Yesterday, I went through new teacher training for the new job.
Teacher training is teacher training is teacher training. It’s pretty much all the same thing. It usually consists of a lot of “getting to know you” activities, strange games, and collaborative list-making to show what you already know about a certain topic.
It’s basically like being back in elementary school.
But that’s usually just the first day. See, they make you feel all safe and secure the first day, then *BAM*, they lay it on thick the second and third days until you walk out of that conference room feeling so worthless and dejected that you’re fairly certain you should never be allowed to set foot in a school ever again.
It. Is. THE WORST.
It’s like being asked to come in for a routine check-up on your thumb, and being sprung with an enema, a pelvic exam and a mammogram instead.
Because the second day of teacher training consists of a whole lot of:
According to recent test results, you all suck as teachers. You’re all racist homophobes who are only here for the free summers. And if you dare to disagree, you’re going to have to prove you don’t suck. Because we all know you do.”
And then they proceed to tell you that you are the reason for all of the following:
- Teen suicide, teen pregnancy, and teen drug use being on the rise
- Minority kids being being killed in gang wars
- The American economy being in the toilet
- American students no longer being able to compete with other nations
- The Kardashians being so popular.
You, as a teacher, suck. Therefore, all of society’s ills are your fault. Why? Because you had a subconscious bigoted agenda where you told the black kids they couldn’t read, the girls they couldn’t do math or science, and the boys that doing well in school made them look like sissies.
I KNOW! I was NOT aware of my subconscious agenda either! So, I was forever thankful the powers that be brought it to my attention so that I could be a more effective teacher!
So, along I went, skipping merrily into my classroom, determined to brighten the lives of every child I met.
Only, I was so dang depressed and ashamed of myself, skipping was out of the question, and it was all I could do to drag myself to the car before I started bawling my eyes out and questioning my existence.
Am I right, teachers? All the non-teachers think I’m totally exaggerating and I’m totally not, am I? That’s how bad it gets. Occasionally, you end up with teachers leaving the sessions crying. And everyone is so stressed out by the end of the day, it’s a miracle that no one goes postal.
SO, imagine my surprise that at my first teacher training session at a private school… there was NONE OF THAT.
Get this. These radicals actually believe the people they hired are GREAT TEACHERS. They ALSO believe that they’re there for the students. AND that they’re passionate about their jobs… and WANT to improve things for their students, school and community.
I WILL NOT. They actually BELIEVE that!
It was the first time I had left teacher training feeling halfway decent about myself.
So, to all the private school people who put together these training sessions and workshops…. thank you. Thank you for believing we’re there for the right reasons. Thank you for believing we have the skills to do our jobs. Thank you for encouraging and supporting us rather than blaming and degrading us. Your public school colleagues could learn a thing or two from you.
And to all the teachers out there kicking off a new year, I leave you with this: You do not suck. Don’t believe the hype.