Hey. Yeah, it’s me again. Your friendly neighborhood art teacher. How ya doin’?
Listen, remember back when I opened up to you and revealed that I often feel left out because you all have your little groupie groups, and I’m never invited? Yeah, well here’s the deal. I don’t really want to be included. Wait. That’s not really true. I would like to be invited to an IEP meeting from time to time and to be filled in on what your class is up to these days. Of course, I wouldn’t mind being invited to Happy Hour now and again (or at least a Pampered Chef party), but what I don’t want to be a part of is all the grade-level/classroom teacher/administration drama.
You know what I’m talking about, right? Of course you do. I’m talking about all the he said/she said drama that breeds in the staff room faster than the bacteria on the sponges next to my sink. I avoid the staff room for a reason. I want no part in the political, tug-of-war/name calling nonsense that often takes place in these rooms (or any room, really, where there are multiple adults and zero children). Here’s why…
- I choose to live my life drama free. This goes for my personal life as well. I refuse to surround myself with people who drag anyone and everyone into every little smidgen of controversy to be found. I find my existence to be much more peaceful and extremely less stressful this way.
- 9 times out of 10, I have no idea who you’re talking about.
- I’m pretty freakin’ easy going and can roll with the punches. Flexibility might as well be my middle name. I see no point in hashing and re-hashing every little change that happens in the school. Yes, sometimes these changes might get my panties in a bunch too, but then I quickly evaluate and adapt to whatever circumstances I need to. What I don’t do is complain about it to every Tom, Dick or Harry who walks by and has the unfortunate luck of saying good morning to me.
- I’m in it for the kids. I know, it sounds oh-so cliche, right? But it’s true. The reason I get up every morning is for the kids. The reason I work so hard is for the kids. The reason I strive to become a better teacher is for the kids. The day it stops being about the kids and becomes a daily opportunity to bitch about, well, everything, is the day I stop teaching. End of story.
- Speaking of the kids, unless it’s done in a constructive manner, I have no interest in bad-mouthing my students. And even then I don’t consider it to be “bad-mouthing” so much as it is two or more professionals getting together to come up with a solution regarding a troublesome child. If I come to you to speak about a student, it’s because I have a genuine concern about their well-being or their behavior. I’m not looking to have a drawn-out, in-depth convo about how snotty you think their parents are.
- Nothing good ever comes from it. I mean, seriously. When was the last time bitching ever accomplished anything?
- There’s already too much negativity in the world. Must we create more?
Now, I can understand what it must be like for you, being surround by the same people day in and day out. I can imagine it might get pretty tiresome having the same conversations with them over and over again. I can also see how appealing it might be to want to vent and/or open up to someone who is out-of-the-loop, so to speak. I get it. But I beg of you, please try to refrain.
The next time you drop your students off, I encourage you to quickly chit chat about how your day is going, and I certainly don’t mind asking you about your new grandchild or the trip you just took back to my hometown. I am genuinely curious and interested about you, as a person. Of course, any conversation you want to have about the positive things happening in your classroom or with your students is always welcomed.
And the next time you pick your students up, please keep in mind that I have very little time before the next class comes in. I would love to use what few minutes (or seconds) I have to inform you of how class went or have the students tell you what they learned that day.
Oh, and Specialists? Consider yourselves Cc-ed on this. I know you can be just as guilty of this as classroom teachers are.
Ms. Art Teacher