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Teachers are People Too

I don’t drink alcohol.  I never have.  But, and this next part is shocking, I have several adult friends who imbibe from time to time.  And I still socialize with them and let my kids play at their houses, where who knows what kind of wine-tasting debauchery occurs. 

Now this part might freak you out, especially if you’re a high school principal from Georgia, but some of my friends who occasionally drink alcohol are teachers and they interact with CHILDREN and yet I still allow my kids to attend school.

But a teacher in Georgia was fired for drinking alcohol on a European vacation and posting a picture of herself holding a wine glass and a beer stein on Facebook.  She thought her photos were private and she was not friends on Facebook with any of her students but after a parent got a copy of the picture and gave it to an administrator, she was forced to resign or be suspended.  This was in 2009.  She’s currently undergoing a legal battle to be reinstated.

Now, if Laylee’s teacher were to knock back a cold one during class time or show up buzzed to work, I’d be having words with the principal pretty much the moment I heard about it.  I don’t have his cell phone number but I’d find him. 

But, unless a teacher’s actions are spilling into the classroom, I don’t think her personal life is any of my business.  The problem is, the internet makes everyone’s business everyone else’s business.

I’ve often said I would hate to run for public office because becoming an elected official is a surefire way to have everything you’ve ever done in your life aired out for all to see.  Is that the case for teachers now as well?

The job of teacher has got to be the most underappreciated profession with the highest level of expectations out there.  It’s a strange combination.  Would you like to be a teacher?  It’s awesome.  You will be overworked and underpaid but wait, there’s more, you must maintain a life of pristine perfection at all times.

When are we going to accept that teachers have lives and families and successes and failures and good days and bad days and possibly an occasional glass of wine?  They should be allowed to post vacation pictures on Facebook and have religious convictions, chew bubblegum and belong to bookclubs that read books you wouldn’t want your 9-year-old to get ahold of.  In short, I think they should be treated almost like people.

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Kathryn Thompson is a mom to two school-aged kids, a toddler, and a deceased betta fish. She can also be found at The Parenting Post, and occasionally the gym.