The Reality of Education

Every so often you meet a blogger that you instantly connect with.  I’ve been lucky enough to meet several such people!  One of these ladies is Stephanie from When Crazy Meets Exhaustion.  I’m going to be perfectly honest when I admit that I found her blog on WordPress very late one night when I was bored couldn’t sleep seeking inspiration.  I think I typed in something random like humor, parenting, preschool, and/or humor, and just like that her blog popped up.  Or maybe I found her blog when she was freshly pressed.  Either way, it was late one night, I’m absolutely sure of it.  And I’ve been reading along ever since.

We both are a) educators b) moms c) crazy.  So naturally we run in the same circles in the blogging sphere.  Or is it a cube? 

Stephanie share this about herself:

I am a wife of one, mother of two, and English teacher of many. My (paying) job allows me to work from home, and while I love, love, love it, I also miss adult conversation and intellectual stimulation. When I started my blog, I had two kids under the age of two (they’re now 2 & 4 *sob*), and singing the alphabet 23098423424 times a day and teaching a baby to wave didn’t quite fit the bill as “intellectual.” I needed this blog. I. NEEDED. IT.

When Crazy Meets Exhaustion

(She also invites people to send her chocolate and puppies… go over to read her wittiness and find out how).

So without further ado, I present her post:

Sarah and I both teach which means we’re both broke. Bahaha! Just kidding…but not really.

Flip through today’s mindless television shows, and what do you find?

Toothless dudes wrestling alligators, check.
More toothless dudes making Moonshine and babbling such incoherence that they necessitate captions, despite the fact that they speak English, check.
Half-nekked teenagers idealizing parenthood, check.

Where oh where is the reality show about teachers? I can’t think of a more topical issue in America than education. Well, except Snooki’s post-pregnancy weight loss, but I mean an issue that affects more than just one pseudo-Italian’s waistline.

(Sorry Stephanie, I had to put this in.  Call it carpe diem)

(Sorry Stephanie, I had to put this in. Call it carpe diem)

It’s not because education isn’t a hot mess and wouldn’t attract viewers à la Dance Moms or that awful show about the chubby toddler who wears fake eyelashes, because it sho’ is. And don’t give me all that BS about privacy and whatnot; if Lifetime offered my former school district 1.4 million dollars to produce a reality television show on its campus, you best believe the Superintendent would have turned the library into wardrobe and makeup.

No, the real reason that no reality show about education exists is because if the world saw what we did all day, every day, it would quickly become evident that

  1. We’re not paid enough. Eff you Tom Brady and the enormous paycheck you rode in on.
  2. Some students are not cut out for academics and should be working toward mastering a trade rather than Shakespeare.
  3. Standardized testing blows and is inefficient.
  4. A chunk of our youth is critically under-utilized and may not reach full-potential as a result, as least not while in high school.
  5. We are, in some respects, the parents that these kids do not have.

That last one sounds awful, but the truth hurts. And my truth is this: over half of my time in the traditional classroom was spent breaking up and mediating fights; counseling broken hearts, driving kids home; buying hot meals; listening to gut-wrenching abuse/drug addiction/fill-in-the-blank-with-your-experience stories; explaining right from wrong; living my life in a way that I wanted my students to emulate.

Teaching is no joke.

And I guess that’s why there is no trendy show about it; it’s no laughing matter. To burden TV Land with such a serious national plight would be a bummer and who has time for that?


34 thoughts on “The Reality of Education

  1. Two of my favorite ladies in the same place today, I think I may have died and gone to heaven, lol!! Seriously, I think you said it perfectly Stephanie, because as a former teacher before having my second there is truly so much going against the education system nowadays. And don’t even get me started on the underpayment of what we do as far as not only teach, but help raise many of these kids. And the standardized tests are just a joke and seriously teaching should not be about teaching just for a test, but no one in our lovely government seems to get that one. Stephanie awesome guest post and very much relate!!

  2. Ha ha! Love you both! And, if you get signed on for a reality TV show on education, I want to do a special segment on homeschooling. Ratings would go through the roof…just saying. 😉

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  4. Oh my gosh, Stephanie, now I do love you! I taught fifth grade for ten years in a low income district. What I did and heard and saw on a daily basis some people will never experience in their lifetimes. It was so much more than teaching. Thanks for writing this, and having a sense of humor about it, even though we really know it’s no laughing matter! xo

    • OH bless you woman! The younger the kids are, the more they intimidate me. I know that makes no sense, but throw in a low-income district, unstable home lives, and those fifth graders morph into needy little people with lots of tears and boogers. I’d rather have a needy hormonal 17-year-old telling me to go eff myself. Which I did.

      Thanks for commenting!

  5. There WAS one, once. Did you ever see Tony Danza’s show? Before he got into acting, he went to school for teaching. He taught a high school English class for a year… or a semester, or something, and they filmed it. I really liked it, but it was just one season, so I guess it didn’t do too well. Here’s the site:

    Also, have you two met fellow blogger/educator Lucy? You would love her. She is not paying me to say that, I swear.

  6. Way to make me rethink my career path. But no, I do think it’s crazy how much other people are paid in relation to how much teachers are paid. I’ll never understand how some little oompa loompa falling down drunk made it onto tv making millions of dollars.

    • some little oompa loompa falling down drunk made it onto tv making millions of dollars–best line of the day!! Bahahaha!

      In all honesty, teaching–much like parenting–is a thankless job some days, but on those days where your students “get it,” or you know you’ve impacted someone, some how, the feeling is so incredibly that YOU would PAY to have the job! Don’t stop believing, Michele!

  7. Great post Steph. I used to be a reading teacher in a “challenge” reading program. I had groups of 1st graders with mad skills who read at 3rd and 4th grade reading levels and then groups of kids who could barely spell their names. My job barely paid for my gas and my lunch but I loved it SO much because we were making a difference for those kids. And sometimes that difference was feeding them breakfast or giving them shoes because theirs were too small. Then funding was cut and all of us “extra” teachers were eliminated. The good news? The school district “found” the money to plant about 100 really sweet looking evergreens around the high school. WTF?

    • Penny, this comment is just another reason why I love you. I’m sorry to hear that your job was replaced by landscaping. I can say with confidence that those kids who needed help, nor the ones who needed the challenge, will not be nearly as successful with trees instructing them.

      • The feeling is mutual Steph. And while it remains to be seen whether or not these kids will be able to read past the elementary school level upon graduation, they’ll have some sweet looking landscaping to serve as a backdrop to those graduation pictures.

      • If anything Sarah, they provide shade for kids who’d like to read outside!

  8. Okay, since Welcome Back Kotter was one of my favorite shows as a kid and Saved By the Bell as a teenager it would be safe to assume I would LOVE a reality show about education! Plus, did you see they have a new show about celebrities diving or something…they are really in need of some new show!!

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