One Year Later – How Bad Was Teaching?

Today is May 29th. It’s a special day for me as I reflect back on the past year of my life. You see, one year ago today was the effective date of my resignation from the school I had worked at for more than 7 years. It was neccesary for me to leave, but it was painful. Like getting your teeth pulled: You know you need to do it, but it sucks anyway.

For days, my emotions had been raw. Thinking about all those kids I taught who I would now never get to see grow older and leave elementary school. Birthdays and Christmases that I would miss. I was leaving this place that I’d worked so hard for and all those children I’d loved so much.

It’s one year later and I’m taking stock of how I feel about that decision now. Instead of influencing young minds and spending my days imparting knowledge unto the next generation, I spend my work days ringing up customers and making sure their vibrators work. For nearly a year now, I’ve worked in an “Adult Store” selling sex toys, lube, porn, male enhancement pills, bongs “water pipes,” and various other fun things. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that I am now holding down an inferior job to the one I left. First of all, it’s fucking retail, ugh. Second, “dude, you sell fucking dildos for a living, what the fuck….”

So, after a year, let’s ask: Do you miss it, Galen?

Well, that depends on what you mean. Do I miss those children? The children that I taught once a week from age 5 to 11, all throughout their elementary school career? Yes, I do. I miss them terribly. There is not one single day that goes by that I don’t think about them and wonder how they’re doing. Not a single goddamn day that I don’t miss them so much that it burns in my chest. Unlike some teachers, I genuinely and deeply loved my students.

The trouble is, see, teaching has very little to do with the actual students. If loving your classroom full of kids with all of your heart was all it took, I’d still be there. But that’s absolutely not what teaching is about. Being a teacher is not about the children, period. I went into that line of work because I love kids and wanted to contribute to their lives in a positive way. For many kids, I did do that, in spite of a system that’s completely rigged against it happening, but for so many more, I didn’t. The priorities in teaching are backwards. They go something like this:

Remember in Robocop 2 when they turned Murphy into a babbling fucktard by filling his head with all those nonsense directives, most of which had nothing to do with his goddamn job? Yeah, that’s what being a teacher is like.

Here I sit working a stereotypically horrible job (retail) and yet I’m always happy to go to work. I don’t dread getting up every day. I didn’t mind the time they called and asked me to come in on my day off because somebody had no-showed. I fucking volunteered to work a double shift (16 hours) just because they needed somebody. I’m treated with respect and appreciated for the hard work I do. It’s been a very long time since I’ve felt that way. In fact, the last time I felt that way on a job was when I worked as a camp counselor during the summers of 1999, 2000, and 2002. It was that job where I discovered that I loved working with children and it was there that I decided that that’s what I’d like to do with my life. I guess maybe I love working with kids in a fun not shit environment, eh?

I sell fake dicks in a retail establishment. And an establishment that has far more strict rules than most. Everyone has to show I.D., bags and purses have to be left at the door or put back in your car, you can’t open the fucking boxes, you can’t say certain words (“bong,” “whip-its,” etc.), and the list goes on. Lots of things that can piss customers off when I enforce them. It seems to me that my retail experience should be even shittier than the average Wal-Mart worker. And yet, it’s not. Is it possible that retail isn’t as bad as people say? Or maybe, just maybe, the fact that I spent over a decade in such a horrible fucking job makes this one seem great by comparison. I’d like to think that I just enjoy my job, but I have to question that. Maybe I only enjoy it because I’m not being talked down to and treated like fucking dog shit every hour that I’m there.

Consider carefully what I’m saying here: I sell fake dicks and it’s a better fucking job than teaching. Not by a small margin, but by a very large one. Is it any wonder that the education system fails so many? How can we expect it to work when the people most responsible for its functioning are so horribly downtrodden? If you stood there screaming at Gordon Ramsay and belittling him every minute of the day for years on end, he’s going to fuck up your steak, no matter how good he is. You can’t treat people that way and expect the best from them.

And now, in honor of my current (and far superior) job, I leave you with Alexis Texas’ ass. Stay thirsty, my friends.

3 Responses to One Year Later – How Bad Was Teaching?

  1. I subbed and worked as a teacher’s aide for some years before I got my degree. While doing so I experienced and observed much of what you said. Then I did my internship for a year, I was essentially the school therapist (my degree being an MSW). That’s when I truly got a taste for the bullshit that is public education. First off, the true god and master at school is the PARCC test which is given out by our supreme universal master Pearson (a company that makes billions on the American educational system alone, parents need to think about that, these tests are to make money but because they are forced and paid for by a captive consumer base they do not give a shit about providing for the students but for the admins and politicians).

    Then I finally got my degree. I fucking love my job. Being the school social worker does require me to abide by some things I do not agree with, but nothing compared to what teachers have to do. I have considered writing about my experiences, good and bad, to this site. I really love my job and as a youth rights advocate (no, not the kind that wants to “white knight” for children, aka most that belong to “child advocacy” groups, but the kind that actually is interested in their freedom, autonomy and opinions in all areas, not just the ones that are socially acceptable, like John Holt) and as an adult that views himself as equal to any child, not necessarily superior, I can say that I am very good at my job and children open up to me, much more so than the past social worker (who was great regardless).

    It’s funny how you can tell when the kids know you are different. Suddenly “curses” start slipping out in typical conversation. They are telling you the gossip of the classes. You become privy to who likes who and who has done what with who and not because you eavesdrop but because you are asked advice about it. Now the issue is that most adults would comment, reprimand or lecture at that point. Thus, losing the trust and openness with the students, or most of it. Which is the problem the last social worker had. It was funny, she was getting jealous when on my last day at the internship I had 5+ girls from three different grade levels come eat lunch with me and she said “you guys never want to eat lunch with me!” and I was honest with her about why it was so. I don’t go in seeing the kids as part of the job and as lesser humans that need to be lectured at constantly. They too are human and being human means they have opinions, desires for freedom, desires to be seen as equal and capable and the part that kills it for most adults, sexuality. You know you truly succeed when the girls are willing to talk to you, an unrelated adult male school employee, about their feminine bodily functions and changes.

    That brings me to parents. I have had great relationships with kids cut short by parents being angry their kids were more open with me than them. I always offer help and advise and sometimes, instead of continuing the attack, the parents take it and thank me. Most parents are fine, but some are just nuts. As a therapist in the school, it is much easier to deal with them though.

    I’ve rambled for too long.

    It sucks that, in the end, you feel the retail store is a better working environment. Look around your area for sudbury schools to apply to.

  2. Avatar Beardonzo Riberio
    Beardonzo Riberio says:

    Cool self-aggrandizing humblebrag, faggot. The “unique” and “exceptional” ability to manipulate malleable, impressionable young minds into opening up to you by virtue of being an approachable non-psychopath. We’re all in such awe! Spoiler: it’s less that you’re a counselor virtuoso and more that your predecessor is utterly incompetent