“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'
Found on flickrcc.net