Friday, November 07, 2008

I'd Rather Drive A Truck

"You can't please everyone, so you've got to please yourself", words sung by Ricky Nelson after he got booed off the stage in Madison Square Garden many years ago for singing new songs instead of his old ones.

We're not singing, but we still can't please everyone. Some higher ups, the mayor, the chancellor, the principals, assistant principals, etc, will never be pleased with what we, the classroom teacher do. If we jumped the fire, they would claim the flame was too low. If we flew through hoops, they would want to know why they were not higher above the ground.

Years ago, in my youth, I worried about pleasing these people. When someone in power walked in my room, I broke out in hives. Now, I've reduced the feeling to butterflies which quickly disappear as soon as they leave. Old age brings wisdom, the wisdom to know that no matter what I do, some people will never be satisfied. I have come to terms with this. My goal is to help my students the best way I can. I can't help them all and but I will never ever do some of the new fangled stuff being shoved down the teachers' throats. I'm lucky. I've been left alone to keep the POd show going because, for the most part, it works. I'm lucky, I have tenure, age and years and untouchable, as long as I do my job.

A friend from another school is not so lucky. His AP hates him. No matter what he does, no matter how hard he works, no matter how good his results are, it is not enough. My friend is miserable. His stomach is in knots all the time. Try as I might, I can't convince him to relax. He is a 20 year veteran teacher who just has a few years to go. He will never make his AP happy.

I sent him a recording of Garden Party. I hope he gets the message.

As for me, I'd rather drive the truck.


NYC Educator said...

Love Rick Nelson, even as Ricky. Too bad he insisted on freebasing on a jet plane, or whatever it was he did.

Teacher said...

O haven't thought of driving a truck. It can't possibly be as stressful as being a teacher in NYC.