I was recently at an informal gathering of coworkers, all of whom work at school in some capacity. It was nice to see everyone in summer mode, wearing t-shirts, shorts, flip-flops... sipping on cold drinks and enjoying chips, burgers and dogs, fresh fruit, and key lime pie. The relaxed atmosphere was very pleasant, something I know everyone needed after a long and stressful school year.
However, some of the conversation troubled me. I was disappointed to hear some people talk so poorly about the kids they worked with. I hated hearing some of them preface several negative comments with "these parents". I cringed when one of them - the same one I've seen being downright abusive to children - talked about how much she "couldn't stand them". A few of them even mentioned the many ways they "got away with" stuff all year... I don't even want to go in to detail.
Some of us stayed quiet, listened, maybe raised an eyebrow. We made eye-contact, some of us, and in that mirada said to each other, "look what they're doing to our kids". Some of us, for whom teaching and advocating for children has become our life's work... nos quedamos calladas, we remained silent.
Inwardly, I was giving these gals a piece of my mind; I wish I could tell them to GO elsewhere with their bad attitude and mediocrity. If only I could say out loud that I blame them for the way things have gone sour in this profession. I wanted to say something. I wanted to speak up for the kids and their parents. I wanted to tell them...
And if I had said something... would they have even listened? I can only hope the summer rest will sweeten their outlook a bit. It's not so much that I care about them - I'm thinking about the little kids they'll meet in September.