Your Teacher Did What?!

When I was in seventh or eighth grade there was a teacher in my school everyone called “Barbie”. She was tall, slender and had blonde hair. She was pretty as far as I remember, but not drop-dead gorgeous and not promiscuous in any way. Of course the boys always tried to get her attention.

When I was in high school I don’t honestly remember crushing on any of my teachers. There was a Government teacher who was also a coach that creeped-out me and the other girls. He once made a friend stay for detention and she told me he removed his wedding band when she walked into the room. I was furious and wanted to cuss him out. She talked me out of it and as far as I remember nothing else ever happened.

Now I have my own children, four daughters to be exact, and I’m pretty damn protective of them. I’m also honest about sex and the possible threats around them. They know what a teacher behaving inappropriately looks like…unfortunately it keeps freaking happening.

Last week teen #2 came home with news that the Senior Coordinator had been caught with a student. Now, I’ve met this man, had whole conversations with him, and even joked around a bit. Nothing inappropriate at all or even borderline. However, I wasn’t shocked. Unfortunately teen #1 was shocked and heartbroken. She’s a Senior this year and has known this teacher since she was a Freshman. He’s someone she has respected and looked up to for years. Now, that image has been shattered because he decided to have sex with one of his students.

I’m furious that my child’s trust has been broken over sex, but I know it’s an inevitable lesson she had to learn someday. I’m just glad she isn’t a victim here. The worst part in my mind is how this will effect his family (of course, he’s married with children), how it will effect his students, and how it effects the parent/teacher relationships as a whole. Those are precarious at best and now one bad decision has fucked it up even more. Yeah, I’m pretty damn angry.

In yesterday’s newspaper I saw reports of two other teachers in the general Houston are with accusations. Come on now people. This is getting out of hand. So what’s wrong? What’s the problem and the cause of this? Why are teachers looking at their students as sexual beings? In my opinion it starts with them forgetting about the line between them and the students where they are supposed to be the ones in charge. This might not always be the case. For some it might be something darker, like a power trip to over use their authority. But for many I see it as a blurred line.

Teachers seem to be younger now than when I was in high school and I think too many of them are trying to be “cool” with the kids. They are trying to “relate” by talking on the teens’ level and sharing parts of themselves. Some might think that’s a good thing. I disagree. I’ve always told my kids I’m a mom first. I’m not their “friend”, or their “buddy”. I’m a mom. I’m in charge. And what I say goes. End of story. Sometimes I do listen to them as a friend would. Sometimes I share parts of myself as a buddy might. But they all know I’m always a “mom” first.

I think that’s where these teachers are failing our children. Not all teachers of course, just the ones who forget that they’re in a position of authority that they shouldn’t take for granted. The line blurs because they’re less than a decade older than the kids they teach. They share the same taste in music, movies, books, whatever. They start to see these kids on an even level instead of as their wards. In essence, they are fucking up the very basic concept of being a “teacher” rather than a pal.

So, what can/should be done about this? Hell, I don’t know. I would never have the patience to teach. I commend anyone who does, but I also implore you to remember YOUR JOB. You’re not there to “connect” with the students on a social level. You’re there to teach them and guide them onto the next level of their education. I don’t want you to be my kids’ friend. I want you to be their teacher. They have enough damn friends.

Too Close for Comfort

So, yesterday’s shooting was way too close to home. I mean, that is the exact campus I’d planned to have teen #1 register at for the Fall. So am I being paranoid in deciding she’ll go to the Northern campus instead? I don’t think so but some might. I completely understand the argument that a shooting can happen anywhere at anytime, especially in Texas where a lot of the citizens own guns. However, I also believe in not tempting fate. More than one news report mentioned the violence “could have been” gang related. What that tells me is that campus has issues. Now I also understand the other campus might also. But I went to both campuses (many, many years ago) and to be honest they’re like two different worlds. So for now I’m going to have to insist my baby goes to the one I feel safer and more confident about. Otherwise, I just might have to attend classes with her.

Friday WTF?: Another Year Older

It’s my birthday…again. Yeah, yeah, I know it happens every year at this same time, but for some reason this one feels different. It’s not really about me though. This isn’t a milestone birthday. I’m thirty-seven today so I have three more years before the big 40. I think my glum mood is because of my daughters getting older right along with me.

I’m the type of person who really likes to celebrate birthdays, even my own. I’m not ashamed or afraid to tell people my real age or the year I was born. I totally own it. But with the ending of the 2011-2012 school year, and the successful passing of all four of my girls, I now have a Senior in high school, a Freshman in high school, a middle schooler, and a fourth grader. The high school ones are biggies. My oldest received her voter registration form in the mail yesterday and I nearly burst into tears. But having my third oldest in middle school is tough too. I taught her how to shave her legs this week!

So, for me age is a relative thing as it applies to myself. When I’m eighty I might still feel sixty and that’s just fine. What isn’t so great is that I’ve never been able to find the pause button on my daughters. And they just keep getting older and older.

Friday WTF?: I Know This is Texas, But…

If you’ve seen my posts on Twitter or Facebook then you probably already know I’m a Texan, my husband is a gun owner, and I’m not ashamed of either. However, I’m first and foremost a mom who is usually very paranoid about the safety of my daughters.
On Monday there was a horrible tragedy up in Ohio where an alleged student shot four of his classmates. It broke my heart to read the news posts and I hugged my girls a little harder when they got home from school. 
On Tuesday a boy in Texas pointed a loaded gun at a classmate in the lunch line.
So know I want to know, what the hell is going on? Why are children resorting to such violence to let their thoughts be known? Back in my day we would just beat the shit out of each other on the playground. What are we teaching our children that makes them feel guns are the answer to solve their perceived problems? I don’t know about anyone else, but given the choice I would rather know my child got into a fist fight than had to dodge a bullet.