Thursday, February 2, 2012

OPP

Yeah, you know me. 

If you're my age, you definitely know this song.  When Naughty by Nature sang about Other People's Property, they weren't singing about teachers...but I am.

The current mindset seems to be that teachers are "owned" by parents....thus, making us OPP.

I am a teacher.  I enjoy being a teacher.  I enjoy the middle school kids I spend 180 or so days a year with.  I am NOT a teacher because I can't do anything else.  I could make far more money and have far less stress if I pursued a career in my undergraduate field, but I didn't...because I AM a teacher.  And, yes, summers & snow days are fantastic, but so is taking a day off without having 120 people to answer to and preparing twice the work for a sub that rarely gets done.

I do not come work drunk or high or hung-over.  For that matter, I don't get high even on my own time and rarely drink.  I can't even remember the last time I was hung-over.

I sit at flag football & soccer games melting like a ball of wax under a flame thrower because it's 9000 degrees and my kids play in the town I teach in and I try to keep my tattoos covered.   

I'm usually on time (I'm human and not a morning person...cut me some slack) and I'm always ready for when the kids arrive.  I often feel unprepared, but, in reality, I am as prepared as anyone could be to face 120 middle school kids everyday.  I do not stay late (because I have my own small people to supervise and love at my house), but I frequently spend my time after they go to bed doing what I could have done if I had stayed late at work.

I do make mistakes.  I am not superwoman.  I do get behind on grading and get sidetracked in class and change plans midstream.

I make a reasonable effort to be a good role model for my students.

But....

I have a life outside work. 

If I want to drink or party or get tattoos on every square inch of my body...that's my business.  

I'm happily married to a man, but if I wanted to "live in sin" or if I were interested in ladies rather than men...that's my business.

Until the school pays my cell phone bill, parents are not welcome to call me on it.  They're just not.

If I'm comfortable having an adult beverage in front of my kids, I'm certainly not going to hide it just because a student walks in a restaurant.

I'm so sick of the argument "our taxes pay their salary" and thereby giving some sense of ownership over teachers to said tax payers.  Well...guess what...unless you're independently wealthy, someone is paying your salary as well. 

I will continue to be a teacher, because it's what I do.  And despite all the complaining...I do love my job and the kids and many of the parents.  But just so you know....I'm not down with being OPP & it really is that simple.


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