Saturday, January 26, 2013

Inspirational Pet Peeves

My first year of teaching was ROUGH. I don’t think I have enough disparaging adjectives to describe how horrible that year was. Mostly that could be because I think that I have blocked most of it out due to PTSD of some severe sort.

The one thing that I always turn to in times of need is books so I can enter a different reality for an indefinite period of time. During that first year of horribleness I scoured Amazon.com and local book stores for books written by teachers who were having the same experiences as me. The only things that I found were the standard “inspirational” teacher stories, the inspirational quote a day books, or the instructional how to books on how to BECOME an inspirational teacher. I also learned that most of these teacher books were geared toward the apple sweater wearers (Elementary school teachers). This really ticked me off so I began finding that my only outlet was writing my own stories down or creating my own curriculum.

Eventually, teaching became more manageable and easier to handle, but I still never find inspirational moments in the whole endeavor. Success? Sure. Pride? Definitely. Joy? Debatable. Does all that inspire me to write inspiration fluff? Yea…um….no.

All my friends know my stance on inspirational stories. One day I was checking my Facebook when my friend sent me this little gem:

Mskcpotter do you need this inspiring read for the upcoming school year?
(Picture above on the left)

I laughed at it hysterically and then did some research on it. It turns out that this is the book that inspired the movie “Dangerous Minds.” Upgrade to whoever had the brains to change the title of the movie from the book title. Downgrade to whoever thought to name the original book “My POSSE Don’t Do Homework” with a heart drawn into it. Seriously.

These books and movies never display teaching the way it really is: a job that is drastically different and yet painfully the same every single day, even with a batch of new kids every year. A job that is so tiring you sometimes wish that you could just sleep on your desk rather than drive home. A job that you can’t just leave at school, when you finally drag yourself off your desk and go home for the night. A job that is NOT as easy as walking into the classroom and using double negatives and slang like “Posse” “Yo” “Wassup” and you have the gang member students from the street on your side and reading Shakespeare like these inspirational movies and books portray.

I feel like stories and movies like these are akin to the Army recruiting posters that make it look like a picnic in the countryside, bonding around the fire with harmonicas and laughing and sing-a-longs. It is not a fair and accurate representation of what the true participants are going through.

It’s about time that teachers are represented fairly.

If anyone out there knows of something that shows teaching in a more realistic light let me know! For now I am going to leave, “My Posse Don’t Do Homework <3 nbsp="" on="" p="" shelf="" the="">
That being said....

I don't mind humor filled inspiration.

This video has been making the rounds and I quite enjoy it!

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