If you haven’t cried at work or in your car, are you even a teacher? Unfortunately, it seems that every day brings a new cause for unhappiness in the educational workplace. The joy of teaching has been replaced with feelings of dread, anxiety, and, sometimes, sadness.
Education professionals can frequently be heard saying that morale has never been so low. The reasons why tears are shed on a regular basis in our education establishments around the country are increasing at a faster pace than prices at the gas pump. Here are a few of the most common tear jerkers.
1. TikTok challenges
Not only do we have to worry about washing our hands without sinks, but now we must watch our backsides as we never know when the “slap a teacher” challenge will be enacted. It’s like we are the punchline of a bad joke.
What happened to R-E-S-P-E-C-T?
The pandemic has created a war against education, and teachers are often the focus. Parents have taken to social media to vent and put us on blast to the whole freaking community about perceived mistakes.
It is now an accepted practice, and it’s scary.
3. Toxic positivity
Yes, there are many toxic concerns involved with teaching nowadays. We are made to feel like pointing them out should not be in our wheelhouse because – let’s say it together – ”We are in it for the kids.”
4. Admin shouts, “Practice self-care,” while shoving another mandate down our throats.
Umm, I don’t have time for a massage when I have to complete an SLG, PLP, IEP, SIP, @#$##@!!!!!! Our plates are too full for more paperwork.
We like our math programs and are successful in teaching them. Don’t change them every year and have us do endless professional development just to funnel money into a textbook company.
6. Physical violence toward the teacher
Teachers are getting hit, spit on, and pushed. Extreme behavior is on the rise and necessitates extreme and immediate consequences. Severe behavior should not be brushed off and students sent back to the classroom after ten minutes in the admin office.
Our prep time is now being taken up by meetings, subbing for other classes, duty or conferences. We have no time to actually prep. This means, we must take hours of work home, and we burn out. Then, we quit.
8. Coming home emotionally and physically spent and then having to take care of the needs of our own kids and families
Who has the energy to help our own children with their homework after helping a hundred students all day with their classwork? Teacher tired = barely getting up off the couch.
9. Bearing the responsibility of having to get a child that is two grade levels behind on grade level
Because of the pandemic, kids are ill-prepared for grade-level standards. We must cram last year’s curriculum in with this year’s. And expect great test scores.
Yes, this happens all the time and usually in front of the entire staff. Like our students, our value comes down to the numbers. Who wouldn’t cry?
11. Teacher baiting
Yes, this is actually a thing! Students secretly record the teacher after baiting them into reacting or saying something of a political nature. This destroys careers and lives.
12. No bus drivers, so kids are coming late to class or missing the whole class, and parents are mad at us
When the system is broken, teachers are the most easily accessible to receive an earful of complaints. We are the punching bags for everything that is wrong with education. And right now, there are a lot.
13. Toxic teachers
Whether it’s telling on you to the administration or stealing your parking spot or special lunch in the teacher fridge, toxic teachers can leave you feeling, well, hangry. Sometimes, that special lunch is what keeps us going.
Suicides, abuse, and neglect. We don’t have psychology degrees or training, but we are expected to know how to solve all problems in order to help students to learn. Kind-hearted teachers often agonize over the issues their students face.
15. Power-hungry administration
There are many in control that abuse it. They write teachers up for not following their lesson plans EXACTLY or poor behavior management the day before winter break. If you have a micromanaging administrator, RUN!
16. Following a scripted curriculum
What are we…actors? Teachers are creative people and are now being evaluated on their abilities to read scripts. How is this considered teaching?
17. Teacher pay
Some of us can make it without working second jobs. Many of us can’t. Simple economic principles of supply and demand should be applied to the teacher shortage. Simply, pay us our worth. I know, “We would be millionaires.”
18. No subs!!!
Teachers are feeling a tremendous sense of guilt for taking a legitimate sick or mental health day. Our kids are split up among our colleagues and we can’t bear the thought of them having to cram more students in their already full classrooms.
19. Unrealistic expectations
We get these from everyone: Parents who think their child is the only one in the classroom. Administration who think we can handle anything. Students who feel we are responsible for whether they learn or not. Ourselves, who think we should be everything to everyone.
So, do we cry a lot? Yes. Are we weak human beings because of it? Absolutely not. We care about people, especially our students. But the systematic abuse of teachers has to stop. The mass teacher exodus that we see now will only get worse if things don’t change, like, YESTERDAY.