It's no secret that being a teacher is difficult. Taking care of one or two kids is hard enough, but being the only adult in a room full of kids for eight hours a day, five days a week can be a nightmare. Now don't get us wrong, a lot of teachers find this fulfilling, and to them we give a double-handed high five and a round of applause. But let's face it, what teachers have to endure each day requires superhuman levels of patience that many of us just don't have.
For Julie Marburger, a grade-school teacher from Texas, her turning point happened when a parent rudely told her that her son shouldn't be held responsible for his actions in the classroom. In a Facebook post, Marburger shared photos of her classroom and the disrespectful ways some students have treated it, along with an open letter detailing the kinds of abuse teachers have to deal with on a regular basis.
Her post has since gone viral with over 325,000 reactions and over 400,000 shares. In the photos, you can see a piece of chewed gum stuck on the windowsill, a broken bookcase, a chapter book that was ripped in half and a tablet and headphones that were just dumped in a corner. Take a look:
As a teacher, you'd think that Marburger would have grounds to discipline the students responsible for destroying classroom materials (which, she points out in her letter, were paid for with her own money since schools and teachers are severely underfunded—a whole other conversation we won't get into right now). However, one parent decided that her kid shouldn't face any consequences. To make matters worse, Marburger notes that her school's administration "always seems to err on the side of keeping the parent happy," so she's often left with no other choice but to comply.
Marburger also mentions how almost half of her class is failing because of missing assignments and how she's done everything in her power to notify parents but they just don't seem to care. "Weekly reports go out, emails have been sent and phone calls have been attempted," she writes. "But now I'm probably going to spend my entire week next week fielding calls and emails from irate parents, wanting to know why I failed their kid." Sounds rough, but sadly, not very surprising.
Her solution? "People absolutely HAVE to stop coddling and enabling their children," she writes. "It's a problem that's going to spread through our society like wildfire. It's not fair to society, and more importantly, is not fair to the children to teach them this is okay. It will not serve them towards a successful and happy life." Marburger points out that there's a difference between supporting kids who are having trouble and enabling them, and from her post, it sounds like some of her students' parents may be getting that mixed up.
"Teachers are some of the most kind and giving people I have ever met," she writes. "Yet they get treated so disrespectfully from all sides." While she later updated her post to say that this isn't the case with every student, and that she does deal with parents who are supportive, seeing her situation and knowing that she's definitely not the only teacher dealing with this kind of thing does make you feel for her and all the other teachers out there.