I sat in a meeting today, a meeting designated as a teacher "leadership" meeting. A meeting that was simply a gripe fest. I knew it was going to be rough when I walked in, said hello to the people sitting at the table and had no one respond to me. Really? I don't know you, I am here to work on addressing educational issues in our school system and you can't say hello? I think that's the root of many teaching issues in education. We have forgotten how to work productively, instead falling into the death spiral of complaints. I heard complaints about everything from the new teacher evaluation system (which I think is awesome), the governor's push for federal funding to support our wonderful education initiatives (which I think are awesome), to gripes about buying fresh eggs for science labs. Don't we have bigger educational concerns than buying a $1.50 carton of eggs? Seems to me that the future of our children's education is not resting on fresh eggs but on schools and communities who are willing to face important challenges head on with a postive attitude.
In short, I left the meeting feeling utterly beaten down, utterly disrespected by "colleagues", and utterly disgusted with the mind-sets that so many of our children are being exposed to. We as teachers fight day in and day out to be recognized as professionals who are working our hardest to help students achieve success but then we fall into the trap of arguing over eggs. Rotten eggs to me.
Tonight I am reflecting and processing what I heard today and my overall response is one of sheer gratitude to work at my school, surrounded by others who truly care about improving education, and surrounded by people who I know will lift me back up tomorrow, even if I am covered in rotten eggs.