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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Student Misery 101

Teaching can be a tough line of work.

I have heard our careers bring referred to as 'war zones' where we teachers are on the 'front lines' with the students. I'm sure some people see it that way.

Some people are absolutely terrified of teenagers. In TV shows, books, and in other forms of media, teens are portrayed as absolute little demons. I know people who refuse to step inside a high school (I, myself, get a little nervous when stepping inside a primary / elementary school, but this is due to the fact that when they are little, there seems to be so many more of them, and they are faster and dirtier and louder and wigglier).

So are teachers portrayed that way, in the very same media. And by that way, I mean demonic, not wiggly and fast. Apparently, we become teachers to make students miserable. It's a course taught in Teacher School: Student Misery 101. You would think that schools comprise one of Dante's levels of Hell, a special level reserved for those of us gutsy enough to step through the hallowed halls of an educational facility. And maybe for some, school was Hell. Still, all of you parents send your kids to us every day. You do have a choice, you know. Home-schooling exists. Personally, I don't think it's healthy because we all need social interaction, but we all make and live with our choices.

Now, don't get me wrong - no one is perfect and some teens act out ridiculously due to a variety of issues in their lives, and we adults must deal with those issues and behaviours, whether teachers or not. People of all ages deal with and act out upon the issues we have, including adults. You have done it - don't deny it. Show a little patience and understanding.

So they act out and push the boundaries. People need boundaries. It's human nature to test the rules. So, of course, at the age they find themselves in, teens are struggling with the very core of themselves as well as their relationships - that's the basis of their real misery, only they don't realize it.

But to fear teens and paint them all with the same brush, so to speak? That's unfair.

The same goes for teachers; it's unfair to do that to us, too. It's sad to see most teachers portrayed in TV shows & other media as terrible examples of humans. I looked up 'psychology of teachers' etc., trying to find why we do what we do. Maybe we just want to stay young when we decide to be teachers. Maybe we want the insane amount of holidays teachers seem to get. I just want to add here that we work hard for our holidays. If you don't think so, volunteer for a week with your local schools, and put in the hours of a classroom teacher.

To do all that work? Maybe we want to help the kids, or be part of the success for the future. The reasons are as varied as the people themselves.

Not all teens are bad; not all teachers are bad. I wish the media would stop perpetrating the school system as hellish. It's no wonder teens rebel and find it difficult to trust people - they are dealing with growing up while school is tough and the media portrays it as a broken, destructive place. School should be welcoming and fun because life is difficult enough during high school for teens. Some take Misery 101, 201 and 301.

As for teachers, here are the top ten reasons (according to the random website below) to become one:

1. Student Potential
2. Student Successes
3. Teaching & Learning a Subject
4. Daily Humour
5. Affecting the Future
6. Staying Younger
7. Autonomy in the Classroom
8. Conducive to Family Life
9. Job Security
10. Summers Off

These all sound like great reasons to me.

Go to this website (at for more info. There is a lot of good stuff linked there.

Yeah, sometimes teaching is tough. It's a pain to watch and read anything that only discusses schools as terrible places.

Some of you must have had a positive experience. Share it, especially with young people. If you didn't, try to make it better for today's kids. Give kids a chance.


  1. Thank you for following the Girlie Blog.

    You are right, most people fear teenagers. They can be...rowdy. But my mom was a teacher and she absolutely loved her job.

  2. Welcome!

    'Rowdy' is a good word for it!

    Checking out your blogs now :)


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