I struggle with authoritative figures. I grapple with the concept that because someone is older, then they are better than I am, and they deserve my respect. Why should I respect a teacher who bores me or doesn't challenge me or, even worse, mocks me? The answer is simple: I shouldn't. I won't. I can't.
My issues with authority began when I learned to hate my father. He ceased to be "Daddy" (I abhor that word) and became instead a figure to be disregarded. If I can't respect my own father, then who can I respect? My teachers? My bosses? Why should I respect them? Most of them don't deserve it.
I do not deny the fact that everyone deserves some modicum of courtesy. But don't let politeness fool you; I often mask my feelings with a bland, indifferent face. Regretfully, I cannot hide my eyes. When I scowl, it is not so much a furrowing of the brows as it is a narrowing of the eyes, a tightness to the corners that suggest a torrent of angry tears ready to spill out. I never cry because I am sad, or depressed; I cry because I am angry. I am not always aware of my anger; it usually lurks beneath the fa├žade, beneath my own surface, and only reveals itself when goaded into justifiable existence. I don't lash out in anger; it seeps into every part of me before chilling my heart. I am not a person given to visible furies and tantrums; I am the icicle.
I am also a student at a prep school. And yes, the prep school student's mantra of "My parents pay your salary" has been known to pass through my thoughts. I hate bad teachers. It's more than a loathing; it's a passionate yet stealthy rage that lurks behind my thoughts. Bad teachers can be grouped into three simple categories: the Drone, the Comedian, and the Ignoramus. I don't respect the Bore. If you can't at least entertain your students, then get another job. I also don't respect the Comedian. My parents are not paying fifteen thousand dollars a year so I can come here and listen to stories about your personal life. Jokes at the expensive of your students are not funny. I truly loathe the Ignoramus. If you don't know what you're talking about, then shut your mouth and go away. I especially hate the teachers who adheres to one point of view, and one point of view only; theirs.
Some bad teachers are a mixture of the Drone, the Comedian, and the Ignoramus; but there are other subcategories as well. There is the teacher who is always late to class or cancels class all too frequently and is never prepared, most accurately termed the Slacker; the epitome of the Slacker is the teacher who loses not only her lesson plan but her student's papers as well (then marks them as late when she finds them). Then there are the teachers who can't control the class, or don't care to.
Simply put, there are way too many teachers who just can't teach. Who hires these jokers? Who evaluates this person and thinks that he or she is a competent teacher? I do. That's right, me. I think, as a student, I have the most valuable opinion on the subject. I only have to put up with teachers six days a week, seven subjects a day, plus sports. Don't even get me started on coaches.
People have told me that I should consider being a teacher. I laugh in their faces before I tell them that being overworked and underpaid is not on my agenda. When I am honest with myself, however, I know that it's more than a crappy salary and an arduous day that puts me off; it's the knowledge that teaching is one of the most difficult, devalued professions there is. Perhaps the only place a teacher receives any formal acknowledgement is at the end of a student's yearbook page. I can't face the idea of going through high school again, and again, and again; four years is sufficient for me. An acquaintance pointed out to me that teaching offers great vacations; this is a good point. However, I don't want to choose a job based on how much time I have away from it.
Now that I've complained about bad teachers, I'll discourse on good teachers. A good teacher keeps the subject alive, engages the students, and actually gives two shits. My Spanish teacher is a great teacher because she is enthusiastic and entertaining and helps the students learn the material. If I thought I had a chance of being like her, I'd go for my teaching degree. As it is, I'll take my chances on an easier, less demanding profession.