I could never be a student in today’s climate.
Not because I can’t imagine having to learn or grow in such adverse times, but because there is too much scrutiny and sanitization thrown upon our educators, it barely becomes worth it anymore.
When I was a student, I considered being a teacher. You couldn’t pay me to consider doing it now.
Not when I read stories like how a teacher in Prince George was suspended for showing students The Hobbit because it wasn’t in the curriculum or To Kill a Mockingbird because it was deemed to advanced.
This teacher was actually suspended from his job and dragged through mud by the media and public.
Yes, there have been advancements throughout the years – oh, say, the elimination of the brutal punishment device known as “the strap” for instance. The use of a weapon like that is absolutely a punishable offense that’s newsworthy.
But I look back at even the schooling I had; every single one of my teachers would be suspended under modern logic.
Because of my sneaky suggestion in fifth grade, our teacher let us watch the nineties comedy classics Tommy Boy and Wayne’s World in class – despite both not being suitable for any classroom under any circumstance.
We had a teacher who bonked you in the head with text books (my dad would attest that same teacher would jab you in the foot with a stick) when you were being disruptive.
I have even had teachers who uttered comments I certainly can’t write in a newspaper in frustration.
Looking at my high school graduation track record, we’ve mostly grew up to be upstanding citizens with families, jobs, and typical normalcy.
People are human.
Swearing, misjudged topics, or quick comments that don’t come off as intended are going to happen whether you are self-disciplined or not.
But I have friends who are teachers who enter their job every day, not thinking about lesson plans or educating young minds – they are mulling over every single words they’ve said and playing back every interaction in fear that they’ve offended a student.
Teachers have become petrified of scrutiny and suspensions, even when their sensibilities are already as controversial as a glass of warm milk.
Teachers have been robbed of human dignity and society has shoved them into a corner where perfection is demanded, but never obtained; and it’s ruining their ability to educate.
I even groan at this media outlet’s own penchant for putting every single story about a teacher suspension online when it clearly does nothing but to act as gossipy click bait rather than an actual peice of news.
Would we do this for any other line of work that someone was suspended?
Once upon a time ago, I was encouraged by teachers to read works with troubled, “outdated” language because it expanded my view of the world and it’s complicated past. It helped me grow. It was a way of learning.
I think we are willingly hurting students because we wrongfully doubt there mental capacity in understanding in the name of over protection.
Learning through simple debate or making a mistake seem to be going the way of the dodo.
Thirty years prior, they would have made inspirational movies about controversial educators staring Morgan Freeman using the same tactics that get teachers in trouble today.
No, a teacher should never lay a finger on a student, nor should they ever belittle anyone for their race, sexual orientation, or their struggle to learn a subject.
But there is no way off-the-cuff comments, an unrelated movie, or a human mistake should wind up being such as disciplinary hoopla.
Teachers are not robotic, emotionless machines.
They are people working their job and trying to the the best they can - flaws, flubs, and all.
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