‘Parents must cease coddling and enabling their children. ‘Any enthusiasm I had for this job has been sucked out of me.’ Before quitting her job, a woman addresses ‘teacher abuse,’ saying, ‘No one wins.’

“I left work early today due to an incident with a parent that left me emotionally unable to continue for the remainder of the day.” I’ve already decided to retire from teaching at the end of this year, and I’m not sure whether I’ll even make it that far. Parents and their children have grown way too disrespectful. Administration always seems to favour keeping parents happy, leaving me with no way to do the job I was recruited to do…teach kids.

I’ve included some images from the last two days in my classroom. This is how my classroom looks after my pupils have spent the entire day there. Because I have no classroom budget, many of the goods damaged or destroyed by my pupils are either my personal belongings or items that I purchased myself. I’ve had it with the disrespect for personal and school property, and I’m drawing a line in the sand on a variety of actions that I’m no longer willing to tolerate. Unfortunately, one mom, today believed it was inappropriate of me to hold her son responsible for his actions, and she decided to tell me so in front of her son.

Courtesy of Julie Davis Marburger
Courtesy of Julie Davis Marburger
Courtesy of Julie Davis Marburger
Courtesy of Julie Davis Marburger
Courtesy of Julie Davis Marburger
Courtesy of Julie Davis Marburger
Courtesy of Julie Davis Marburger

Report cards will be distributed later this week, and over half of my kids will receive failing grades as a result of many (8-10) missing assignments. Although weekly reports have been sent out, emails have been made, and phone calls have been attempted, most of these students and their parents have seemed unconcerned throughout the previous three months. But now I’m likely to spend the entire week next week answering calls and emails from enraged parents who want to know why I let their child down. My boss will demand an explanation for why I let so many people fail without helping them, despite the fact that I’ve done everything I could short of performing the work for them. And my class’s behaviour will worsen even further. This is something I’m expecting because it’s happened at the end of every other term so far.

I’ve never heard of a profession where people pour their hearts and souls into their work, devoting time and resources away from their homes and families in exchange for such a pitiful wage. Teachers are among the most generous and compassionate individuals I’ve ever known, yet they are treated with such contempt on all sides. Most parents can’t take spending more than a few hours a day with their children, but we spend eight hours with yours and 140 others. Is it too much to ask for a little civility and common courtesy?

My ambition of having my own classroom has existed for as long as I can remember, and now my heart is devastated that I have become so disillusioned in just two years. This is virtually always what I hear from other instructors, and they are leaving in droves. Unless the maltreatment of teachers ceases, this country will face a teacher shortage in the not-too-distant future.

People must quit coddling and assisting their children at any cost. It’s a problem that will spread like wildfire throughout our society. It’s not fair to society, and it’s especially unfair to the children, to teach them that this is acceptable. It will not help them have a happy and prosperous life.

Many would argue that I shouldn’t be speaking such things in public, that I should instead promote education and be upbeat. But it doesn’t matter to me any longer. Any enthusiasm I once had for this task has been utterly sucked out of me. Maybe I can be the voice of reason in this situation. THIS HAS TO COME TO AN END.

Having said that, I have a lot of wonderful, hardworking, and respectful students who come in every day and give it their all, as well as a lot of supporting, caring parents. I am grateful for them. But my dissatisfaction is partly on their behalf because some of their classmates’ acts are obstructing their education.

I feel there are three major challenges that we as a society must address:

First and foremost, the current educational system needs an overhaul. It is inoperable and insufficient for our children.

Second, we must hold our children to a greater standard of accountability in all aspects of their lives. Inflating their accomplishment doesn’t help them feel better about themselves. If it did, we wouldn’t be experiencing the highest rates of teen suicide in history right now.

Third, we must return to treating one another with decency and respect as a society. With hostility and name-calling, we’re only going downward. When compassion fades, no one wins.

I am a lady of religion, and I’ve been thinking a lot this week about the good I can do in the world as a result of this experience. I’ve chosen to start blogging about my thoughts on all of the above, and I’m hoping that many of you will participate in the conversation. We can make the adjustments we need for our mutual success if we all work together.”

Courtesy of Julie Davis Marburger

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