Difficult times

Dear Soulseekers

How did your week go? Mine has been pretty busy and interesting, and I’ve reached some conclusions.

If you follow me, you know that I am a teacher. I teach middle school and high school, and this week a parent accused me of humiliating and publicly shaming her daughter in front of the entire middle school by putting her name on the board. How many of us have had our names on the board at school at some point? Were you publicly shamed and humiliated? I doubt it. I put names on the board for a variety of reasons; mostly as an attention getter. Missing assignments, behavior check, reminder that I need to talk to you about something. It’s not only a reminder for the student, but for me as well. Her name was not the only name on the board. There were several other classmate’s names up there right along with her. But because this particular student has ADHD (according to the parents), this was an incident of public shaming and humiliation. I would hope that the majority of parents out there know that teachers are not at school to publicly shame and humiliate your child. That’s all I am going to say on this matter because the whole thing was and is ridiculous.

Another issue this week: I am a member of a booster club for my son’s school. It is the most unorganized, poorly managed organization that I have ever experienced. I decided this week that I will be stepping down following our next fundraiser. If you are an adult who cannot communicate clearly or communicate at all and yet still expect specific jobs to be completed, then I am not going to be a member of that team. How do you tell a team member to “take the reins on this one” and then when asked what is needed to do be done, he/she says we’ll talk about it next week. If it needs to be done, let’s get it done now. Start early. People have lives and if you need them to devote time to an event, they need notice so they can schedule it in with their other life events. You don’t say do this now, but we will talk about it next week.

I can’t help but wonder what is wrong with our world? Have people always been so passive aggressive? So poor at communicating? Since when did it become OK for us to be rude to one another cursing and yelling when we don’t get what we want? Is this from a lack of parenting? Kids raising kids? Poverty? Helicopter parenting and snowplow parents? Social media?

My middle school student who was publicly shamed and humiliated by her name being on the board, how is she going to function out in the world? Our booster club will never be as successful as it could be due to poor leadership and lack of communication. I don’t know what to do about either of these things. I apologized to the parents, but I cannot promise that I will not put her name on the board again for one thing or another. She’s about to be a high school student. She needs to toughen up or get her behavior in check. Period. As for our booster club, I will finish my event, and then I am done. I am removing myself from that situation. Is that the best thing to do? Avoidance? I’m sure it’s not. But that is a battle I cannot win nor can I make any change in that situation. So I will control what I can which is my part in it, and then remove myself from an unhealthy situation. I knew at the time when I volunteered for that position that it was a mistake and I did it anyway. I should always listen to that gut instinct. Always.

So what I learned this week is to always listen to that inner voice. Call it gut instinct, intuition, whatever. Listen to it. I would say 99.9% of the time, it is correct. Secondly, I am reminded that I am responsible for my behavior in a situation, and I cannot change or control anyone else’s. I accept responsibility for my actions which I try to teach my students at school. If you are talking and interrupting, these are behaviors that are not acceptable. Accept responsibility and work to improve. And lastly, if someone wants you to complete a job but is unwilling to give you the necessary information and tools you need in order to complete that task, then there is something else going on in that situation. I am choosing to remove myself from that situation rather than fighting and trying to figure out other people’s motives and agendas. I’m not really sure what else to do.

I hope your week was less trying than mine. I’ve kept up my running and yoga, and today I went on a long bike ride. It was a beautiful day here in Texas. Continue your self care. It’s a stress reliever and will help you maintain perspective when life and people are difficult.

Until next time,

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I'm honest, sarcastic, funny, loyal, a goal setter, determined, health conscious, a dreamer, a bibliophile, and a creative.

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