Bearer of bad news

teacher giving bad news to parents

I hate notifying parents of deficiencies of my students. I hate scheduling parent-teacher conferences.

In antiquity, the bearer of bad news was often killed. Sometimes parents accuse you as a teacher, and you have to document everything — this is not teaching! It is gathering evidence, police work, deputy district attorney work! I loathe adversarial relations with parents.

Sometimes, the parents turn red in the face and fire on the child. I don’t like this any better. I feel for the kid. Rarely does a parent find the right balance.

I’d much rather give good news. I love to see positives in the kids, to see parents glow as I extoll their son/daughter. How do you deal with being the bearer of bad news?


Education is not about the pay

inspirational teacherI’m all for paying what their worth. But if you are called to education, it must be that moment of sheer pleasure of seeing the student go from ignorance to understanding. That has got to be one of the greatest satisfactions on the planet.

Yes, yes, yes. I hear you shouting me down. Incommensurate pay is every bit a part of our sagging educational system. Yes, when we pay teachers like entrepreneurs, will have our best and our brightest preparing our future. Ok, already, I’m on your side.

But I keep insisting, foolishly, that you didn’t get into this because of the pay. There was some magical illusion drawing you, some immaterial joy called HELPING PEOPLE. Not everyone is called to make the mega bucks. Some feel it in their heart and soul to give of themselves and see others rise above as a result.

Personally, turnaround cases are what keep me here. To see kids who would have gotten lost in gangs or drugs get turned on to academics, to see they CAN DO IT, to see them graduate, brings tears to my eyes and determination to my heart to keep going. How about you?