Sometimes readers think I’m a whiner, a picky whiner, a grouchy grump. Once I had a meeting with a person who at the end exclaimed: “It’s funny to see you so happy for once!”.
Comments like that really piss me off. After all, I’m mostly a happy peekaboo of the best kind. I would venture to say that most of the time I am anything but a cup sour.
As a teacher, pointing out errors in the system, worrying about policies blindfolded, or complaining about bloated assignments has nothing to do with disliking your job. On the contrary! It is quite the opposite for the king and the fatherland. I love my work. You must know that I love my job.
I like to teach. I like what is happening in my class, interacting with the students. I like to read aloud books that make students gasp. I love when sparks fly, when someone has an idea I can hold on to. Over the years, my students and I have created memories that have anchored in my heart and still warm me from within. Once we demonstrated for the world’s oceans at Medborgarplatsen, once we helped build a playground, once we took a school trip to Ullared and once we won the Huddinge Democracy Prize. I like to dive into my subjects, pass on my geekery and it’s an indescribable euphoria when an unlikely student suddenly starts to like the lessons.
I don’t want to skimp on my teaching.
This work is a favor, an unimaginable honor in many ways. I’m so weak for students who ask big questions, when they suddenly understand and pride in someone who can hux stream something they could never believe. Being a teacher must be paid many times over in eternal gratitude. Yes, it has every chance of being the best job in the world.
I want to make it very clear that teachers who raise work environment issues, teachers who go out and protest, teachers who spend their time getting involved in unions and chatting on social media – are passionate teachers. It’s not the teachers who hate their jobs.
I don’t want to skimp on my teaching. I don’t want to have to choose which student to see and which to drop. I don’t want to be the teacher who doesn’t follow the student home or ignore the rebellious one who lives like a thief in the hallway. I know how magical this job is. And when decision after decision threatens to steal the terms from us, it would almost be misconduct not to discuss. It’s not about being surprised by students, principals, colleagues or your own workplace. It’s about protecting what makes the heart beat, clenching our fists for our children.
we teachers need to be even more excited.
You can choose joy each day if you wish. You can swallow this lump down your throat until it is the size of a bowling ball. You can turn around until you hit the wall. You can smile and be happy, well-mannered and shy while the sky is falling. I’ve spent most of my life being like that.
But I think it’s time to do the opposite. Out of love for the profession, out of concern for our students, it is time to abandon the culture of silence. If cuts and short-term flash proposals continue to set the tone, I think we teachers need to be hissed even more.
So here is my call! Joy killers and squeakers! Surkarts and Grinollas! Unite! On to battle!
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