Ikoma wrote:Which brings me to my questions. What have your experiences with other teachers been like? And with teacher's unions? I've heard horror stories but I don't know if those are universal to the US experience or specific to features here in Utah. It sounds like the complaints with the bureaucracy of teaching span multiple states.
In Waukegan, I saw a lot more negativity from teachers. Here, I don't see that much, which is nice.
Student teachers are often told to avoid the Teacher's Lounge because it can feel toxic. Teachers do have to vent once in awhile and we spend a lot of time either in our room by ourselves or surrounded by students. When we get together, there will be some blowing off of steam.
As far as Unions: I don't get too involved with ours. Apparently, most of the meetings are complaint sessions, but they help us with negotiations and other things.
I'm glad they're around, though. I've had two times when I was worried I'd have cause to go to them. The first time, a woman called to try to get me fired after she saw me do stand up. It was my 5th time getting up and performing at an open mic. I made a quick reference to being a teacher during a bit and she flipped out in her mind. She told my superintendent that I told jokes someone else told. She was convinced that my 5 minute set (from a very novice stand up) was enough to determine that she had the right and the responsibility to try to get me fired.
I hope she gets fired from wherever she works. She was willing to destroy a person's career and life. And she didn't even remember which jokes were the ones I told.
Another was a parent who took exception to some of my materials. (The Zombie Survival Guide Flashcards, an article about the Winchester Mystery House, and The Shadow over Innsmouth.) He felt I should be teaching more stuff from the Bible and threatened a meeting with my bosses. He also got someone else to write in with almost the same problems. With the explanations I sent back about why I used the things I used, the other person (who was never clear on what her problem was) actually thanked me for trying to find different ways of reaching the students. The main father still had a problem, though he never followed up on it after.