Many of us head back to work tomorrow after a well deserved break. All of us need time to relax in whatever way relaxing suits one best. Based on catching up with so many over break, the adult coloring books were apparently quite the hit and a major source of relaxation.
I was speaking to a teacher I use to work with and she sounded like she was in the doldrums. Why? She was miserable to go back to work; not so sad to see her students, but to see her coworkers. My heart sank.
Nothing is worse than hearing those in education genuinely dread going back to work. This is a job that requires your A-Game everyday and requires you be your best. If you’re not, you’re hurting our future. This isn’t a cubicle — this is a job that effects the way we will live.
I had to ask her why she was so dreadful. Simple. She’s ostracized for enjoying her job and working with her bosses, not being miserable at work and hating leaders. The culture of “past practice” has always been ‘us vs. them’ – no matter who the bosses are. That’s like a whole new level of sad! If you hate me for doing what I do, OK. If you hate the guy before me, and the girl before me, and so on…perhaps the problem lies with your attitude and not the person charged with leading?
A few years back, I had to have a conversation with a first year employee (who was transitioning from the medical field to school life — don’t judge me — nobody else wanted the job and she was the only one willing to accept he salary) about a myriad of issues, one of them being so negative. We went over all of the things I did to help her transition (including credit options, certification issues, and professional development) and she rolled her eyes and said “Everyone is suppose to hate to the boss!” Really?
Yes, we have tons of movies and shows about how the boss sucks and how one can overcome it (ranging from Major League to Office Space to Horrible Bosses), but it does not mean we have to have a culture like this! I have been fortunate enough to say that in six school districts, I’ve only seen one place where there is a strong culture of hatred, bitterness, and general anger towards education, the changes it brings, and yes, superb hatred for the boss.
For your first day back in 2016, please don’t embrace the culture of being miserable and hating your job. It’s a new year; you may have a new boss now or soon; your issues may go away. Embracing a mantra of “us vs. them” does nobody good. Not only does it rub off on other people, and it will certainly rub off on your students. You may hate your boss, and you may hate your job, but there’s a simple solution to both of these: just leave. Your students will thank you in the long run. Your students deserve the best in 2016; give it to them.