Before I get started, let me say…that this post is for my #teachertribe. That’s not to say that other stakeholders like parents won’t read it. But..right now…I’m talking to MY PEEPS. We need to have some frank discussion right now. Not everything I say you’re going to like, but I’m going to try to do it with tact…Winston Churchill style.
As teachers, we’ve become too passive. We don’t want to OFFEND folks. We don’t want to be BOTHERED with folks. We’re too TIRED. We’re too BUSY. Well, you know what…the weak teachers are the reason the rest of us suffer. And I for one am done suffering in silence. Today, I’m going to talk about three different issues that are coming up with regard to #teacherethics. We ALL have opinions on them…here are mine.
Ya’ll please! For the love of peanut butter sandwiches! Just STOP pinning things on Pinterest about your students making you want to drink! Stop pinning things about how you ‘get’ why your kids are messed up because you’ve met their parents. I don’t CARE if it is true. It’s not for PUBLIC consumption. Don’t defend teachers that do it. It’s not defensible. It’s not nice. If you need a place to vent….do it on a PRIVATE board where it’s PRIVATE. I was a naughty elementary student. I can honestly tell you that if my mom had come across my teacher’s pinterest feed and saw a pin like that…she would have thought that was me–whether the teacher meant it that way or not. It’s hurtful guys. Our parents are our PARTNERS. Not our enemies. Enough of that!
I love Jesus, but I like an adult beverage every once in a while too. I don’t shy away from showing alcohol…I am sure to the chagrin of my sainted mother who reads every post. *sorry, Mom* But folks…be careful about sharing pictures of you actually drinking. There’s room for misinterpretation there. Make sure that when you are out in a local restaurant there aren’t like 5 empty beer cans in front of you. One at a time will do. If your student walks by with their family, that’s the wrong image to send. It just is. And I’ll go a step further with this. Bathing suit pictures on your facebook pages. Ladies…*sigh* ladies….I know some of ya’ll are cute as a button in that bikini, but…do you really want your students to see that? :/ I don’t know…maybe I’m just chubby in the wrong spots and bitter…but…a little modesty is not a bad thing. I’m not going to say never…but…imma say…take care. I’ll leave that there…next point.
That flag. That flag that smacks of southern rebellion and institutional racism. Yes. That flag. Imma go THERE. Folks, if you teach black children and that flag adorns your walls, your bumper stickers, your children’s play shirts…you’re wrong. Just wrong. If you teach all white children and that’s your story, your wrong there too. That flag is not about pride. It’s about something more insidious. It’s about bondage. It’s about a failed rebellion on this great nation. Please don’t contribute to stealing the identities of young black children across the south and in rural areas by teaching that this is a freedom of speech issue. It is not. Please don’t teach them that it is about pride. Young black children can NOT take pride in that symbolism at all. We are not in a post racial society. The deplorable behavior of some of our fellow Americans indicates this. Your job as an educator is to seek truth and lead children to it. Institutional racism is real. Generational poverty is real. Read about it. Learn. Change your opinion if you need to.
We don’t grow as educators when we dig in our heels and pretend that the sky is not falling. Our practice is under attack. If we don’t grow together, if we don’t tell each other the truth…this profession will continue to be denigrated and the people working within it decimated.
Be ready to receive the truth when it comes to you.