Crazy. I received a message that The Washington Post wants to publish my diary called "I Don't Want to Be a Teacher Any More." To top that off I got an email from Markos with info from someone at CNN who wants to interview me about the blog.
He said that my writing had already been shared over 100,000 times and that in case I didn't already know it, I was an Internet sensation.
I didn't already know it.
So I should feel happy with myself, right? You would think. But the truth is all I could think was, "So there it is. This is going to be my legacy. I'll forever be known as the face of teacher burnout. Great." Seriously? I was wondering why nobody ever wanted to interview me when I created the coolest homework ever, or when I invented what I called Special Days for my kids. I would much rather have those things be my legacy.
I truly am grateful for all the kind words, encouragement, and support I received for my piece. I seriously thought about ten people would read it, including my husband and daughter. I'm overwhelmed by the fact that my writing touched people enough that they would share it with someone else and even Tweet about it. (Seriously, Twitter?)
But honestly I'm not proud of feeling this way. And I really don't want to be interviewed about it. In fact, I'm fighting against the negative feelings with every fiber of my being. I don't want my students or their parents to know that I wrote a piece about not wanting to be a teacher. I'm pretty sure some of them would think it was partly their fault.
Besides, CNN doesn't need to interview me. I'm really not a limelight kind of girl. I'm more of a wind beneath your wings kind of person. I'm guessing a lot of teachers are. Here's the truth. CNN could go into any school in the country and find at least twenty of me. You know why? Every teacher is me. I'm not special.
I'm not putting myself down. I really mean it. Think about it. Most adults know at least a couple of teachers. Think the people you know who became teachers. I've been doing this job long enough to have several of my past students become teachers. They are all the same kid. So who is it who becomes a teacher? It's the kids who love school. They're the kids who do their homework, get their assignments in on time, value school, and are successful. They are pleasers.
Teachers are pleasers--so much so that if you tell us we need to raise test scores, we will do everything we can to make it happen. Even if what you are asking is impossible, we'll try our hardest. We aren't used to falling short. We were successful in school. We believe in the system, so much so that we chose to be a part of it.
Teachers are far from lazy. I'm not sure you could find a job full of harder workers. We're the ones who did all of the extra credit, remember? We ruined the curve for everyone else not necessarily because we were smarter, but because we cared enough to study. We sat in the T zone and raised our hands feverishly to be called upon. We helped all the rest of you when you didn't understand something. Somehow that's not my idea of the lazy individuals.
I have a girl in my class right now who I'm pretty sure will become a teacher some day. She hasn't said so. So how do I know? Well, for one thing she came into the room yesterday at 7:30 with a third grader and asked if they could come in early so she could tutor him. Kids had been teasing him on the bus because he didn't know addition, so she said she'd help him before school. Yep, that's who becomes teachers.
So CNN you really don't need to interview me. Just go into ANY school and ask the teachers whether things are working right now. When this many great people would respond to a single blog like mine, maybe the country might want to stop and listen to them and quit barreling full steam ahead down the wrong road. Just a thought.