the school, but it won’t be the same.
I think what it is about these two ladies (and the music teacher – gawd, I love the music teacher at the kids’ school – she’s soooooo niiiiice!) is not only because they always have a smile on their face (even in the midst of chaos that is sometimes their classroom), but because they truly love what they’re doing.
And they have a wicked sense of humour. Which is a good thing, because I’m sure some days it’s either laugh or cry.
They choose to laugh. As far as I’ve seen. And my kids are the better for it.
I’m so sad my little Pigeons won’t be getting these fine teachers again next year.
I’m sure there are a bunch of others just waiting to get their hands on these boys though. And I’m sure they’ll be excellent!
First things first though – summer holidays! And you teachers all deserve a very relaxing, healthy and happy holiday.
Thank you for everything you do.
*Fun fact for you – when I ran my spell check, it picked up ‘handballs’ as a substitute for ‘handbells’. Thought you might get a kick out of that. I did!