The controversy over the Pennsylvania teacher blogging about her students this week has unfortunately highlighted a weak minority in the teaching profession. I am not sure this should even be a controversy--this teacher represents a group of people who will probably quit teaching because the stresses soon outweigh the rewards. Teaching is not a job for the faint of heart: it is never easy if done well. It is exhilarating when it works. And I feel almost as strongly for my students some days as I do about my own children. I belong to them; I serve them. I wish that teaching programs made this clear, that it is is not a 9-month year, that if you do it right, your reflection is daily and the new creative approaches happen in the summer when you have had time to digest the wins and losses. The missteps always become clear right away, but it is sometimes the middle of July before I see what worked and the seeds of the best year ever in those little victories.
So this teacher who felt the frustrations of teaching so keenly and exhibited such poor judgment handling that stress wrote of her emotional defeat instead of the myriad of other choices she could have made. She could have made her blog private. She could have looked for another school. She could have changed careers. For the perception that she and I are the same, I am angry. She did not speak for me. I am a professional teacher, but more important, I have a vocation to teach.