I have a secret tactic that I use to make people like me. I’m going to expose myself and share it with you.
What’s the best response after someone tells you their profession?
“That sounds hard.”
Because everyone thinks their job is hard. And even if their job isn’t that bad, humans find something to complain about anyways.
Our kids vs. those perfect ones
In teaching, no matter what the situation, there’s always someone saying, “The kids at this school…” or, “People from here just…” with that judgmental tone.
If you walk into a school anywhere in the world, you know what you’ll see? Kids. Young people. Doing kid stuff. You’re never going to mistake them for babies, or octogenarians, or twenty-somethings. Sure, there is some variability in their behaviour, but it’s along the same spectrum.
Why do we act surprised when they call each other names? When a teenager gives you a sarcastic reply? When they don’t do their homework?
They’re so predictable.
Kids are kids, wherever you go
We, as humans, have this need to complain and find fault in everything. No matter how good the students, staff, and environment are at the schools I work in, teachers still have all these [insert dramatic sigh] problems.
We live in bubbles, where we think bad things are only happening to us. We have an impossible standard we compare everything to, and we think everyone else’s classrooms or schools are like the ones in the movies. Everyone sitting quietly. Everyone happy to be there and in love with each other.
Listen, that’s never going to happen, because it’s not real. Look at what all your experience has shown you about students: do you really think there could be a day where everyone is excited about the topic, excited to be in school, and excited to be respectful at the same time? No, things always go wrong, and people always have bad days.
That’s life. It’s never going to be perfect; it’s never going to be enough.
Your two choices
- Spend your whole career finding things to complain about, no matter what school or class you are in.
- Accept where you are, how people are, and the way life is. Appreciate what you’ve got. Realize it could be worse.
It’s really easy to complain. It’s a lot more rewarding to see the good.