Teacher Envy

This time of year, I have some serious teacher envy. I am on the “We don’t pay our teachers enough for what they do” bandwagon, so don’t think that this is about having time off at the holiday. I get off half a day on Christmas Eve, all day Christmas and January 1, plus a 2 hour “early dismissal” on New Years’ Eve. It’s my choice to go in to work in a quiet office where people are not responding to the things you are working on (until they come back happy and full from a fresh start to the year). It’s about the creativity and witnessing the wonder in the children.


Might I say, Pinterest is truly a teacher’s dream. You see, I didn’t have Pinterest when I was a teacher. Heck, I couldn’t even afford the internet at home when I taught (thank you friends, wifi cafes, and neighbors, ahem). The internet at the school, well, I was always scared that any search of “cool stuff to do with my students” would pull me into the principal’s office. Today, I think it’s a lot easier than whipping up some workbook page or inventing your own Smart Board lessons. There are a lot of great resources out there. And this time of year, it’s perfect for teacher to use.


Like all those cute foot and handprint paint opportunities. I wish I had the time in my day to create art work with the kids, but the time is really not there. Luckily, my daughter’s teacher has the time and has done some really neat paintings with her hands and feet (like a manager scene). Ok, so maybe I am not so jealous on this one because the paint mess doesn’t meet my house and I don’t have to explain to ‘lil Man how Sally, Ryan, and daddy did a fine enough job painting the kitchen, they don’t need his handprints added to the walls.


Then there’s that darn “Elf on the Shelf”. Admittedly, I am a little saddened that the teacher introduced this to the kids for several reasons. One, while I am not in the “it’s creepy” camp, I am in the “there’s a just the right age to start and end this” camp. I don’t think kids over 10 need one, and I don’t think kids under the age of 5 are really ready to “get the concept”. You know how you wait for time out? Same idea. Although Arianna’s teacher has one, I don’t think she gets it that she’s been bad if the elf doesn’t move. Two, as the teacher who had some really difficult students, do you punish the whole class if one child is bad every.single.day? (YES, it DOES happen, I am sorry.) How is that fair to the rest of the class? If I do chose to have an “Elf on the Shelf” in the next few years, each of the kids will have my own…and they will read and know the real rules in the book. Still, I am envious that she has the time to work on this project with my kid.


I’m not about being greedy or wanting bad chocolate, but I miss the teacher gifts. I got some pretty neat decorations from the kids throughout the years, and each one reminds me of those students. Like I’ll probably always remember the ornament from one of the most brilliant kids I ever taught because every year it hangs on my tree (even though it doesn’t go with my “theme”).


And you know what? The other thing I am envious of is that at the end of that long last week full of parties, movies, and programs, teachers get to send the students home to the parents full of sugar for two weeks. As a parent, I get to deal with that kid who wants to be back with her teacher during that down time of no alarms or pickup deadlines. Now the pressure is on me to make sure Greg keeps her busy and that the presents are “just right” on Christmas morning.


Thank you, teachers, for all you do to help keep working parents sane during the holiday season and beyond. You really do not get enough credit (and our gifts of coffee, gift cards, ornaments, and Bath and Body Works goodies will never be enough). Thank you.

Me and Arianna at her Christmas Program on Tuesday