August 18, 2007

"Teacher Arrested" Draggin' Us Down

There's one thing that we teachers we can count on when it comes to media coverage: we always come out looking bad.

I suppose it much the same in many places.

Unfortunately, this month we've had a rash of teachers who actually are bad. Coverage of three teachers (here, here, and here) and their criminal behavior with students has been in the news. When I heard continuous news of the first one who was in court, I was seriously irritated and disappointed by this person who had considered himself an educator, but his coverage was following the trial. Soon to be over, right? Unfortunately, with news of more teachers popping up all over the county, I'm cringing my way through the news each day.

It's bad enough that we are hundreds of teachers short for the start of school, but I guess the teachers we have left are creepy pedophiles. As a member of the community, that's what thought would be in my head, anyway.

One of the worst moments in my career was in the last year when some students were casually talking with me. I don't remember what the topic was exactly, but it had to be about trust. They asked if they could trust their teachers. It pained me to tell them that I'd really like them to be able to trust their teachers unconditionally, but I told them that that no, they could not. They could not trust us. There aren't any adults they should trust. They had to look out for creepy feelings of intuition and watch for inappropriate behaviors. Trust no one. How sad! (A couple of them told me they'd have creepy feelings around former teachers. Oh! I wanted to cry!)

Because of those depraved teachers, I need to be vigilant in keeping my distance from students. I get a little anxious if the door closes and I'm left alone with a student between classes. Sure, kid, you can ask me a question--just let me prop the door open. You know, so everyone knows I can be trusted with you in a room for 30 seconds. I know I might be extreme, but that's the world today.

That reminds me that I should review good touching and bad touching with my own children. What a great way to prep for the new school year...

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