Monday, April 4, 2011

Perspective Is A Wonderful Tool

Dear Secret Blogiary,

My dad called me this morning to check in (I am still not sure if it is for my benefit or his) and we got to talking about work. I told him about the evaluation and when he asked me if I was upset, I paused and had to really think about that question. Am I upset about the evaluation or am I more upset about what I think it means?

And as I was talking to Dad, I realized that I am not upset about the evaluation. I am angry about what it represents. Essentially, as I said before I will be hard pressed to get a job in education again. And really, the more I thought about this, the more I realized that I was okay with it. Because the more I thought about it the more I realized that it isn't teaching I have a problem with, it's the students.

I can teach. I can teach well. But my tolerance for kids is shit. I refuse to tolerate belligerant and vile teenage antics. I don’t want to deal with hormonal teenagers rage about the unfairness of having to learn about grammar or why they need to understand how to construct a sentence. I don’t have any sympathy for students who come into my classroom with some kind of sob story about why they don’t have their work. Not doing it is one thing. Trying to bullshit me into believing a story about why they don’t have it something else entirely. I never BS’d my teachers. If I didn’t do an assignment, I owned up to it and took the consequences. But then I was also raised by a woman who demanded honesty and all times.

The only time I ever did not have an assignment finished and tried to get out of it was in college and I had just had emergency gallbladder surgery. The professor’s response: Sorry about that. Yup. Surgery does indeed suck. The paper is still due on Tuesday because you knew about it a month ago.

I turned it in on time and got my first B ever in this particular professor’s class.

It occurred to me today, after a week’s distance between the aforementioned yearly evaluation and my subsequent post about it, that I was awful whiny about it. That isn’t who I am. Well, okay, I do whine a bit on occasion, but in this instance, I am better than that.

So, back to work today, with a smile even, because regardless of what others might say, I know that I am doing my job to the best of my ability. And I take pride in that.

As for the evaluation? One piece of paper does not define who I am as a person. And as for what the future holds? Well, in the immortal words of Tom Petty:

It’s time to move on. It’s time to get going. What lies ahead, I have no way of knowing. But under my feet, Baby, grass is growing. Yeah, it’s time to move on, time to get going.

And I am okay with that.

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