“One of the things I dislike about teaching middle school is that sometimes the teachers start acting like the students they teach.”
I realized how true that statement is true but not just for middle school but every school I’ve taught at. I am going to mention a few things that I noticed and keep in mind that I’m not saying ALL teachers are like this but MANY do. I don’t think they are this way to students but more towards each other.
They can be clique-y. If you have ever started at a new school, you can recognize the “packs” and that they do not include you in their little group. Some of them won’t go out of the way to help you. These are the people that I avoid.
They can be mean. They can roll their eyes at you or talk to you in a condescending way. They might blame problems on you because you are new. They laugh at your input claiming you don’t know what you are talking about. I do not let these people discourage me and will continue to give input when asked because I have as much right as they do.
They talk behind each other’s backs. I always worry when I hear someone telling me negative stuff about another teacher because it makes me wonder what they are saying about me. I try to follow the rule about “if I have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
They love to hear that another teacher got into trouble. I can usually hear people whispering in corners when another teacher gets in trouble. Even the students pick up on this and the story can grow out of proportion.
They can squabble like children. As department chair, I’ve gotten dragged into conflicts between teachers many times. Since my department was special education, there were many conflicts between the general ed teacher and the special ed teacher. My administration handled these conflicts by requiring them to talk to the department chair before approaching the administration. I hope I was good at my job because it rarely ever went further than me. Usually the conflicts developed all because of a misunderstanding.
Worst of all, a few of them act like a hormonal teenager. There are way too many stories in the news about teachers having sex with their students! What in the world were they thinking? There is absolutely no excuse for this behavior at all and I really can’t imagine how they justify their own behavior. When everyone finds out about it, it brings down the morale of the entire school. The public looks down on the school and the entire teaching profession.
This all leads me to my point of “Teachers need to act like teachers!” We need to recognize the behaviors we may be exhibiting and that our students are watching us like hawks. They watch our behavior and learn from this. We need to be modeling the right way to act instead of lowering ourselves to their level. I think if we act more like we should, our entire school environment would be more successful and the public might be more supportive of education.
I realize this isn’t the only problems in the education system but it would help steer us in the right direction. I don’t believe that just by acting the way we should will make the public love us but maybe it will help improve how they see us.
Original image: 'Impala'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/15745225@N00/1926006357 by: Arno Meintjes
Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).