Monday, November 25, 2013

Teachers are such precious unicorns.

One of my coworkers posted this blog on Facebook called "Don't date a girl who teaches," and it's a comical list of reasons why dating a teacher sucks. I thought it was hilarious. This isn't what I'm ranty about.

I'm ranty about the original blog post that inspired that one, called "Date a girl who teaches."** Oh, lordy. The girl who wrote this is obviously some sort of preschool/elementary teacher, because her reality is apparently all sugary-sweet and sparkly unicorns.

If you are looking to date a girl who teaches, and THAT list is what you're expecting, then you'd better stay away from me.

Date a girl who teaches children.
Okay, I guess teenagers are technically children too, but I can guaran-damn-tee you that secondary school teachers are an entirely different breed from primary teachers. When I was a brand new teacher having to do obligatory new-teacher stuff at the district office with all the other new teachers in the district, the divide was obvious. We would have large-group discussions about what we were experiencing in our classrooms, and the new elementary teachers were all sunshine and roses, and those of us at the high school (and even middle school) table were just like, WHAT. Bags under our eyes, stacks of grading on the table next to us, lots of expressions of dismay.

Our conversations were like:
"One of my kids told me to f*** off today."
"I heard kids have been sneaking off to the bathroom to have sex."
"A kid showed up to school DRUNK today."

I respect elementary school teachers, I do. I know they have their own set of issues to deal with, and I would never want to be an elementary school teacher, because I prefer the problems that I have - I'm just saying that THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE between our world and theirs. A BIG ONE.

(Although, I will say that that particular group of elementary school teachers in my new teacher group were kind of... well, misguided in their attempts to offer us advice about how to deal with our high schoolers. I know they meant well, but... YOU DON'T KNOW MY LIFE.)

God, that was just the first sentence of the blog post.

Date a girl who enjoys more in a bookstore for school supplies and children’s books rather than in make-up store.
*cough cough*

Find a girl who teaches. You’ll know that she does because she always carries supersized bags. She’s the one who has everything in her tote. From art-project glitter materials to wet wipes. She has to carry her laptop almost everyday and all those papers and booklets that only she can understand.
Because coming home bogged down with work to do every weekend is so cute and precious. (And of course, not getting it done because LIFE, so you keep carrying the same assignments back and forth. But hey, killer shoulders, amiright?)

It is easy enough to date a girl who teaches. She won’t want expensive gifts; you can buy storybook for her birthday, flowers for Teacher’s day, craft punchers for Christmas. You can buy her anything but please spare her with coffee mugs; she has lots from her students.
I CALL BS. While it's true that I did not get into teaching because of the pay, it is not true that I don't want or appreciate expensive things. And even if I DID want people to buy me school supplies as presents, it is also untrue that they are inexpensive. Maybe this girl has many uses for craft punchers, but a class set of novels for my kids would cost a lot. My digital projector was something I had to buy for myself (YEARS before our district finally got around to this whole "technology" thing and started buying them for teachers at our site), and that wasn't cheap. I got a couple great Litographs posters for free, but I was deathly afraid of hanging them up in my classroom, because I know how much they retail for, and I know how careless students are about the stuff on my walls when they stand up out of their chairs before they're supposed to and swing their backpacks onto their shoulders, knocking half the pushpins off the wall.

The idea that teachers don't care about money or the finer things in life isn't true. We DO care. We just care about other things a little bit MORE.

A girl who teaches won’t require much of your time. She will hardly see you on weeknights because she prefers to finish her lesson plans and worksheets and catch up sleep.
Yeah, because THAT's a healthy relationship. "Date this girl because you won't have to try as hard most of the week." Ask anyone who's married to a teacher - it actually requires a lot of your time, because then you're having to take care of the stuff that she can't get to. Ask my boyfriend how awkward it is when we're out together and we run into my students. (Actually, this is probably why we just stay in all the time.)

This is also assuming that that's ALL this girl does with her life. If you insist, she will try her best and make it to the last full show of Inception even on a freakin’ Wednesday night just to be with you. (Please cooperate and pretend with her that she enjoyed the movie by not asking details of the show anymore.) Umm... because teachers are incapable of doing and enjoying anything that doesn't have anything to do with teaching? Because all we are is THE JOB and we have no lives or interests outside of teaching?

