Neither it would seem. Apparently, according to the internet we (teachers I mean) are either superhumans or lazy gits. And which end of the teachering-spectrum we fall depends on which particularly flavour of newspaper you read.
I’m bored of the construction of teachers as lazy. It doesn’t upset me or bother me particularly any more because, sadly, it is just part of modern rhetoric in some circles. That doesn’t mean to say I don’t argue or call it out; I do. But I don’t very often waste brain-space getting annoyed by it.
But the thing that really is getting to me at the moment is something I’m seeing in a lot of memes. It’s this notion that teachers are in a vocation and that we do it for the children, or the glory (there is none). This notion that teachers are superhumans who give their entire life over to their job and never see their own children or families and that somehow this is a laudible quality. That teachers are almost divine in their inherent goodness and dedication to the cause.
I would like to call a stop on that notion. It is non-sensical and actually ridiculous.
The concept of a teacher as a superhuman who does it out of some moral calling removes my voice to say that while I love my job, I do it so that I am paid. I am a human who has my own family that deserve me at my best. I am a human who makes mistakes and actually has interests outside of teaching. I am not superhuman. I am a person who teaches. I love teaching but it is not all that I am and it is not all that I do.
I am a human.
I am not a superhuman. I am not purely a teacher. I am a researcher. I am a wife. I am a mum. I am a dog-mum. I am a daughter and a gazillion other things. I am a happy sausage most of the time and I enjoy life. I am more than a teacher. Teaching is part of the things I do. It’s not all of me. There is no moral, higher purpose to the fact that I teach. I love it but it’s not my superhuman mission. Teaching is a job. It’s a job I love. It’s a job I put a lot of effort into and enjoy. It’s a job that I will not allow to suck the life out of me. It’s a job that allows me to pay the mortgage alongside the other bits I do. It’s a job. It’s not a higher calling. I will not destroy myself or allow people to set me up as something that will be destroyed in the long run for a job.
It’s just a chuffin job!