For years, I’ve watched as educators are portrayed as not quite good enough. The old phrase, “those that can, do…those that can’t teach” has stood as a tribute to what society (in general) thinks of education. We’re just not quite good enough to succeed outside of our “ivy walls”. Well, I’ve had enough.
The straw that broke the camel’s back was a commercial where a kindergarten teacher is standing in the middle of an extremely chaotic classroom. The students are doing everything except learning. Rough housing, jumping into an aquarium, and generally doing things that would get any real educator removed from the classroom. I understand this is supposed to be a caricature, an over the top exaggeration. Instead of pointing out the reasons teachers really need vacations, this commercial points out incompetency.
The movies, and TV shows that poke fun at educators just work to perpetuate the image of the lazy educator that has nothing better to do than sit in a classroom. This narrative needs to change. There’s no wonder why fewer and fewer young people want to become educators. It’s not just the low pay. It’s the lack of respect for our profession.
There won’t be movies about our real lives. It’s not dramatic enough. It’s much easier to just continue to poke fun at the stereotype than dig in and make a difference. The same commercial could have easily shown a teacher late at night at school with a stack of papers and a calendar overflowing with sticky notes and state testing dates on the board. It would have been more realistic and would have helped promote the stress that we are under every day.
I’m not trying to be bitter. It may sound like I am. I get it . Businesses are in the business of making money. They have the right to try to do that in any legal means possible. As a consumer, I also have the right to avoid those companies that disrespect my profession. I intend to do just that.