Date a girl who teaches. She’s heaps of fun, up for anything, and generally the life of the party after her long workweek. You won’t remember that she works with small children until she starts sharing insignificant stories about children that you will never meet.
Maybe it's just me, or maybe it's just high school teachers, but we don't get together and share cute stories about cute kids. (Please see my earlier example of conversations between high school teachers.) I'm sure there are lots of teachers who like to PARTY ALL THE TIME PARTY ALL THE TIME on the weekend, but most of the time? We're just tired, yo. And we've got all the other LIFE things to tend to.

Don’t be scared if you accidentally fart in front of a girl who teaches. She has high tolerance on the yuckiest things on earth, be it snot, poop, pee or vomit. She won’t bother.
I can't believe this was seriously a thing on this list. Homegirl, WHAT ARE YOU ON? Yeah, I personally am not judgy about bodily functions, but it's not because I have kids pooping in my classroom. (Another difference between elementary and high school, I suppose. If you accidentally fart in a high school classroom, it's not the teacher's opinion you'll be dealing with.)

Also, as a teacher I've grown accustomed to bad vocabulary, grammar, and spelling, but like, that doesn't mean you should let loose.

Experience dating a girl who teaches young children and you’ll be surprised of the life lessons you’ll learn from her. She will definitely touch your life.
I guess you can't learn anything from girls who don't teach young children. Woe is me.

Date a girl who teaches because you deserve it. She’s sweet, she’s witty, she’s creative (in ALL areas)
WOW. Did homegirl just throw out a sexual innuendo? I mean, it's not like there isn't already a cliche about sexy teachers. It's not like we don't have to be super careful about hugging our students or keeping our doors open/unlocked in case people get THE WRONG IDEA. It's not like linking "teacher" and "sex" can in ANY WAY threaten our jobs because we're supposed to be perfect, sexless robots because there's a "role model" clause in our contracts and THINK OF THE CHILDREN.

Seriously though. I'm not a prude or anything - I just think it's hilarious that this statement is trying to imply that just because I came up with a really cool project idea for my film-as-lit unit, it somehow translates to being sexually adventurous. LOL, y'all.

she’s thoughtful (you will never fail to receive a personalized greeting card in glitter for every occasion).
I do like to make my own cards/gifts sometimes, but like... don't EXPECT it from me. Because sometimes I don't have time, okay? And lots of other teachers don't even like to do that, so... just DON'T. Don't have these ridiculous expectations of us just because we're teachers. We already have lots of ridiculous expectations to live up to that don't involve personalized greeting cards in glitter.

And if you’re looking for an excellent mother for your offspring, she’s the one
OH MY GOD. Speaking of ridiculous expectations to live up to... being a teacher who is also a mom is probably one of the hardest things ever because being a teacher and being a parent are probably THE two things that everyone seems to have an opinion about without having actually been either, and people usually aren't shy about offering those opinions UNSOLICITED either. Don't even get me started on how women are pressured to have children like that's their only purpose in life and that's all they're supposed to want, and are considered selfish if they don't, and if they ARE mothers, if they decide to work, they're considered selfish too. (Whoops, too late. I started.)

If you're trolling the schoolyard in search of a baby mama, YOU'VE GOT ISSUES.

Also, it should be said that, even though I do have a child and I love her to bits, being a teacher really made me think twice about being a parent, because it's like I've got a full-on glimpse into the future. Even if I COULD be the perfect parent and make sure that my daughter has zero things wrong with her (*snort*), I cannot shield her from the world. Nor should I.

If you find a girl who teaches, keep her close. Her love is unconditional and she’s the most patient creature on earth. She’s a well-rounded lover and a guaranteed best friend for life. Find a girl who teaches young children. Date her. Marry her. Make her happy. Because no one ever is more passionate, than a girl who teaches.
I guess... I  mean, I don't see how any of those things is teacher-exclusive. I'm pretty sure my best friend who is not a teacher is totally awesome too.

If I sound a little cynical, it's only because I want to be seen as human. Teachers are not precious unicorns, you guys. We are PEOPLE. Yes, we deserve respect, just as any person deserves respect. But we are human beings, not mythical creatures spraying rainbows out our ears. I don't want anyone to put me on a pedestal; I just want people to see me for who I am - a highly flawed, tired, passionate, derby-skating, makeup-addicted, knitting-obsessed, marathon-running, YAF-fangirly, amused-by-autocorrect-fails, always-wanting-the-best-for-and-from-other-people teacher.

** Upon further reading, apparently this girl did not originally write this post. I tried to follow the trail of links, and it led me to this FB post. Oh well. I still stand with what I wrote.