Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A crap-tard day turned into some wonderful writing

I have been working hard at being healthy. (I wonder if it is a response to the people dropping dead in my Scotland). I've walked every morning, drunk bottles of water each day, eaten loads of salad and lean meat. And, though I've lost two inches from my waist, I've gained 500grams. I burst into tears after I got on the scales.

Next was wrestling with the complicated technology which is our reporting system. I finished them, finally, thank goodness.

Then, to have YET ANOTHER email from a teaching colleague to alert me to the fact that some [and I'm going to say this publically] pathetic, ungrateful student has been posting negatively about me on a website (and remaining, of course, anonymous) finally did me in.

She has been attacking the very essence of what makes me, I believe, a damn fine teacher. Me, who has twice been nominated for teacher of the year (thanks Andrew and Jeff and then the girls from Kelston). You see, the way I see it, if you've got something to say, say it but damn well stand behind your comments.

People have told me to ignore it but, such is the power, now, of the internet, if you google my name, this site comes up on the first page. This girl is welcome to her opinions (seems she doesn't like that I tell stories about my life to illustrate teaching moments) but, to say so, so nastily, on a public forum hiding behind anonymity, really does my rag.

I've been teaching since 1988 and I still have students contact me telling me how much they appreciate what I did for them in that (whatever the date) classroom. Thousands upon thousands of teenagers who rank me as one of the best teachers they ever had but I am so disgusted by this ONE student who is, for whatever reason, bagging me: did I give her a low mark in an essay? Tell her she needs to stop gossiping in class? Growl at her for sitting on the desk (way tapu!)? - again throwing nasty comments my way hidden behind a blank canvas.

I write reviews and I put my name at the bottom. I sometimes write letters to the editor and I put my name at the bottom. If my children want to express an opinion, I make them put their name at the bottom.

To have to walk amongst a (largely) wonderful group of students, knowing there is one who is spreading poison, is distasteful.

Instead of settling at home, I went to my favourite restaurant and wrote five pages of better than sfd. Squee.

If 'that' student reads this post, I invite her to be brave enough to come into my classroom (perhaps with a friend) and discuss her concerns.

I'm ALWAYS open to improvement. But, not taken from glib and hurtful jibs on a website.

Which is a lot like how Fleance is feeling at the moment. He's hearing stories that some are not faithful and are actually working to create his downfall. He does not know who these people are but, thankfully, he has faithful and loving friends and family who remind him of his excellent attributes.

I welcome constructive criticism and have received it many times over the years. This year alone, students have felt comfortable enough to approach regarding concerns about the possible consequences of comments I have made. Brave girls indeed and I thank them. I may not always agree with their assessment of the situations but I am pleased they feel they can come to me.

Fleance has just said as much to Rachel. Bring me your complaints. I would rather hear it from your mouth than from another.

Rachel says: such is human nature that it is more satisfying to lob a stone or mud from the protection of a wall that to hand it to a man.

Hmm, and that is how it is with anonymous comments via text or websites.
The final word: Fleance: remember Preston. Tania: the girl is a wimp and has issues. Pray for her.

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