One of the earliest things my mom taught me and my siblings growing up whenever we went anywhere was that we should treat that place like our own home. If we were playing with someone else's toys, we should treat it like it was our own property.
That, coupled with the fact that we didn't grow up as the family who always had all of the newest toys and gadgets, meant that we had a respect for our own belongings, and coincidentally a respect for other people's because our mom stayed on top of us. Now it might seem like such a simple concept for someone to grasp, but we've all met those kids who are basically a walking tornado.
They leave mayhem in their wake, wherever they roam. Now you can scold the child and ask them just who the heck they think they are, or if they're a toddler, just chalk it up to the fact that they're going through the Satan Spawn phase of their life.
But if they're old enough to know better and still see no problem with their behavior, then that responsibility falls squarely on the parent's shoulders. I mean, yes, kids can be influenced by their friends and what they see on TV, but ultimately parents should be in control of that. So I get where this teacher is coming from with her epic rant on parents who "enable" kids' bad behavior.
Julie Marburger, an educator for the Bastrop School District in Texas, says she plans on leaving the profession. There are a number of reasons for her doing so that boil down to a single reason: it's a thankless job.
Most teachers pay for their classroom supplies out of pocket (the school usually doesn't provide funding for that), yet Marburger (like many teachers) has experienced students destroying supplies that she spent her own money on. The lack of involvement from parents in their own kids' education is another huge reason she's calling it quits. If you've ever worked in a school or have a kid enrolled in one right now, you know that there are several notices, texts, and/or phone calls that parents get if a child is struggling in school.
Yet Marburger, again, like most teachers, gets bombared by messages from parents who are upset at the teacher, not their child, that their kid failed their class. Here's her rant, in full below. It's powerful stuff and you can really see that her frustration is rooted in real-world experience, and photos of the ruined classroom drive that point home.
I left work early today after an incident with a parent left me unable emotionally to continue for the day. I have already made the decision to leave teaching at the end of this year, and today, I don't know if I will make it even that long. Parents have become far too disrespectful, and their children are even worse. Administration always seems to err on the side of keeping the parent happy, which leaves me with no way to do the job I was hired to do...teach kids.
I am including photos that I took in my classroom over the past two days. This is how my classroom regularly looks after my students spend all day there. Keep in mind that many of the items damaged or destroyed by my students are my personal possessions or I purchased myself, because I have NO classroom budget. I have finally had enough of the disregard for personal and school property and am drawing a line in the sand on a myriad of behaviors that I am through tolerating. Unfortunately, one parent today thought it was wrong of me to hold her son accountable for his behavior and decided to very rudely tell me so, in front of her son.
Report cards come out later this week, and I have nearly half of my students failing due to multiple (8-10) missing assignments. Most of these students and their parents haven't seemed to care about this over the past three months, though weekly reports go out, emails have been sent and phone calls have been attempted. But now I'm probably going to spend my entire week next week fielding calls and emails from irate parents, wanting to know why I failed their kid. My administrator will demand an explanation of why I let so many fail without giving them support, even though I've done practically everything short of doing the work for them. And behavior in my class will deteriorate even more. I am expecting this, because it is what has happened at the end of every other term thus far.
I have never heard of a profession where people put so much of their heart and soul into their job, taking time and resources from their home and family, and getting paid such an insultingly measly amount. Teachers are some of the most kind and giving people I have ever met, yet they get treated so disrespectfully from all sides. Most parents can't stand to spend more than a couple hours a day with their kid, but we spend 8 with yours and 140 others just like him. Is it too much to ask for a little common courtesy and civil conversation?
It has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember to have a classroom of my own, and now my heart is broken to have become so disillusioned in these short two years. This is almost all I hear from other teachers as well, and they are leaving the profession in droves. There is going to be a teacher crisis in this country before too many more years has passed unless the abuse of teachers stops.
People absolutely HAVE to stop coddling and enabling their children. It's a problem that's going to spread through our society like wildfire. It's not fair to society, and more importantly, is not fair to the children to teach them this is okay. It will not serve them towards a successful and happy life.
Many will say I shouldn't be posting such things on social media...that I should promote education and be positive. But I don't care anymore. Any passion for this work I once had has been wrung completely out of me. Maybe I can be the voice of reason. THIS HAS TO STOP.
Marburger ends her post by saying that she's pretty much fed up and that her passion for education has been "wrung" out of her. She acknowledges that there are going to be people to tell her to maintain an air of positivity, but she's just had enough at this point.
Turns out there are plenty of other people on social media who sympathize with Marburger's point of view. Her post was shared over 280,000 times and tons of people commented on her story with public school horror stories of their own.
Other teachers echoed her sentiments, saying that they retired at a young age and that "parenting" should be made a mandatory class in school.
There were some commenters who mentioned that compared to other industrialized nations, America doesn't value or support its teachers that much.
Numbers don't lie either, American teachers are compensated less than teachers in other parts of the world with similar certifications. Regardless of what you may think about Marburger's choice to stop teaching all together, it's hard to deny that there are many people who feel the same way she does about working as an educator in America.