Happy back to school everyone!
I thought I’d start the school year off a bit differently this year by telling you some of my unpopular opinions about teaching.
I’m going to call this my Teacher Karen post because absolutely nobody has asked for my opinion on these topics, and I’m bound to make myself even more unpopular in this process, but here goes nothing.
- Teachers don’t have to spend their own money for their classroom.
- Teacher Amazon Wish Lists are well-intentioned but often cringey. (I said it. Don’t hate me.)
- Candy shouldn’t be given as incentives/rewards. (This goes hand in hand with number one.)
- Teachers don’t have to come to work when they’re sick.
- Teachers need to stop judging other teachers who don’t come to work when they’re sick.
- If teachers have a sub and have to take a sick day, teachers don’t have to teach from home while taking that sick day.
- Teachers don’t have to be available to their students after the school day ends.
- The Remind app is overkill.
- Teachers don’t have to hold their bladders all day.
- Teacher-made assignments don’t have to look fancy.
- Teachers can get their union involved.
- Teachers should be grading everything based on performance bands not based on outdated percentage grading scales.
- Teachers can make mistakes and still be PHENOMENAL teachers.
Why start the school year off with this kind of post? Because maybe you needed to be reminded about just one of them. Because maybe we need to rethink why we’re doing things the way we’ve been doing them.
I’ve done the exact opposite of most of the things on my list, and that doesn’t make me a hypocrite but a human who is questioning how capitalism and teacher tropes and toxic groupthink have infiltrated education.
I also understand why my fellow teachers spend their own money for their classrooms. If it brings you joy to decorate your classroom with self-purchased decor, go for it! If you’re buying pre-sharpened Ticonderogas for kids who don’t have pencils, I totally get it. If you’re bringing food from home to give to students who need it, I totally get it.
I understand why teachers come to school when they’re sick.
I understand why teachers make their assignments and their rooms fancy. But I also understand that makes more work and might be taking time away from more meaningful work. I also understand that often it is us, ourselves, who make our already complicated job even more complicated.
And if you do any of those things on this list, I am not judging you. At all. I’m just out here, thinking differently and exposing my inner Teacher Karen sans judgement.
Okay, I might be judging you for number 5 and seriously be questioning how often you get a UTI if you frequently do number 9, but other than that, you do you teacher friends.
(I’d love to hear which one on the list you’d like to see as a full-blown post. I have lots of feelings about number 2 and number 3. Also teacher friends, I’d love to hear your unpopular opinions about teaching too!)
Bring on the 2021-2022 school year!