Since lockdown I have seen a lot of posts across social media platforms and news articles about teachers. There are a lot of positives which aren't to be ignored. One thing I have seen is a math teacher from South Dakota going above and beyond when a student emailed him saying they were struggling with a math problem - he showed up to their house to help!
"I believe that teaching is a very important job, but I am no hero."
I'd like to start by discussing how a lovely gesture for teachers may have damaged our rep at the same time.
Across the media we are seeing so many references to our heroes. During times like this it is so nice to rally together. I thoroughly enjoy clapping for the NHS on Thursdays and try to be loud enough for someone in the NHS to hear. I'd love to clap loud enough for Tories to actually fund the NHS, but that is a rant for a different day on a different blog.
I then have seen people including teachers as the heroes. When I first saw this, I cringed. Of course, I was grateful and thought it was so sweet to even think of us. But why did they think of us? We aren't risking our lives everyday. We aren't going into disease ridden hospitals for hours on end helping the sick and the dying. We aren't police officers who are still dealing with criminals and now have the added stress of trying to keep our streets safe. We aren't the fire services who are saving lives everyday. I believe that teaching is a very important job, but I am no hero.
I am not working from home all the time which is what some people are led to believe. I am still going into work at least once a week if not for the whole week. There are still students in school who need looking after as their parents/carers are key workers or maybe their home isn't suitable for them to be there all the time. So yes I go in to school, no it doesn't make me a hero.
My school have been brilliant in ensuring that staff and students feel safe when in school. When I am in the building I am able to be at a two metre distance from all other people. NHS workers, police officers and firefighters don't have that privilege. I think then having blasted across social media that "teachers are heroes" is almost what damages our image, because we clearly aren't and it looks like we think we are.
There has been a somewhat negative portrayal of teachers in the press. We always have received it though. The media always have to bring it down to the fact that we get school holidays 'off'. I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the holidays. The holidays are a perk of the job, the same way other jobs perks are having shares into the company, bonuses and whatever else that teachers don't get. I don't complain that each Christmas my friends get a big ol' bonus and I have pennies.
It is a massive misconception to think that teachers don't work during the holidays. The summer holidays is the time that I spend planning schemes of work for all my year groups. During half terms I am marking, going into school for boosters/rehearsals with students or going in to paint set for our extra-curricular activities. If you google the phrase, 'teachers holidays' it is full of articles titled 'What teachers actually get up to in their holidays'. Why do you give a fuck what I do in my holidays? If I'm being honest, I couldn't give a flying fuck what Karen from Natwest did with her two week holiday so why is there articles about mine?
I've seen a lot of people get mad about this tweet. I thought it was hilarious. Katie Hopkins has been around a long time now, we know what she is which is an ignorant, self-centred idiot who enjoys offending people. Why on earth would you even be affected by something she said? She is quite literally IRRELEVANT.
No one knows what being a teacher is like and what goes into it. As a teacher, you know that this is a job of little thanks. But to the people that are saying that teachers get holidays and leave at three, I know it's your kids coming to teachers like me and opening up because they can't open up to judgemental assholes.
So you're welcome, I'll keep bettering and nurturing your child for you as you are clearly incapable.
So no one knows our job. We know what we put in. We know the impact we have. Who actually gives a fuck on what media has to say?