The front lines

My physics teacher still thinks I am my brother, my computer science teacher asked me today for help with her job, and my math teacher’s favorite phrase is,” Don’t be creepy.” I am continually amazed by the spectrum of personalities that is allowed to teach the youth of America.

Before I go on, I need to let everyone know that I have an deep grain of respect for teachers, who work on the near-bottom rung of government and accept their pay and furlough days and look over disinterested kids AND keep the motivation to teach. That motivation is the more important than any diploma. Who knows where our kids would be without teachers willing to sit down and try to change the hearts of every aspiring dropout and apathetic indie wannabe? While I disagree with many of the views and actions and words of my teachers, I respect that they are braving a storm that will never cease.

… Now I can’t say anything bad about teachers. I’ve just had a change of heart, at least for the moment. This message is now for all students or ex-students who shit talk unsubstantiated rumor and slander and cheat on assignments and drift through school looking to lash out at the ankles of innocent passersby.

High school is a gender confused cesspool of the most vulnerable and most cynical children and adults in the world. It seems that people who can’t succeed just turn around and get education degrees. After all, those who can’t do, teach. If you agree wholly that teachers are dropouts of the life path that defines success, please sit down in a comfortable chair, brace yourself, and slap yourself in the face until your mind changes.

I haven’t enjoyed most of my high school teachers. I wouldn’t be friends with them outside of school. I may never even speak to them after I mature and get out into the world. I may forget their names and the facts they taught me, but there is one thing I will never forget. I will never forget the shit I saw them walk through with smiles on. If ever a corporate/government battlefield exists, it lives in the crumbling walls of underfunded, overcrowded public schools. My teachers have taught at my school for years, through bomb threats and furlough days and food fights and ridiculously crowded halls. Yet they walk with smiles. They may be faint. They may have even left the creased faces of senior teachers who near retirement. But they, the smiles on teachers of public school, the persistence of Baby Boomers to pick up Gen X’ers and help them to walk, has never failed, even after multiple kicks to the face. I salute the teachers who have survived the onslaught of student attacks that I know I have contributed to. The front lines that are never recognized are those that lay on linoleum between dry-erase boards and one-piece desks, but those are some of the most sinister. All in all, teachers hold a place of respect in my mind that will never falter.

-Ben

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About Brad,Robert,Ben

We are three kids from three different time zones, with one common goal. This is our voice:
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5 Responses to The front lines

  1. Jay M. says:

    Hear, hear, Ben. I worked in a high school for five years (not a teacher, but with and beside all of them). I saw all the things you describe, and you are to be commended for your honesty.

    Try to remember a few of the facts! And you’ll never forget the face of that favorite teacher that you’ve had or will have…I even tracked mine down once a few years ago to say thanks!

    Cool post, Ben,
    Peace ❤
    Jay

  2. Philip says:

    A teacher’s job can be rewarding. If there is one kid or teenager who learns from a teacher (actually learning) I would say the teacher has done a good job. There are good teachers, boring teachers, those who cannot control the class (though technically teachers are not policemen/women), those who inspire and those awful teachers who we gossip about. There are also teachers who are vindictive and unrelenting.

    Teachers should make the subject fun. I think it is true to say that teachers will always be in demand, wherever you are in the world, but what we find fun “fun” is different for everybody.

    However, teachers are not “supposed” to your friends. They are in a place of authority as well as someone with experience and knowledge of the subject (supposedly). A teacher would need to show why their subject is fun and interesting, while keeping the kids focused. That in itself is a difficult job, if you know what kids are like.

    Also… paperwork. That is what teaching is all about these days… And what about child protection? All these necessities because of the nature of the job. With many kids to teach, teaching can be stressful too…

  3. Terence says:

    It still bothers me the things I used to say about our vice principle when I was a Freshman/Sophomore. It wasn’t until I came out as a Junior that I learned that she really was a lesbian and a fierce, supportive youth advocate. Thankfully, I ended up maturing in a big way near the end of high school and I forged some great friendships with my teachers, including ones I used to antagonize.

    The fun part after high school is that you’re free to be good friends with former teachers (some with whom I still keep in touch). You never get a better look at how normal/fun/interesting/human “teachers” are until you’re friends with them…and you start sharing faculty and student gossip.

    If you’re lucky enough to find some teachers who you really like, I encourage you to keep in touch with them after high school. My former psych teacher and I bonded when she helped oversee the GSA I started in high school and I’m so glad that we’re friends to this day.

  4. Rick B says:

    As a sci ed major it always makes me smile when i hear (or read) kids still in high school say this kinda stuff. I know with out the teachers that pushed me and helped my i would not be where i am today, heck i may never have even finished high school. i dont know where i going with this so im just gonna say, thanks for posting this it made me smile for the first time today.

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