Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Plain Truth About Educators

The rumor has been spread around for hundreds of years, so long now that it has become fact in the minds of current and former students: Teachers do not have a sense of humor. Even Snopes has yet to debunk this particular urban legend. Some stories claim that teachers have their humor beaten out of them by nuns in teacher school, even if said teacher is not Catholic.  Some stories heard around summer campfires tell of surgical removal of the bone of funny, the poor teacher waking up in a bathtub full of ice.

A teachers' sense of humor shines, even at lunch.
The truth is that if teachers didn't have a sense of humor, they would be unable to do their jobs as well as they do. Kids have short attention spans, and the curriculum is at least a year long. Not every child is interested in learning what they need to know, which is ultimately how to problem solve independently when there's no one around to tell you what to do.  Teachers have to be entertaining in some way to garner the attention of up to thirty kids at once. A sense of humor helps with the creativity it takes to reel in even the most attention deficit child for their ten minute limit.

And teachers have to have a sense of humor to put up with parents.  Not the wonderful, supportive parents, who actually appreciate the school's efforts to create successful adults.  Teachers love those kinds of parents.  It's the parents who are not supportive, who send condescending and patronizing emails, or call the school superintendent 435 times a day to complain about anything and everything.  It's that nonexistent sense of humor that gets teachers through those frustrating meetings and phone calls.

Teachers also have to have a sense of humor to deal with the general perception that they do nothing of value, that their jobs are not worthwhile.  Nothing could be further from the truth. NOBODY got to where they are right now without a teacher, not even the Orange Rind in Chief, and everyone needs to remember that every single day.  For every person who thinks that teaching is so simple that an idiot like Dan Patrick could do it, there's a teacher who knows better.  For every Betsy DeWhatever who thinks that teaching is a business that should be privatized or chartered out to fly-by-night organizations to deliver mail-order diplomas, there's a teacher who has to laugh themselves silly, so they won't devolve into tears at the lack of respect and support.  Don't tell me teachers don't have a sense of humor. 

The evidence is clear: Teachers do have a sense of humor. We can put that legend to rest. Not everyone will get their jokes, it is true. The humor is there nonetheless.  Some days it may be a gallows humor.  I'm sure that all the teachers in Texas who are preparing to educate children who may have been uprooted by Harvey are very stressed and sarcastic right now.  And that is okay with me, because even though I have heard the jokes, I know that underneath the sarcasm and flip responses is the determination and the dedication to do whatever it takes to welcome every child, and to educate them, no matter what.

And that is the truth.

1 comment:

  1. My first thought was "thy MUST have a sense of humor"!!!!! Welcome back!


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