I had such an unfortunate conversation this weekend ... it was more like a biting, one-sided speech.
... From a disillusioned mom who chose the wrong crowd to preach to.
"What do you do?" she asked, mopping the bar.
"I teach," a flashed the same smile at her that I do to everyone that asks. Because listen. The responses from here only go one of two ways:
1) "I could NEVER be a teacher. I don't know how you put up with 'kids these days'."
2) Or ... Like THIS woman who was obviously crazy because of the box hair dye she's been using for far too long.
She started with inaudible grumbling and then ... oh ... and thhhhhen ... a treat! "Our teachers get three months off in the summer, and then I counted the days they're off during the year - THEY GET ANOTHER MONTH OFF."
[A moment of silence for all of the teachers who run the world collectively shouting that we certainly do not get three months off in the summer: #checkyourselves ... or ... if you feel like pulling a Current Kanye West Mood: #FACTS]
[And another moment of silence for the people of the world that actually have time to count calendar days. May we all one day have that kind of free time on our hands. Amen.]
As if it weren't enough, the lady continued. Because there is obviously a sign on my forehead that reads, "Yes, please. More of this conversation. I haven't had enough."
"And I drive past my son's school at 3:20, and that parking lot is empty."
"And then, they hardly gave notice when they went year round, so I had to pull my son out of that school because he was still in league soccer! He couldn't be in school! And then, huh, I didn't do my homework because his next school closed. And then he was in the new school for a year before he had to go to the junior high building. So he's been in four schools in three years."
I shook my head.
In an effort not to say every other mother f'ing thing I wanted to say?
People are crazy sometimes. (And poor planners, too, obviously.)
I could've come at that lady with a thousand things.
We don't get paid for it, but we do it because we like your kid. We like helping your KID. We are moved when your kid is successful, when they're not successful, when they're sad, or happy, or upset. Our job is to make sure your kid is prepared for that great big bad world.
Being irritated that you have to work in July when teachers "don't" isn't quite good enough justification to come at teachers like an uninformed freight train.
And I'm not 100% sure because #math, but I'm fairly sure that if that lady wanted to ... she could've gone to school for teaching, as well. You know. All those days off. And all of that time off in the summer. And stuff. [Insert all of the eye rolling here.]
Homegirl could've gone to school like the rest of our profession for four years. Or six for those of us that have our Master's Degrees.
Could've learned big words like differentiation, and summative and formative assessments, and dichotomy, and collaborative discussion.
Could've learned about compassion for others.
Could've learned about grace.
Could've learned about empathy.
Because I'm a teacher.
And I guess that means I'm pretty damn good at calling bullshit.
PS: Bible study this week is about loving your brother. I'll love this lady because #Jesus, but I really feel strongly that she should read this, this, and this. Or I can just summarize it for her: teachers work more overtime than any other profession. There are studies that say so and stuff. So you're welcome for all of that and bless her sweet heart.
. About Moi .
I love, love, love flannel sheets and I am really passionate about lists on post it notes and most of the time I'm sad that no one else is as excited as I am about Diet Mountain Dew. I also adore run-on sentences.
He saw her before he saw
anything else in the room.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
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