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Teacher bashing getting me down

(56 Posts)
Blue2309 Mon 10-Aug-20 06:51:51

Hi everyone,

I am sure there have been lots of threads about this during the pandemic but I've largely kept off social media (including MN) during lockdown.

Anyway, I am beginning to get really down about all of the hatred towards teachers that is out there at the moment. I found teaching last term really hard - as I know the vast majority of teachers did. The Daily Mail and Telegraph have both had stories recently with really misleading headlines - today's DT headline states that schools are planning to be one week on one week off - whereas the actuality is of course that this is a back up plan for year groups if there is a spike and teachers certainly won't be having any time off.

The comments underneath were vile - really vile. Teachers are lazy, have had a six month holiday, don't deserve key worker status etc etc...

I KNOW I shouldn't read them but I do, and I just feel so sad and upset. I've really enjoyed my teaching career so far but recently I've wondered if I should try something else. I feel I am not allowed to be proud of my job anymore.

Any advice - or just a shake?

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MrsZola Mon 10-Aug-20 08:58:56

I've tried really hard to avoid the vitriol but get sucked in from time to time. It's soul destroying but my best advice is ignore, ignore, ignore. We're always seen as scum of the earth by some parts of society, we can't control that. What we can control is our engagement with the shite.

PumpkinPie2016 Mon 10-Aug-20 11:13:47

I understand what you mean OP sadflowers I had to stop looking at the comments under news articles because I also found it upsetting. I know it's just randomers who have no idea but it still stings.

I, like many others have worked flat out during lockdown. I am now adapting my lessons for next term to make them fit with the guidelines we have e.g. no paper to be given out. I have spent hours making sure the GCSE/A-level content can be fitted into the time available. I love my job and work hard for the students. It's sad that it's not valued by so many.

Ultimately, I think all we can do is focus on the kids and remember that what we do for them does make a difference.

Boxachocs Mon 10-Aug-20 12:09:20

I’ve decided that I now find all the teacher bashing amusing and let it wash over me because those people don’t do my performance management and they don’t get 13 weeks a year holiday. I know the pay rise recently confirmed isn’t the same percentage for everyone but honestly the comments about teachers ‘not deserving a pay rise after 6 months holiday’ just made me laugh because we are still getting a pay rise and still have 6 weeks off 🤷‍♀️ The comments make no difference.

Ploughingthrough Mon 10-Aug-20 12:41:22

How long have you been teaching op? I only ask as I used to feel like that for a few years, then a point came about 6 years in where I just let it wash over me.
It's just people's opinions. They are entitled to them even if we don't agree, and it is easy to get upset. Here I am giving you a friendly and virtual shake- it doesn't matter what people think- you are doing your best as a teacher. Remember those papers need a story and schools/teachers are easy fodder.

thatone Mon 10-Aug-20 13:54:59

I know what you mean OP but someone on here linked to the James O'Brien programme on LBC and I now find listening to that helps to counterbalance all the vitriol. I have been avoiding loads of threads on here as it was really inducing anxiety.

fussychica Mon 10-Aug-20 17:53:23

I'm not a teacher but DS is. I get totally pissed off with all the negativity and downright vitriol aimed at teachers. I really don't get it. You would think teachers had chosen to walk out not that schools had been shut by the government. My personal view is that the unions didn't need to stoke the fire early on about not returning full time pre summer holiday as it was pretty obvious that wasn't going to happen. They should have picked a better battle.
Fortunately DS doesn't look at much education stuff in the press or on social media as he knows it's toxic. I know I shouldn't but I can't help myself. It's probably one of the things that gets my hackles up most these daysangry. I wish you didn't have to put up with all that shit on a constant basis.

SaltyAndFresh Mon 10-Aug-20 18:17:52

@Blue2309, Mumsnet is one of the worst sources of teacher-bashing. The DM is the other. As long as you recognise both these sources are dreadfully biased, you can hopefully inure yourself to it. I completely deleted my MN account a few months ago as I just couldn't bear to read any more. I'm feeling ok now though and I have a real fuck you attitude to teacher bashers. I know they hate us for our holidays and out pensions so I'm determined to enjoy every last moment of my time off and am keeping a keen eye on my pension with a view to slowing down at 60 (I'm in my 40s).

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my job more than ever after a wobble during which I tried to change career, but I won't martyr myself to public hatred of teachers. Fuck em.

Piggywaspushed Mon 10-Aug-20 20:50:49

I agree MN is the worst. I never look at DM or DT but foolishly buy The Times. Avoid BBC HYS too which is awful.

I don't get any if this in RL. And there is none on my local FB. Twitter is actually more pro teacher.

It makes me angry. But you just can't reason with them . It makes it worse.

I think we all take our work very seriously. It's all consuming and that's why the digs hurt. But hey ho.

Blue2309 Mon 10-Aug-20 21:21:15

Thanks for all your lovely messages everyone! And full of very sensible advice, the main theme of which is just ignore ignore ignore.

@Ploughingthrough I've been teaching a long time - 14 years! But I've never felt this way before - sure I've heard people say stupid things about teachers before but you get that about almost every line of work. I think it's the misrepresentation in the media, with headlines clearly designed as clickbait, with no thought to the way in which this will impact upon teachers.

I think what upsets me is that my husband, who has a senior role at a secondary school, worked himself into the ground last term. He was totally exhausted. But yes, you can't reason with this people.

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MrsHamlet Mon 10-Aug-20 21:55:04

We're an easy target. Everyone has been to school, and probably all had a teacher they didn't like. People, my stepmother included, buy into the "work shy lefty" rhetoric because it's easier than acknowledging that maybe, just maybe, they might not be getting the whole story.
It makes me angry rather than upset these days. If people in real life irk me with their nonsense, I tend to suggest that if my job is so easy, they might like to give it a try.

