A letter to the Editor, Grand Rapids Press, May 23, 2012:

A Teacher’s Ode to SB 1040
While others work a full calendar year, I enjoy gobs of vacation. While the Average Joe could lose his employment at whim, it is harder to fire me than it is to sell Amway in Canada. I receive guaranteed pay raises, and I get free donuts each time one of my clients has a birthday. Although I have enough college credit to fulfill a PhD program, I am an expert at zilch. Although the Average Joe would rather have his job than mine, he offers unsolicited advice about how I could do mine better, cheaper, and longer. By virtue of my humble position, I am an underachiever; suspect of laziness, pedophilia, and ignorance. Were I to debate the above, add whining, too.
Here’s the rub: I don’t care. Sure, it is disheartening when the bashing hits a critical mass; when one cannot open a newspaper, scan the Internet, talk to a friend or relative, or overhear a restaurant conversation without absorbing the mass critique of the job. The zillion irritating, belittling, frustrating things that happen weekly on the job are only bearable because I know I’d miss it. I’d miss the potential of actually teaching something, which has the same odds as a batter hitting a ball – often leaving me feeling like I’ve struck out. I’d miss children at their most precious stage of life – before they become Average Joes. I’d miss the perverse dichotomy of the huge responsibility I have without the accompanying authority.
Shame on me.

Tim Fournier
Teacher
Grand Rapids

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