Teacher Baggage Check


My baggage is the set of bad people I’ve met in education. There are knit-pickers and critics and downright rude people that go into teaching. There are also refreshing, creative, innovative, inspiring ones and I hope to be counted among the latter group. I’ve had people yell at my kids in line to lunch, tattle to the Principal about me when I made mistakes, leave me nasty notes, and even up and pull their kids out of assemblies only to later blame me for their immaturity. I’ve seen and heard it all from bad teachers. The oriony is, some of these teachers actually produce good test scores. Since that’s what we reward as a culture, they seem to just get meaner. I think my baggage or being hurt by what a few crotchety colleagues have said or done to me has left me defensive and defensiveness saps from crativity and innovation.

My boss told me recently I seemed different. As we talked I surmised she was referring to the fact that I wasn’t “bringing the spark” to every room like people are accustomed to me doing. This is precisely because of the baggage, some of it new stuff. I need to push all that down and continue to be curious about better ways to reach learners. That is how I have an effect on my students as well as on my colleagues. If I allow them to get to me and nurture a culture of “entitlement,” ie; I deserve to tell them off and defend myself, I will cease to be a creative “spark” on my campus. People go through moods, I need to just let them and remember to not burn bridges.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Baggage Check.”

Author: Damien Riley

I'm a blogger, film critic, & podcaster with an MA in English from California State University, Fullerton. I teach public school, 4th grade as my primary occupation. My views on films and life are usually headstrong and often 'left of center' on movies and life, but I have respect for the other side. I married my high-desert princess (now my queen). We have 3 children.