I wish you knew…

All, Rants

I wish you knew the damage your actions have wreaked upon my will.

I love teaching and I love the creative time spent dreaming, planning, and plotting a new class and new semester. I know what I do is important. It matters. I matter. I teach. I change minds. I impact lives. But it is hard to dream. It is almost impossible to chart a course for an adventure when all I can think about is your petty tyranny.

I am not unique. There are many amazing teachers out there doing what I do. Some of those rock stars are my colleagues. But I am not a widget. You cannot simply discard me and replace me with a fresh out-of-the-box teacher and expect them to do what I do with the same results. You cannot find my unique combination of add-ons and upgrades in a box store.

I hate your lack of respect; your lack of appreciation. Your lack of understanding of what I do and what my work means to my students is appalling. I am so angry I am afraid to construct a syllabus for fear of what will seep out in my list of expectations and so frustrated I dare not touch my Blackboard shell out of worry for what will creep into my writing prompts.

I hate the choices you have forced upon me. I have to choose between my students and my health; my family and my work; my life and my passion. Your continual demands for more than I can give, should have to give, force me to give up more of what I value every year. It is more and more difficult each year, each semester, to eke out some kind of life and meet the needs of those I serve.

I am trying to believe this is not personal, that you do not hate me, hate the work that I do. But it is so difficult because it is personal. Teaching, especially the teaching of writing, is deeply personal. I invest a great deal of emotional energy in my classes, my students, and my programs. I cannot simply turn it off and step away at the end of the day. I cannot simply cut back my investment in one area to do more in another. It feels extremely personal when you strip away pieces of my soul without one word of apology or understanding.

I am not a widget. I am not a machine. I am a teacher tired of fighting a battle I cannot win. I am a woman exhausted by the effort required to hack my career into something less toxic. I am a human nearing my tipping point.

I wish you knew. I wish you understood. I wish you cared.

Working on my cure for rage face by writing. I think the prompt “I wish you knew…” inspired by Kyle Schwartz might be the most awesome prompt ever.

6 comments

  • Deanna,

    I wish you knew…that those of us out in the trenches are buoyed and rejuvenated by your generous and giving spirit. Your Notable Notes and blog are inspiring. They restore my motivation for what I do.

  • “But I am not a widget. You cannot simply discard me and replace me with a fresh out-of-the-box teacher and expect them to do what I do with the same results.”

    Well said! Teachers (in my experience especially K12 teachers) need so much more respect and care in their practice, and a lot of support! Thank you for sharing your feelings..

    • We are at a bad place right now in terms of respect for teachers. Not sure why or how we can fix it but it a real problem and I think at the root of many of the others we have regarding funding, legislations, testing, etc.

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