Monday, January 9, 2012

Just When You Think You’re Doing a Great Job…

As a teacher, there’s no better way to get the wind knocked out of your sails than to have a parent complain about the way you are/are not doing something.  I do my darnedest every day to go into my classroom and give my kids every bit of positive energy that I’ve got along with deliver the curriculum, inspire them and help them construct their learning in the most imaginative, exciting ways possible.  Even so…there are bound to be complaints.  It comes with the territory.

It’s the territory I hate.  If I were a vegetable, I’d be an onion: thin skinned, though a great compliment to most foods.  Eaten raw, however, I suppose I can also be quite pungent.  Suffice it to say, I am not a fan of being criticized (who is?), but particularly in areas where I feel I am doing my best to do excellent work and to meet the needs of my students.

So here’s my goal for tonight:  instead of dwelling on the snarky email I received (to which I gave a perfectly measured, appropriate and even apologetic reply), I will proceed with my plans for the evening:

-       To bundle up and go for a walk in the crisp air while listening to a funny podcast
-       To have a (yes, another) hot bubble bath and read the STAR magazine my friend has so kindly passed along
-       To wish the offending parent well every time I think of her instead of obsessing about her, and also realize she only wants what is best for her child (even if I am not included in that best!)
-       To not incessantly go back to my email tonight to see if she has replied to my courteous response, but to just let it be
-       To realize that not everybody is going to love me all the time (Heck, I don’t even love me all of the time.) and sit with that knowledge
-       To choose my clothes in advance for tomorrow since I have looked goofy every day since returning to school.  I thought I had decent fashion sense, but something seems to be off lately.  Maybe it’s forethought.

So that’s it.  I am just going to let it be.  What will be, will be.  I’ve been a teacher for more than 20 years now and, most of the time, I’m a damn good one.  At least according to me.  Other people can think what they want.


  1. Leah,

    You are inspiring me! I started a pseudo blog when I was in Germany, but you've taken it to the next level. I loved what you had to say and I agree with you. Not everyone is going to see things you're way or understand your emotions. The problem is most likely with the parent and I'm sure you did the best job and had the best intentions. What's important is that you care about the child and the child's education. Keep these blogs up! I'm putting you on my favorites right now! I believe it is your intent to write every day? Maybe one day I'll start my own as day.

  2. I'm so flattered! Thanks so much, Pat. I am finding it very fun, and it's helping me to move to the next level with my dreams of motivational speaking, etc. I appreciate all the positive feedback; it just inspires me to move forward even more! Just start...that's my advice! I feel very compelled to step it up and do more just by taking this small step. Thanks for taking the time to write, Pat. It means a lot! X, Leah