Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Caring Too Much

caringIn Get Accused of Caring Too Much from Tips For New Teachers and Student Teachers, Sam shares,

“I had a conversation recently with a teacher who was feeling a bit beat up, because she had been criticized for caring too much for her group of students.”

Years ago, I was transferring to another school and had an exit interview with my principal. After giving me an excellent evaluation and signing the papers, he put them aside and said, “Now let’s talk candidly.” He looked at me and told me he was glad that I was leaving because I “cared too much.”

Apparently I was making the other teachers look bad and he felt it was a reflection on him. I contacted all of my students’ homes every two weeks either by phone or in person.  By letting the parents call me at home when needed, I was too close to the parents. I lived in the community and saw my students and their families outside of school. I attended extracurricular activities and became friendly with families of kids who weren’t my students. I was an advocate for my students and pushed for things that they needed and by rights, the district should provide. I stood up for my students when they were right.

I did all of this because I cared. I cared about my students. I cared about the school. I cared about the community. I cared about doing what was right. I cared about being a good teacher. I cared about doing a good job. Yes, I admit it. I cared. Obviously to my principal, I cared too much.

So, I was also glad I was leaving. I left for a school where I was allowed to care. No one told me that I cared too much. I had an administration that appreciated my caring. The students and the community even appreciated that I cared.

Caring is a good thing.

Caring too much is even better.

Do you care too much? How do you show it? Please share.

Image: 'My Van Door'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/57038667@N00/166785440
Found on flickrcc.net

3 comments:

Sioux said...

No, caring is never bad. However, sometimes caring can be misconstrued. I got yelled at by a parent because I couldn't get a response via notes, and phone calls didn't work either, so I stopped at their house after school. Needless to say, after being reamed, I no longer make that kind of effort with THAT parent.

Anonymous said...

I am getting berated for "caring too much". My team teacher recently came up to me that I can only make an impact on the student inside the classroom and during the hours of 8-3. I saw this as mediocre, I wanted to show my students that not only did I respect them academically but I also respected and cared for them individually as well. I went to their soccer games, spoke with them about their life issues, etc. Am I wrong? Should the only conversation I have with my students be academic? If I can help out my students in a way that benefits their life, shouldn't I?

Pat Hensley said...

@Anonymous Sometimes the ones that berate people for caring too much are the ones that know they look bad for not doing the same things. I don't think you can care too much as long as you don't cross the line into "creepy" caring. If you know in your heart that you are doing what is in the best interests of your students, ignore the other people who are jealous because they don't have the same heart as you do!