May 31, 2012

Entitled.

As a teacher, what am I entitled to?

Am I entitled to inherent respect from my students? Silence when I demand it? Uncompromising focus of the tasks I deem appropriate?

Am I entitled to students who are never late? Absent?

Am I entitled to students who want to learn? Love to learn?

Am I entitled to students who leave their dramas at home? Have no dramas at home? Recognize when dramas are real or perceived?

Am I entitled to a cell phone free classroom? Facebook-free computer lab? Social media free interaction?

Am I entitled to laugh every day? A work environment free of politics? A work where your value is fairly acknowledged?

Am I entitled to a quiet space to do my work when not directly working with students? Access to the technology I need?

Am I entitled to a succinct, clear understanding of what my responsibilities as a teacher are? A set of protocols of which I must adhere?

Am I entitled to my own classroom? A teacher’s desk?

Am I entitled to time? Space?

Am I entitled to freedom to make mistakes? Freedom to try something new? 

Am I entitled to say no to change? Maintain the status quo? Be jaded, cynical?

Am I entitled to teach how I have been teaching for the past 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? 30 years?

Am I entitled to sick days? Personal days? Family care days?

Am I entitled to stability? Job security?

Am I entitled to fair compensation for my effort? My success? A pension? Recognition of my aptitude?

Am I entitled to feedback? To offer professional feedback? To speak for myself?

It seems to me there are many questions about entitlement that are being asked explicitly and implicitly in education right now. There is an expectation of entitlement that is creeping into the daily rhetoric of educators.

The problem with entitlement is we’ll never receive what we are “entitled”. The problem with entitlement is that we’ll never be happy.

These questions can be asked from different perspectives as well. Parents, administrators, governments, students all have a feeling of entitlement.

So, who is entitled?

1 Comment

  • Nice piece. From a strict, biological perspective, my sense is that we are entitled to very little.

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