At a children’s birthday party today and the Grandmother of the child, who was not elderly, was talking about her time as a teacher in the school system. She repeatedly made comments such as “I worked with all the problem kids” “I worked with the kids with all the problems” “I worked with the kids with all the behaviour problems” “some of them were really bad. It was the young one’s. The young one’s were really bad, had really bad behaviour problems.” For a peaceful person, I was not feeling peaceful. Here is my “child with all the problems” sitting near her, eating peacefully, being wonderful. She would have no clue. She starts to loudly talk about how inappropriate it is that their teacher came to the party (she has come to all the parties).
The difference in their attitudes is profound, and my husband, ever the bold jokester, says “how many parties were you invited to?” She said “none.” I laughed because it was the most obvious thing in the world. My child has the teacher who used to be a Resource Classroom Teacher. He has the teacher who comes to the parties and loves and cares about her kids. She values connection over obedience (although obedience is still definitely on her agenda). This ex-teacher clearly resented the children she worked with. She saw them as having a problem, as being a problem. I do not understand how you support growth from that perspective. My heart just crushed for all the poor children she has come into contact with over the years. We trust these people with our children, the most precious part of our lives. We have to have blind trust. Then you have a child who requires individual support, this fear that someone is going to mistreat your child becomes incredibly intensified.
I think many people take solace in the myth that people who do that job are saints and would never mistreat our children. I am here to tell you that is a misconception. Working with children does not mean people LOVE children. I know this from inside the field and listening to that retired teacher today reminded me of why I work for myself now. The way we look at children, and especially children with accommodation needs, but any child that is a little different, a little loud, a little inconvenient, one with unique needs, it makes me sick to my stomach. This needs to change. We need to stop calling it burnout and call it for what it is….. an unfulfilled god complex.
These people thought they could come in and bully the accommodation needs out of these kids and when their bullying did not cure them of their medical condition, instead of trying a new strategy, they bullied them more, figured they weren’t tough enough. It’s disgusting. A bunch of people roaming around on power trips, trying to control children. This needs to be unacceptable. Unions should not be able to protect these people. That women probably has a pension while the kids she worked with likely need major therapy as a result of her influence on their lives. The worst part is, people like this often make the parents feel like they are doing something wrong when they are not tough enough with their kids. It’s not good enough that they torture the child all day at school, they want the parents to continue the torture at home.