Saturday, June 29, 2013
Huck delivers a line in the musical Big River that goes, "It seemed like ev'rybody in the whole blame town of St. Petersburg was tryin' to tell me who I should be!"
That's how I felt this year. Critiqued, criticized and questioned at every turn (well, not every turn, but consider that this rant is tempered for dramatic flair) until I wanted to throw my hands up and shout, "All right, then, I'll go to hell".
Yet I persevered because, like Huck, I "turned over some considerable many ways in my mind" to cope with the continual barrage of negativity and judgement.
One is to literally close the door on gossip and if you listen closely you can hear the soft click (or booming slam) of teachers doing just that. The only problem with this solution is that bullshit always comes a-knockin' time and time again.
The latest issue involves the teacher/parent relationship. The central question being, "Are there limits to how available a teacher is to a parent?"
In this regard I have always been fully accessible. I give out my cell phone number and school email (which sends all messages immediately and directly to my iPhone). I encourage and truly enjoy communicating with parents.
Other teachers prefer to keep contact within the confines of the school day. Is one way more professional or better than the other?
I think not. It seems to me that both approaches are acceptable and reflective of the various personalities, comfort levels and beliefs of the teachers involved.
I did a little research and only found research articles and opinion pieces that favored open, continual communication between parents and teachers. The only caution was a recommendation to avoid written communication around sensitive subjects. In those instances, it is preferable to speak on the phone or have a face-to-face discussion.
I found nothing that supported limited interaction and communication.
So haters stop hating and let me do my thing!