Teacher Bashing

I was getting getting tired of multitasking, so I decided to take a walk to “change it up” a bit and refresh myself. As I was walking I encountered a couple about my age walking toward me and we both smiled and exchanged a few pleasantries. Then He brought up the subject of our “high” taxes in Huntington.

I said, “But here in Huntington, where we live, we actually have a lot of amenities to show for it, compared with other towns on Long Island.”

He responded “It’s because of the police and the teachers; they’re all overpaid and we’re paying outrageous taxes because of it.”

Foolish me for taking the bait. I tried patiently to explain that the problem is not that teachers are overpaid because of everything we must do to qualify to become teachers, and then how hard it is to spend five days a week in a classroom dealing with so many stressors on a daily basis.

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She said, “Well, I’m a nurse and my sister-in-law, a retired teacher, brings home a pension that’s a lot bigger than mine. She even admits she is getting too much in pension and benefits.”

I silently wondered where she lived so I could go and strangle her sister-in law. What teacher in his/her right mind would admit to that? Now I was really engaged.

I said that the thirty-year pensioners were slowly being phased out. I suggested that instead of bashing teachers, we should work toward getting better conditions for everyone who works for decades and has little to show for it. I said, “I’m sorry to hear that; nurses do work hard and deserve better.”
She became thoughtful, but He kept right on teacher bashing.

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At this point I should have known better and just said, “Have a nice day” and walked away. But I kept trying to explain his “wrong thinking.” I talked about how we teachers finance our educations and minimally must have a Master’s degree to teach. I even threw in that most of the teachers I know have two master’s degrees and some have three!

He said, They only want the extra degrees so they can get paid more.” And I said, “What is wrong with that? Shouldn’t teachers, who spend so much time with our children, be as well educated as possible and paid well for their expertise?”

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He said, “Go home and count your money.” I looked at his wife who shook her head and said “He doesn’t mean it; it’s all in fun.” Not really.

Not the kind of fun I hoped to have on my walk. I’ll bet he’s voting for Trump!

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23 thoughts on “Teacher Bashing”

    1. Yes, well…my bad for thinking I could “reason” with what seemed to be a rational person but was just another teacher basher. Teachers don’t bash others for what they do and how much they earn. What am I missing here?

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  1. We have fifteen percent of our salary deducted for the retirement system. No choice, it is required. Do you suppose the nurse puts in that amount? I doubt it. Grrr, now you have my blood pressure up with the ignorance of this man. I hope you are able to have a more enjoyable walk the next time you step out.

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    1. Ah…if only he were the only ignorant man or woman out there. I suspect there are millions just like them. It’s so easy to blame teachers for everything. Next we’ll be responsible for global warming and the Zika virus!

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  2. I must start with a thank-you for your closing comment, for in it, I found the humor to it all.
    Yes! I bet he DOES vote for Trump.
    The frightening thing is that other, similarly minded folks will do the same and that, quite frankly, is terrifying. And probably fodder for another post! 😉

    Even though your words fell on deaf ears in the immediate, you’ve shared an important perspective for those of us here. And I, for one, am filing away your response to the retired nurse re: working hard and deserving more. Such a gracious response. Too bad He couldn’t pick up on the model.

    And finally – thank YOU and all other teachers for your service. This job we do is so much more than a job… It’s who we are.
    And who we are makes a difference.

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    1. Thank YOU so much for your heartfelt response. And, yes, there are probably millions like him out there who don’t realize who the real enemy is. Let’s just blame everything on teachers! Glad you got a good laugh from a pathetic situation.

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    1. When I finally realize I’m dealing with an idiot, I try to rise above him/her and not say anything I would be ashamed of. I think of myself as representing all teachers so I am careful about what I say. The last thing I would do is give such a person a reason to make teachers even more of a target!

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  3. There is just no reasoning with some people. It is a shame that people have always had this feeling that because they pay taxes they own us. Do they forget that we pay the same taxes? I have known people like this and have very little time for anyone with that kind of attitude.

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  4. Your post has hit a sore spot with so many of us! Look at all of your replies! But I agree with what those before me have said. You were a saint to continue to try to reason with him. I have run in to people like him and have in laws that sometimes have to be put in their place in a similar way. I’ll never understand how our profession has become the dumping ground for the country’s ills. We teach tomorrow’s future leaders for goodness sake! And without teachers, there would be no doctors, lawyers, OR politicians. I wonder what Trump’s teacher would think of him?

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