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    Why are egos always involved?
    By angry

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    As I read this board, it makes me think of an issue that's been on my mind lately. I think most teachers would say that we went into teaching because we wanted a career where we could make a difference in the world and help others. Nonetheless, have we noticed how often our egos get involved with things? Something goes wrong? We take it personally. Something goes right? Well, we need to take that personally, too, to make up for the bad feelings associated with taking the bad things personally. We take everything critical parents, kids, and administrators say personally and get our egos involved. I blame the entire structure of educational society for this problem. Think about it. The state (at least the state I live in) pays teachers a bonus if the school brings up test scores. This implies that achievements or shortcomings on the part of the kids are solely the teachers' faults. Rude parents perpetuate this idea. The media perpetuates this idea. Crazed administrators under pressure from parents and media perpetuate this idea. It's no wonder we wind up taking everything so personally. This is why we want to blame successes on ourselves. It is why (shamefully) we end up hoping that the teacher who (by self-praise or administrative praise) seems to be having so much success is actually having the same problems we are. I hate that all this outside pressure causes us to have bruised or inflated egos, when all we should be focusing on is the kids. I think the bottom line on this whole issue can best be summed up in an analogy I once heard about a dentist. A dentist has 100 patients and continually emphasizes the importance of brushing and flossing with them. Of these 100, 75 follow directions and have beautiful teeth with no cavities. Just 25 don't follow directions and have to have teeth pulled. The dentist was clearly responsible for getting the good patients to practice good oral hygiene. Yet is it really his fault that some turned deaf ears to his advice? Of course not. Yet as teachers, we are blamed if some kids don't listen to us. This is a big problem in society that I wish we could get over. Then the people on this board would not be having the problems that they are having, and schools would be more about the kids and less about personal issues among teachers.


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