Friday at work we were having a lively discussion at lunch.  We often do and sometimes that discussion turns a bit negative which it has to be...as any teacher knows that faculty room is a place to vent, get your frustrations out there so you don't unleash on a kid.  I usually take comments in that room for what they are...people venting etc.  I hardly ever take them personally or get upset by them.  Well on Friday one of my coworkers made a comment that got me so upset that if it had been made anywhere but the faculty room of my building I would have unleashed a wrath like no other.  The person who said it is not a friend exactly but not someone I dislike or have any issues with.  The comment they made came out of a place of ignorance as well as not thinking about how her comment came across.  The comment she made was referencing how as we blend our class levels together (putting the high level kids in with lower level kids) what parent would want their kid to be in a class with "those kids".  She then went on to suggest that "those kids" are the ones that bring weapons to school and do drugs.  I quietly replied before I could shut my mouth "umm...as if those kids are the only ones who do drugs" and she acknowledged that her comment was a bit unseemly.

Yet the longer I sat there the more pissed I got....I am not talking mad, I am talking pissed off Momma Bear.  "Those Kids" are the ones I have taught my entire career.  "Those kids' who may be in a lower level academically are some of the greatest children I have ever met.  "Those kids" are the reason I love teaching and I would teach "those kids" over an AP or honors class any day.  I know that her comment came from a place of not typically teaching lower level kids and mainly advanced kids.  Yet the longer I sat the more mad I got.

I began to think of my former students.  The young man who was always having a hard time keeping himself out of trouble in my room and in the building but tried his hardest because he had one goal...to be a police officer.  I just saw him a few weeks ago, driving his squad car around the town I work in.  He is now a member of town's police force.  Or I thought of another young man who was charming with a smart ass mouth who although smart didn't always apply himself.  He had a goal too...he wanted to a Marine.  He was recently severely wounded while serving a tour of duty protecting my freedom.  Despite his injuries now that he is recovered and he has made it clear that he plans to stay in the Marines.  Then there is my Billy, the boy who is like my son.  The boy who came to the hospital after Josie was born to check on me not visit the baby.  Billy who wrote me and my kids letters from bootcamp. The boy who when Ryan was ill mowed my lawn, racked my leaves, and shoveled by driveway.   The kid who is currently working on getting his EMT certification so he can be a paid firefighter instead of just the volunteer one he already is.  Billy who who while most of us sat in our houses during the hurricane was called up by the National Guard to help deal with the flooding along the shoreline.

All of these boys have an amazing sense of character, are great young men, and each of them I would consider a hero in his own way, and they all have one thing in common.


This is why I am so upset because for every kid who might meet that teacher's stereotype I have ten that  examples of students who have been amazing successful both in school and life despite the fact that they never took an honors class in high school.  I am a Mama Bear when it comes to "those kids".  Those kids are the reason I love my job and I am fiercely defensive of them.  How dare someone ever tell a child that they can or can't do something because of Thieu rank in school, how dare someone in a position of power judge a child just because of the classes they are in.  I will defend "those kids" with every breath I have the same way I would defend the children I have given birth to.  

I know that this comment was made jokingly and not as a direct attack by any means.  It just blows my mind how any teacher even on their worst day would say that about the kids.  Yes, some of them are bad kids-there are bad kids in every school and in every level of courses.   To lump one group of kids together just because of their academic ranking makes me sad...well lets be honest it makes me mad and sad.

This happened two days ago and I am still upset, still wavering between tears and wanting to throw things around in anger.  I know that I have to let this comment go-take it as a stupid comment by someone who is a good person- and I will let it go but just not right now.  I am a Mama Bear whose babies just got attacked it might take awhile before my fur goes down.

taking deep breath now and hoping hitting publish will make me feel better

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