On the Value of Teachers (or, Fishies Loses Her S**t)

August 8th, 2012

I do not usually get into fights on Facebook. For one thing, I don’t feel strongly enough, or feel I know enough, about most issues to make it worth the emotional investment it will undoubtedly require (I’m a sensitive type). Plus, I think that public Facebook brawls are the epitome of unclassy. However, today I made an exception.

A friend of mine posted the following on her wall:

True, right? I think pretty much all civilized people agree that teachers are ludicrously underpaid and undervalued in our society.

But “pretty much” =/= “all.” Note the following exchange between my friend and a friend of hers:

Now, I know that this was between my friend and a friend of hers–technically none of my business. Even if it were my business, as a friend of mine reminds me, I don’t have to go to every fight I’m invited to. Also, again, I think Facebook fights are tacky, and in my real life I strongly dislike conflict.

On the other hand, I didn’t think it was right to let someone get away with saying that (yeah, I know, look at me, administering Universal Justice According to Fishies). Also, I know, and am related to, too many teachers. Thus the following.

(Note: I should not have attacked this individual personally. That was way unclassy of me.)

By the time I wrote my last above, I was so angry I was shaking. If everyone valued education as little as this gun-toting mouth breather does, for one thing, the technology to invent the weapons (or cell phones, or pickup trucks) he loves would never have been invented. Also, I’m assuming (perhaps erroneously, but I’m still pretty mad) that this guy is one of those right-wing chest beaters who say “America is the greatest nation in the world!” without thinking about whether that statement is actually valid (and, if so, in which contexts)–and who don’t realize that one reason the U.S. has done so well is that the people are, like, educated. People like this individual take advantage of the benefits this country has to offer without contributing anything that will even help maintain the status quo, let alone make anything better for anyone who isn’t him (or her). He also doesn’t realize that if education in the U.S. doesn’t get better fast, America won’t be the “greatest nation in the world” by any standard–or that if more people were like him, it already wouldn’t be.


2 Responses to “On the Value of Teachers (or, Fishies Loses Her S**t)”

  1. Amber Taylor on August 9, 2012 1:15 pm

    Thank you, Sylvia, for expressing so passionately and articulately how I feel about anyone who thinks teachers are simply whining. When I was a teacher (and yes, “was” is an operative word here – pay and hours were two of the reasons I left), I calculated making approximately $13.35/hour – for the hours I was in class. On a fairly regular basis I stayed at school until 7-8 at night, and for a total of about 30 days each year I was there until 1 or 2 in the morning. And I got up the next day to be there at 7:30 again. To this day, my friend who teaches high school biology spends 5-10 hours each weekend, and usually 2-3 hours a night grading homework. Ask Mr. Ignorant to figure that into his calculations, and to compare it to other government, and especially private, jobs, with equal education, or even less education. On the other hand, why keep hitting your head with a caveman stick. It is clear in this case you are quite literally throwing your pearls before swine. He wouldn’t recognize intelligence or logic if they dressed up and danced on a nudist stage.

  2. Lara on August 22, 2012 8:48 pm

    Amen, sista! Thanks for sticking up for us educators.

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