FrippEnos Mon 10-Aug-20 23:39:33

I have stopped being nice to them and call them as I see them, amazingly enough they don't like it and get really stroppy.

But if they can't take it they shouldn't give it out.

I get the feeling that they are mainly trolls, goady fuckers, people that are board and on the odd occasion people that want to stike back at some perceived slight from their school days.

StaffAssociationRepresentative Mon 10-Aug-20 23:46:51

@Blue2309 - stay safe in the staffroom. Some of them are professional tbs (teacher bashers) and a couple of regular name changers so it seems like there are a lot of them.

Hopefully you will have noticed that we have all toughened up over the past few months. Do not waste your breadth explaining our terms and conditions.

We get the occasional parent come into the staffroom to give some positive comments because they are embarrassed by tb comments

#staystrong #solidarity

LyndaLaHughes Tue 11-Aug-20 00:52:42

There seems to be a correlation between ignorance and stupidity and teacher-bashing. Notice it isn't the intelligent people doing it. Morons who believe everything they read in the Daily Mail are not worth getting upset over. You can't argue with stupid so don't bother trying.

MrsGatsby99 Tue 11-Aug-20 12:12:00

Completely agree with what has been said previously. It's lazy journalism, easy target and not really knowing the reality of being in the classroom. I figure as long as I can look in the mirror and know I have done my best for each child, I can safely ignore the comments.

When I was a young teacher, I used to get more comments irl about the holidays etc...but just learnt to say, 'yes, the holidays are a big perk, come and join us and see what it's like yourself!' Funnily enough, I don't get many comments any more!

Piggywaspushed Tue 11-Aug-20 12:17:23

I think teacher bashing has levels of misogyny attached too. We don't really matter because we are glorified care givers.

I have been teaching nearly 30 years and have never known it to be this bad. But MN is actually worse than RL. Far far worse.

Cantaloupeisland Tue 11-Aug-20 12:25:36

Agree with @Piggywaspushed - I've not experienced any negativity in real life, local media or on any social media platforms. It really is just MN and the DM. I now only read the staffroom board and feel much better for it! These people won't listen to reason, so enjoy your holiday and fuck em!

Cantaloupeisland Tue 11-Aug-20 12:28:41

And to add, our school received numerous lovely emails from parents at the end of term thanking us for everything we'd done. We didn't get any complaints. Guess the moaners just love to have a whinge online!

echt Tue 11-Aug-20 12:33:19

Had you asked me a year ago about attitudes towards teachers on MN, I would have said they were generally OK.

What has proliferated since Covid-19 has been the colossally ignorant, i.e. not comprehending what trade unions does, not comprehending that teachers/unions don't can't close schools, only the government can. Stuff a simple google search can sort. This is about information, not opinion.

Unbelievably fucking thick.

MN was never this abysmally stupid.I never say this to the thick fuckers but my eyes are falling out with rolling.

On the other hand there are the shit-stirrers and we all know who they are. They pose as informed but post intermittently in a faux-thick style to provoke debate.

They have been engaged too long.

Let's revive the [daffodils] they so hate.

Dotinthecity Tue 11-Aug-20 12:47:04

I don’t think Mumsnet is a particularly nice place any more and think it’s become a bit of a hotbed for argumentative people with insecurities who use negativity to make themselves feel better. Debate is good but often posts descend into nastiness and name calling. I was a non-contributing reader of Mumsnet for many years and picked up some good advice and witnessed lots of supportive behaviour but it seems to have changed for the worse in the last 18 months. There are still good people on Mumsnet and there’s still good advice to be had but you often have to pick your way through a lot of unpleasantness to find it. I don’t think it’s representative of society in general, I just think that it often attracts not very nice people who use it for their own agenda. It’s the same with Facebook and other social media platforms, they are very much abused. I don’t know a single person in real life who is so anti-teacher. The newspapers will say anything to attract readers, it doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not. I work in school, we all worked hard both in and out of school right up to the end of term, we’re all looking forward to going back and none of us are frightened.

Piggywaspushed Tue 11-Aug-20 12:51:39

I agree. Sadly, I am not sure MNHQ is taking this seriously enough. Much of it is actually bullying.

Phineyj Tue 11-Aug-20 12:54:47

As soon as an article or comment says 'teachers should...', I automatically discount it, because anyone who thinks teachers under the level of, say, deputy head, have any substantive effect on policy or practice clearly knows so little about teaching that their views are uninformed. And SLT can only do what Government order/allow and if the school's insurance won't cover diverging from that, it's a non-starter (e.g. independent schools that couldn't open to all year groups before June even if they had loads of space).

I worked for the NHS and in the arts before entering teaching, however, so I'm used to people ranting at me for badly-informed or even completely illogical reasons.

alittleisland Tue 11-Aug-20 13:58:59

I'm not a teacher but gatecrashing your thread. I just wanted to say that not everyone is bashing teachers. You have my complete sympathy and I think parents should be ashamed of themselves. Keep your chin up, I for one could never do your job and you have my utter admiration flowers

Piggywaspushed Tue 11-Aug-20 15:07:15

Thank you !

Blue2309 Tue 11-Aug-20 15:15:49

Thank you @alittleisland! That's so nice to hear. And thanks for all of the kind and helpful comments. I think that those of you who say that social media isn't real life are right - I've never (and I mean never) has anyone irl make a nasty comment to me about my job. Yes a few 'jokes' about holidays etc but never this level of nastiness. Thank you for cheering me up.
I am disappointed that MNHQ didn't step in more often on some of the teacher bashing threads.

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