Monday, September 05, 2011

Regrets

The regrets I have from my time teaching in a classroom are not what you might think.  I know I gave everything I had to those kids - no regrets there.  I was tired - very very tired - and would have done better if I wasn't so exhausted, but there wasn't much I could have done about that. 

What I regret most is not standing up for myself to authority figures in the school and the district. 

When my first principal told us that we should all be afraid for our jobs, I wish that I had said that I didn't feel motivated by a constant reminder to be afraid for my job. 

Each and every time an administrator answered my request to sign my after-school tutoring papers or reimburse me for something with "But don't you do this for the children?" or "I'm disappointed that you're asking me this - I thought you did this for the children," I wish I had said "Excuse me!  I am a professional and we had an agreement!  Please do not try to tell me that I am not committed to my job or these children because I want to be paid what I am owed!"

When I was subbing for the district and the sub coordinator cursed at me - actually cursed, and yelled - I wish I had said calmly that I wasn't going to talk to someone who spoke to me that way.

There were so, so many instances like this that I wish I had dealt with differently.  Sometimes I was afraid for my job, and at other times I was just too young to have experience or confidence, but I think that I would have been a better teacher and not have gotten burned out so fast if I had higher standards for the people in charge. Of course, I may have been fired, but still.  I wish I had done that differently.

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