I ran into a kid in a restaurant a few nights ago that I worked with about 10 years ago. When she was in my class, she and her mom took offense at something I did and began calling my cell phone 50 to 100 times a day. Eventually I was told by my district that I was to not speak to the mother or be within 25 feet of her for any reason. Unfortunately that would include the check out line at Lowes and other public places. The daughter, because she was a teenager approved whole-heartedly of her mom’s, ” teacher put down” behavior. Mom of course although much older had never gotten out of the teenage stage so the two became ” team obnoxious.” The student was smart but unmotivated and I know that other teachers including myself constantly demanded more than she was willing to give.
Now I was watching her mopping floors in a restaurant I wondered as all teachers do, did I do it right or wrong? Is this a part-time job while she is in college which is where she should be or is this where she ended up? How could I have handled it differently?
Teachers are artists and craftsmen ( yeah I know craftsmen is sexist but craftspeople sounds too much like a punchline) rather than assembly line workers they become aware that the final product is never guaranteed to be exactly what was wished for or desired and often times wonder what they could have done differently or in some cases not at all to change that end product.
In this case she recognized that I was a teacher of hers and asked with a smile if I used to teach at Longfellow and that was all. The conflict was gone and so was her memory of the bad that came with it. I on the other hand remember her and her mother quite well perhaps too well.
Teachers rarely see the broad picture of what they have done even though they were there and participated while the government believes that they know what should be done having never been there at all.
Experience is a hard master but a fair one! Teachers on the ground in a modern classroom have it college professors and politicians for the most part do not! to paraphrase Pink Floyd… “Politicians, Leave them teachers alone”
Yup I know “them” ain’t right. and I would circle it in red pencil but that is no longer allowed because it would be judgmental of the child’s creative work product however “ain’t” is now okay because it is part of the child’s social vernacular so I wouldn’t circle that you however may feel free to do so.
Oh and incidentally I am not a good grammarian so
if when you find additional mistakes in the above writing please feel free to circle them as well. I am not allowed to randomly sprinkle commas any more so that would be a good place to start if you are looking for errors.