Ironies of the Teaching Life

It is only as I am approaching 50, with twenty-three years of public school teaching behind me, that I am able to see the gloriously disastrous ways in which schools screw up–over and over again. I remember reading some movie review by Pauline Kael when I first started teaching, and she said that high school was a special kind of hell. It took a long time for me to figure out what she meant.

New teachers who have the energy to make change in the school are not normally aware of how screwed up the system is, while older, wiser teachers know and don’t have the energy to change it.

I’m using the word “energy” because that’s the case for a lot of career teachers. It’s not about courage for many older teachers, although there are a lot of cowards who kiss administration’s ass in order to keep their job and then bitch about them constantly in the faculty lounge.  But the traditional school system does not work, and older, wiser teachers know it.

Call me a pussy for not beginning the rebellion. I’m tired. All I have the energy to do is gripe and continue whoring for the profession I once loved. Here are the whore’s stories.



Filed under Teaching Whore Press

5 responses to “Ironies of the Teaching Life

  1. Roxy

    It is a “special kind of hell.” If I were to leave teaching, I know that I will never laugh as much as I do now. But my mind’s scorched, my body’s scorched, and I still gotta take 40 kids on the rickety bus to a production of The Scarlet Letter and transform the 60-year-old gym into an Arabian Nights’ theme. And coax English III students into cramming for the state test that is comprised of too much English teacher-like info. instead of real-world matter. Meanwhile, the counselor (who has never been a teacher) keeps telling the kids to take the ACT 3 times because they’ll never be successful if they don’t do well on the test.

  2. Y ep that’s exactly where I am now aged 54 and in my 31st year.I am just happy if I get through the day with no major physical injuries, and I have given up thinking that I can change anything.I just wanna get out asap.Thank you for visiting my blog and apparently the problems of our profession are the same the world over- sad isn’t it?

    • Thanks for commenting. I quit teaching once before so can’t look toward retirement. I still try to teach the best I can, but more and more I’m hampered by a dumb principal and a vastly out-of-whack system.

  3. I have my resume in to so many different places (non-teaching ones) because I can’t retire yet. A while back, I did interview at a private school–the schedule and philosophy were both so sane–but I didn’t get the job. Good luck with whatever you decide. I understand, too.

  4. Sean

    I understand. I am tired. I have had enough. I am debating if I should go back after Christmas break and complete the year. I could retire as of Friday, Dec. 17th at 3:30 PM.
    I would have turned in my papers on Friday, but my seniors came to me and asked me to stay until May…..I really don’t know if I can last that long. I really don’t.

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