The Bully Needs to Go

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bullyingYou are being bullied, and you can’t stop it.  You feel you can’t get out.

Every day, you do what you can to keep things in order: Look after the kids. Teach them well. Make sure they aren’t hungry.

But at every turn the bully makes fun of you, insults you, judges you.

They don’t even know what you do all day, but they tell everyone you do it badly.

They rope their friends in to mock you in public: You’re stupid.  No-one else would have you.  You’re letting everyone down.

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You continue to do your best.  You know others that think way better of you than that.  You hope the bully will notice, but they don’t.  Willfully, perhaps.

Worse, it seems to rile them.

And the hounding continues.

You’re fed up of defending yourself.

You’re tired.

You start losing your confidence, second guessing yourself.

You wonder why you are there.  Why do you bother?

You think about leaving, but what about the kids…

Just when you are at your lowest ebb, the bully brings you a gift.  A big gift.  They show the gift to everyone – strutting with pride.

Oh, people excaim, what a great thing to do.  How kind.  That’s real respect, right there, they say.

You wonder, why can’t they see?  Why do they think so much undermining can be erased by a gift?

The gift’s not even what you’ve been asking for, to make things easier.  To make the kids’ lives better.  In fact, the gift seems to be more for the bully than for you.

You say that, but so many people call you ungrateful.  Typical that you’re never satisfied, they say.

You feel insulted.

You feel belittled.

But you don’t stop speaking out.

And you stay.  For the kids.

Because you’re a teacher.  And this is your job. And you know you do it well.

And you will continue to speak out. Because it’s not you that needs to go. It’s the bully.

 

12 COMMENTS

  1. “You wonder why you are there. Why do you bother?

    You think about leaving, but what about the kids…”

    This National led government under Social Welfare Minister Paula Bennett is bullying many sole parents on benefits on a daily basis, creating an environment of suspicions and threatening to cut – or stop – their benefits, if they do not meet new harsh work test expectations. Many will now have to look for work, when the youngest is 5 or 6 years old, and some even when the youngest child may just be 1 year old.

    They will in future have to expect surprise visits by WINZ inspectors, to check whether they live with a partner, while claiming a benefit. Mr or Mrs Snoop will be after them.

    On the other hand the Nats talk about stopping child abuse and the bullying by partners, but they stopped or capped spending for helplines, women refuges and much more. It is a lot of empty talk, and little action, while access to the Sole Parent benefit is made harder than it has been for decades.

    So this is of great concern, as women in relationships (it is mostly women) can be faced with a bullying partner turning their life into hell, but women are given little real options and help to step out, for the sake of the children and themselves.

    Shame on Natzies and shame on a hypocritical Paula Bennett!

  2. We are incredibly lucky that good people still choose teaching as a career, despite all the abuse that’s thrown at them. When you contrast the character and remuneration of teachers with the those found in politics and the police, you cannot help but worry about the future of the country. Thank you, teachers, for putting up with it, and I hope we soon begin to treat you all better.

  3. And meanwhile, Key sends/sent his kids to a private school… Oh, the hypocrisy…

    Just imagine if the PM tried belittling teachers at the Private School. The Principal would be on the phone,

    “Kia ora, Mr Key.

    Interesting comments from you.

    Feel free to collect your kids. Don’t bother bringing them back.”

    But such a thing would never happen. Because the 1% value their private schools. I betcha Key nor any other National politician would never entertain the thought off slagging of teachers in private schools.

    I wonder why?

    Yeah, I know why.

      • Somehow I doubt that many families on the median household income ($1,358 per week, or approximately $70k per annum) can afford to send even one child, let alone two or more to a private school with fees of $10k per term.

          • My daughter’s integrated school is definitely run by the government – national standards, ERO and all. The only thing that is different from the local state school is its “special character” – even its decile is the same.

            Private schools must be really in trouble if they think there is political capital in aligning themselves with state integrated schools.

            • The presence of the NZ Curriculum does not mean it is run by the Government. Private schools use the NZ Curriculum and qualifications structure, and are subject to ERO. Integrated Schools are private schools that qualify for Government funding. The relationship between integrated and private schools is very close.

              My daughter attends an integrated school, and it is very definitely ‘privately’ run.

  4. Perhaps we should be looking at Finland for solutions;

    ” In his country, Dr. Darling-Hammond said later in an interview, teachers typically spend about four hours a day in the classroom, and are paid to spend two hours a week on professional development. At the University of Helsinki, where he teaches, 2,400 people competed last year for 120 slots in the (fully subsidized) master’s program for schoolteachers. “It’s more difficult getting into teacher education than law or medicine,” he said.

    Dr. Sahlberg puts high-quality teachers at the heart of Finland’s education success story — which, as it happens, has become a personal success story of sorts, part of an American obsession with all things Finnish when it comes to schools…

    […]

    Both Dr. Darling-Hammond and Dr. Sahlberg said a turning point was a government decision in the 1970s to require all teachers to have master’s degrees — and to pay for their acquisition. The starting salary for school teachers in Finland, 96 percent of whom are unionized, was about $29,000 in 2008, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, compared with about $36,000 in the United States.

    More bear than tiger, Finland scorns almost all standardized testing before age 16 and discourages homework, and it is seen as a violation of children’s right to be children for them to start school any sooner than 7, Dr. Sahlberg said during his day at Dwight. He spoke to seniors taking a “Theory of Knowledge” class, then met with administrators and faculty members.

    “The first six years of education are not about academic success,” he said. “We don’t measure children at all. It’s about being ready to learn and finding your passion.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/13/education/from-finland-an-intriguing-school-reform-model.html?pagewanted=1&ref=general&src=me&_r=1&

    Considering they rank near the top of international educational excellence, I think they might hold ‘lessons’ for us?

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