Respect. Teachers deserve it. Most folks think so. But it seems to be lip service a lot of the time, even by our employers.
As teachers, we are often told by the public what an important job we do - that we are valued and loved. But the reality is that for the amount of education we have, and the hours we spend - when you look at professions with equal demands on their time and education levels, teaching is not valued at all.
But that is not the point here. That is all well documented in many other places. My point is the disrespect we receive from within our own profession. From those in the district office. From those who make wonderful speeches at meetings and professional development trainings. From those who say one thing, but whose actions communicate something else entirely.
There are so many examples....... where should I begin? How about claiming to value questions and pushing back, but being reprimanded when doing so? To be told it's not about test scores, to teach and value the whole child, while in the meantime your principal is ripped a new one when those scores are not high enough. To be asked to be an honored member of a "special committee," only to find out it is nothing but a thankless job requiring many grueling hours of your time. Grunt work so someone at the district office doesn't have to do it.
Then of course there are those "presents wrapped in poop." Gifts that seem amazing, but disrespect you in so many ways. For example, being allowed to attend a conference - all expenses paid. Sounds amazing, right? Excepts for the parts where you don't arrive until 1:00 in the morning and have to be up at the crack of dawn, have to share a bed with a total stranger because the district didn't bother to get rooms with two beds, and schedule your flight home so that you do not even have a little bit of time to enjoy the location where you are staying. And let's not forget flying in and out of the most inconvenient airport possible. Now, this isn't true for everyone who attends. District and other select folks received earlier flights in and later flights out at more local airports, rooms where each person had their own bed, and time to enjoy themselves a bit in the location.
My teacher friends who have worked in other professions are always shocked by how crappy we are treated. They always tell me how this wouldn't stand in other professions. But we teachers just suck it up. We are just grateful for what we get I suppose. Grateful for those presents wrapped in poop.