It is late on a Friday night and I am living the dream; writing in my undies and enjoying an adult beverage. Heaven right?
Okay, maybe not for you, but this fourth week of school has been pretty rough. The kids are finally getting into their routines, relationships between teachers and students are being squared away and there is the temptation to go easy on them. A growing urge just to give into my own fatigue and let things slide. I am not the only teacher who feels this way; especially this year.
Teachers have been under assault in this country for some time. We are just one piece in the puzzle of why American students are not performing at the level that they need to be.
Schools are tasked with improving test scores and preparing students for the future, but we can’t do it alone. Add to this the economy’s slow climb to recovery and a great deal of the nation’s teachers are at their wits end. We are exhausted before the day even begins.
One of the principles that was drilled into me over and over again in teacher training courses is that the word isn’t fair, but schools are the one place were we should try and make things fair. How is it fair that a high school teacher busting her or his arse to teach students who arrive in the classroom years behind grade level should be punished because after six months of instruction they are not on grade level? It isn’t.
Fair is the mythical condition where everyone gets what the need, not what they think they deserve, or an equal share of the pie.
The world isn’t fair and it isn’t going to suddenly transform into a utopia over night. So the least, we as human beings can do, is play nice.
Seriously, play nice. Stop the b.s. and play nice. A friend of mine was attacked the other day for being an e-book author. Really, why? He is taking advantage of a growing trend in writing to get his work out of the hard drive and into then hands of readers.
Yes, electronic books and e-readers have changed the book market, but you know what? People are still buying physical books. Independent authors finally have a forum where they can get their book out there and into the hands of readers. Not every book has a mass appeal.
Book publishing is a complex business and e-books allow authors to find what they really want~ readers. I have personally love the majority of e-books that I read. The price allows me to explore more books than I would be able to purchase in a book store, even a used one.
I love the authors I have read, but like me and teaching, they get the rougher end of the deal. They are criticized at every turn. Authors deserve more money for all of their hard work. They are one of the few professions who make less than a teacher does an hour; when you look at the time it actually takes to write, edit and publish a book. Oh, yes, and promote it.
So play nice. Independent authors would love to write full time, but most can’t afford to, even if they are extremely talented. It isn’t fair especially when they give us so much in return.