Thursday, March 7, 2013

Do I Do That? Teachers in Public!

At the end of the day, one of my students approached me.

"Mrs.M, my mom and I went to a restaurant last night,and we were sitting by three teachers.  They were talking about their students and saying mean things.  They were calling them stupid, weird, and ugly."

I told her that it's unfortunate that she had to hear that. I told her that I talk to my husband about them, but never using those words. And I would certainly not talk about them in public in that manner.

But, on the drive home, I started thinking, "Do I do that?"

Am I guilty of talking about my students in public in a negative way?  When my colleague and I head out to Happy Hour after a trying week, am I conscious of what I am saying?  Am I conscious of the woman with her 8 year old child sitting next to us, as we let off steam?

Did that little girl approach her teacher on Monday and repeat our conversation?

This really made me stop and think. Yes, we are off. But, is a teacher ever really off? When your kids run into you after school, or on the weekend, you know you are still their teacher.

It just gave me pause.  And I promised myself I will be a lot more careful of what I say around others. And If I really feel the need to vent, I'll whisper. :)

photo credit: Maga Soto via photopin cc


  1. You HAVE to be thinking. At a former school where I taught in my first year, our principal chewed us out after a couple of teachers in a restaurant did the same thing you write about. Someone heard it who also heard names of students, and she knew who the teachers were talking about. She reported the behavior to the superintendent. I work in a large district. The results in our staff meeting were not pretty and left a lasting impression with me. I grouse about my tough days in private, and grade papers in public! I wouldn't want to hear about my own kids in the way these parents did, and mine have done their share of naughty, frustrating things!

  2. Ok...poor things. But I bet if you taught in china or Japan, you'd have no reason to say negative things about the students. Many of they get older are not bright and certainly not motivated. If you were a chef preparing green beans and chicken cordon bleu and your patrons were fat, spoiled philistines who just wanted to eat Doritos and twinkles, you might say the same things. When did teaching become a game to see who can inspire motivate and endure the abuse heaped upon us? It's not teaching any more when the victory goes to the one that can sit their smiling after the shit has been slung. To hell with their inflated egos and self esteem....they still can't do much.

  3. Thanks for this post. It is a good reminder to be Mindful. After all, it is never about what happens to you. It is always about how you react/respond to it.

    It is not really worthy of a response if one does not attach their name to their own opinion. Still, this deserves some pushback. Education/Learning/Teaching is all about Caring Relationships. Inspiration and Motivation is the Mindset from which we work from. That is what this profession has always been about. There are certainly things which need to be improved in Education and for that we must advocate in a professional manner. There is no place for demeaning words toward our students.

  4. yeah! we should always care about of our words. Many times we forget that who can observe us we continuously talking about and we don't know what we are saying.

  5. I'd just like to point out that "Anonymous" used the wrong "there/their/they're."

  6. I think this is a very good point! Teachers are never off the clock. They always need to do their best to uphold a profile of responsibility and "teacher" look and talk. I would never want my students to here me say something about they in a negative way or see me being unkind. I know that's a little extreme since we all make mistakes, but I remember how excited I was to see my teacher outside the classroom and I want to always have a welcoming approach for my students.