Tuesday, April 5, 2011

An Open Letter to Teachers Everywhere

Hi Teachers!

First off, let me just say, if you are a good teacher, and you love your job and you imbue your work with the care and love that it should be imbued with, CONGRATULATIONS. I FUCKING LOVE YOU. You are amazing and wonderful and you are truly a much better person than me. No kidding. You are. I was in W&M's education program, oh, for about 3 months before I made the very mature (and selfless!) decision that I was destined to become not an educator, but a very wealthy and fantastic writer. And that sitting around, drinking coffee and talking about Tolstoy was a viable career path. Oh, and that I hated all children that were not mine. So, you know, while the decision to become a writer is not the most, um, lucrative one that I've ever made, it is probably good that I am not around anyone's kids. I guess you've noticed that I curse a lot. Yeah. And I make a lot of really bad "That's what she said!" jokes that really could influence America's youth to roll their eyes so much that their faces freeze like that.

(And to those of you who suck at your job and spend just about every damn day sitting in the gym, watching old SNL skits on the gym teacher's iPad [yes, you] while your students copy things out of a textbook written in 1987, you suck. Go sit in an office somewhere where you can't fuck much up, kay?)

Anyway, here's the thing, teachers. You have a job that I do not envy. And you do not get paid enough for it. You should get paid in, like, panda pelts and gold bullion. But you don't. And that is unfortunate. BUT. But. That doesn't mean that you have to dress like an unfortunate hobo who sat outside the Golden Girl's lot in 1989 and made your living absconding with all the polyester pantsuits you could carry. That also does not excuse teacher sweaters. Yes, if you've ever purchased a clothing item from the store part of the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, I'm talking about you. You should really try to dress for more success than what you are doing.

Because here's the thing, my lovely educators. I work in a building that hosts a lot of meetings for teachers. There is one going on all week here, and as I speak, there is a mass of you guys walking around. And here's the thing: whenever a clod of teachers is in the building, I can pick them out. I'm not kidding. Even if I haven't read the email they send out in the morning to tell us who is in the building (and I'll be honest and say that I never read that email), I can tell who the group of teachers are. How? Well, because there is usually one group of them (out of the whole) that is very loud and a bit obnoxious, and because they are dressed poorly. Either much, much too casual or dressed in horrible, outdated business casual with strappy nighttime heels. Because nothing says professional like a lavender pant suit with satin shoes! Amirite?

Ladies, it doesn't have to be this way. I follow one blog of a teacher (the lovely Musings on the Mountain) and she is always dressed beautifully and very appropriately for her job. Also, she always manages to combine things that look fresh with appropriate footwear, which is important and which I honestly need to do better with myself. There are many other blogs out there that I could link, but you know that I'm too lazy too. But the moral of the story is this: it is doable. And you know, I'll tell you, it is doable on a budget. Right now, I am trying to acquire a spring/summer wardrobe that is not too expensive since I am losing weight and don't have a clear sight of what size I am/want to be/will be in June. And I have purchased a good deal of it from the mighty trifecta of Target, Old Navy, and TJ Maxx. You just have to be choosy and spend wisely.

Most importantly, I will remind you that it is not selfish to give a shit about what you look like. I think a lot of people who work in such a selfless line of work tend to put themselves on the back burner a lot, and honey, you shouldn't do that. Because you are doing a damn good thing, and you know, you should be proud of that. And take pride in what you do and how you look and how just generally awesomesauce you are. I take pride in myself, ya'll, and I have a boring office job where I spend a good deal of the day trying to make things look pretty with the Microsoft Office Suite. You...you are saving the world from illiteracy! You are like Captain Planet!

So, teachers, turn that dial to 11 and throw out the polyester. I assure you--you will be happier, and since we all know that it is all about me, I will be happier. Which is very important. Because when I am not happy, I judge you silently. Just putting that out there.

Anyway, love forever,


PS: If you get my son in school, and he uses the word "Juicebag," I'm sorry. He's been doing it for years, and I find it way too cute to correct. I'm sorry about that. Just as I am a failed education student, I have my moments where I epicly fail as a parent. Maybe you can overlook it since he is kind of cute and reads pretty well. If he uses it, just tell me, and I'll bake you some cookies.

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