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You know them when you see them…or hear them. 

“I’m tired of this school.”

“I can’t wait until this year is over.”

“I’m just here for my check.”

“I can’t stand any of these children.”

I’m sure that halfway through reading those statements above, someone (or a group of someones) came to your mind. Am I right?

In every school I’ve had the opportunity to work in, there’s always been one, or three. 

[bctt tweet=”Nothing makes them happy.” username=””]

Nothing makes them happy. They find pleasure in pushing the buttons of students, staff, and administrators in the building. They’re on an island the majority of the year. They have terrible nicknames for the students in the building. They have little to no hope in the students they teach, except for the “smart” ones. 

Do me a favor. Stay away from them this year, and every other year that follows. 

I’ve discovered their negative attitudes can be contagious. If I sit with them long enough, I’ll start to agree and complain alongside them. Then, I become that teacher to someone else, even if it’s for a moment. It gets spread to another colleague, and then another, and then another. Before you know it, more than half of the staff is unhappy, complaining, and ready to go home for the year. 

I don’t know about you, but the more I see on the news and social media about our youth, the way they’re being treated, and the growing number of suicides I continue to see from bullying happening in school, I don’t have time to sit around and complain about a standard, a decision from the district, or administration. 

There are children’s lives on the line every day. Children are being snatched from homes, placed in detention centers, taken from this world too soon because of gun violence and misplaced fear. Children are homeless and hungry, and the list goes on. 

The school has to be what it once was, a safe place. But when there are teachers present who genuinely don’t like students, we have to start drawing the line. We can’t allow their bad attitude and negativity to affect what our job is, and that’s taking care of students. 

[bctt tweet=”The school has to be what it once was, a safe place.” username=””]

The next time they come knocking on your door with a complaint, I challenge you to either step away or step up, become busy, find a meeting to go to, or a friend to call. 

But another way to handle it head-on is to challenge it. When they complain, ask them what the next steps are. Ask them if they’ve taken their concern to an administrator. 

Want to take it to the next level? Compliment the fact they always have new ideas or see the problem in many of the decision made and suggest they position themselves for leadership or committees in your school. 

The point I want to make is simple. It’s time to stop complaining and time to step up to the plate. If teaching is what you’ve committed to doing, then do it, and everything else that comes along with it. 

If that’s not something you want to do anymore then….


Find another profession.



With a deep commitment and passion for all things youth, Allyson began her teaching journey in 2014....

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1 Comment

  1. Burnout and secondary trauma can be very toxic for our community. Changing professions is one suggestion but talking about burnout and helping people recognize that it is a stress response and not their personality is another. I just submitted to speak about burnout and resilience at SXSW edu. If you care about this topic please log in and vote! I would appreciate it!

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