But that kind of stress doesn't really get to me; at least I don't think it does. What gets me is the politics. Paulo Freire said, "Education IS politics." It's so true, and on so many levels. Of course there is all of the usual garbage at the state and federal level, not to mention the district. But it's the stuff that happens on site that I think is the most stressful and really takes its toll on teachers. When people forget why they are teachers in the first place and begin to focus on utilizing their positions for questionable reasons, it can have devastating effects. When I see these things happen, I always think back on my friend Judy Lewis, who was a teacher/trainer in my district. She would always ask the question, no matter what issue we were wrestling with, "How is this going to help kids?" I try to keep that focus, but it is very difficult at times.
As Susan Ohanian puts it, "Let's stop focusing on the hole and pay more attention to the bagel." Good advice indeed.