Ahh, teacher memes. These are two I've seen recently. First off, I recognize they're meant to be humorous and light-hearted. Secondly, I enjoy my breaks as much as the next teacher and admit I'm not quite ready to set that alarm and ignore my stack of fiction. But teacher memes, like the two above, shared amongst teachers and shared on social media to a wide and varied audience are two very different things.
What message do these two memes send to our patrons? What about parents? Students even? I think we can all agree it's not the one we want them to hear.
Let's also remember that unfortunately we have not won over our entire audience. Social media is mottled with tax payers who don't have to think very long or hard about the many reasons we're not doing our jobs well. Their angst is real, and they're rarely bashful about voicing their opinions. I can only imagine how memes like the ones above fuel their fires.
I'm not saying we must now put on our pretty faces and pretend that teaching is all unicorns and rainbows. We all know its challenges, more so than anyone outside the educational world could ever imagine. We also know about the amazing and inspiring things going on in our schools and classrooms. Which is most important for our patrons to hear? We have a responsibility to tell our stories. If we don't, someone else will and they'll likely get it wrong. So please share. Tell your story, but use caution when it comes to social media.
You never know who's listening.