Back in my day, teachers were assholes. I will never forget my 4th grade teacher going out of her way to humiliate me in front of the class, by making fun of my writing, and getting off on the fact that the other kids laughed.
Now that I am older I realize they were probably laughing because they were afraid they were going to be next, but that doesn’t mean that it was okay. It was hurtful, and deliberately mean, designed to make me feel like an outsider.
And it worked. Mrs. Baraniski was a bitch, every inch of one, and she revelled in her bitchery, using her tiny bit of power to make people feel like shit, because she could.
There was no excuse for it, it was a choice she made because she was born to be a mean person.
Today’s teachers have plenty of excuses to be mean, and angry, and yet rather than being abusive, millions of teachers around the world are putting their lives on the line, in order to protect our children, and it’s time we start recognizing that.
Darlene Lourenco teaches here in BC at Cambridge Elementary, and she is currently laying in intensive care fighting for her life.
Lourenco is a music teacher and as music was one of my favorite subjects growing up – even though I sucked at it – I feel a kinship with this woman who was forced to teach over two hundred students before getting sick.
From school shootings to the fucking pandemic, teachers are not equipped to deal with this kind of shit, and to be honest with you, as an outsider from this group of our society, I don’t know how to help.
I know that teachers need more funding, I understand they deserve a lot more respect than the are getting, and I certainly believe they need more supports, but where is that money going to come from?
There’s been a lot of talk of defunding the police, but little talk about what that means. It means taking money from the police budget and putting it into the community, towards education and mental health, specifically.
At the very least teachers in this generation deserve hazard pay, at most they should be getting therapy for some of the shit that they have to deal with.
I know that right now the Police budgets around the world are upwards of a billion dollars in some cases, and that’s not for specialized training, it’s for weapons and tactical gear.
Teachers can barely afford classroom supplies like pencils and erasers. The mental health risks that teachers take on alone can be astronomical emotionally.
Beyond school shootings and a fucking pandemic, teachers have to deal with kids who are getting abused at home, and bullied at school. Being an emotional guide for a child who has been abused is incredibly difficult, and I know this because I made life hell on the teachers that I did like.
I remember once in fourth grade I stole a chalk holder to give it to Mrs. Bitchinisky so that she’d stop bullying me – from a teacher that was really nice and kind, no one understood why, but I did. It was because I just wanted her to be nice to me for one fucking moment.
I’ve heard people tell teachers to get back in the classroom and “do their fucking job.” Their jobs are being hindered by the fact that they don’t have the support they need to make sure they are successful.
At what point are we going to say that the communities we live in, need to rally around the teachers and support them so they aren’t feeling completely alone and overwhelmed?
Teachers are taught how to present source material to students so that students can be successful, but if they don’t have the basic classroom supplies the students are the ones who suffer the most.
If a gunman comes into a school building teachers are not trained to fight against bullets.
Step out of yourself for one fucking moment, and ask yourself how you would survive an armed gunman, or a pandemic, or a child being abused, if it were your place to be the adult in someone’s life.
It wouldn’t be easy, it would be incredibly difficult to stand at the head of a classroom in the middle of an emergency and do whatever you can to keep thirty or more students calm.
It must be incredibly terrifying to acknowledge the fact that a child must be getting abused at home, knowing there is very little you can do about it without causing that child more chaos and pain.
Teachers need a break, they need support, and while I can’t speak for them, I can say that as a future mom, I have a whole new respect for teachers this year then I ever have in my past.
So thank you Teachers, for being amazing human beings who do whatever you can to brighten the day of a child.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall