Lots of people reach out to me. Between my books, my blog and my big mouth I guess sorta invite it. And I gotta say, I like when people rant because venting allows people to blow off steam that – left unblown – often proves to be like lurking toxins in the engine of our careers and lives.
I got just such a rant the other. A smart person who had been pushed a bit over the brink the the inanity and tomfoolery of this world. (And who hasn’t been in that category, right?) This person got to me at just the right time, too, because I was a good emotional place. So instead of throwing logs on the fire of their raging soul I instead typed up a short, somewhat level-headed response.
I am gonna share a version of it right now. But before I do, please don’t expect me to always live it. I swear I’ll try, but, what’s that old religious saw? Oh yeah, the flesh is weak.
Illigitimus non carborundum. (i.e. Don’t let the bastards get you down.) I think that’s the moral of the story you just told me. There are so many things one can’t control in the life of being a teacher that we often forget to focus on that which we can.
Your own quality. Your own sense of professionalism. Your own work ethic and diligence and joie de vivre… spend you energy in those arenas and you will have spent it well. Real kids matter. The shenanigans of colleagues and admins… not as much.
BTW, I wish someone would have told me this stuff years ago… wouldda saved a lot of heavy days in my heart and gray hairs on my head. If I wouldda listened that is. But me, I spent many days seeing my educational problems as if they were nails while I was a teacher holding a hammer.
That outlook leads to lots of pounding. Length in the teeth has taught me there are other tools, too.
Teachers are demoralized these days. If today you can hoist the spirit of a peer you will have done the world of schooling good.