Teachers: It’s Not Prideful to Stand Up for Yourself
I’ve been doing this for a decade. I’ve gotten kids into elite musical theater and vocal performance programs. I’ve gotten students into their top performing arts high schools. I’ve had students place in singing competitions in classical, musical theatre, and CCM genres. Aside from my three masters degrees, I've continued to study beyond the formal secondary education model. I have notifications set up for when the latest journal publications release in my field so I can stay informed.
I state all these things not to brag. In fact, I recognize I am not even close to as experienced as many of my peers. I say this because I want parents to feel comfortable when they send their children to me. I say this because I want people to know I take my job seriously.
But teachers, in order to be taken seriously we need to stop being afraid of stating the facts.
It’s not prideful to stand up for yourself.
When you are in a situation where you are not being compensated for your qualifications. It’s okay to stand up for yourself. You have skills that have taken years, even decades in some cases, to acquire. You deserve to be paid effective wages.
When you are being discriminated against, disrespected, or taken advantage of, you have a right to call someone out. Just because you are a teacher does not mean you are any less of a professional. You have the right to advocate for yourself.
It is not bragging to state your qualifications.
You trained and went to college. You earned your degree. You are qualified to do what you do. If someone questions why you make a judgement call, you are not bragging to remind them why you are the one to make that decision. You are doing what you were trained to do. You are also not bragging to explain the rationale behind any decision you make.
It is also not bragging to correct a parent when they’re flat out wrong.
At the end of the day, that parent can walk away if they don’t like an answer. However, it is unethical to change your professional opinion in order to appease a parent. You are the expert and you have every right to correct anyone that does not understand something under your realm of expertise.
You have a right to safe teacher-parent-student boundaries.
You are not obligated to be available at all times of the day. It is not prideful nor selfish to set boundaries that allow you to have a personal life outside of teaching.
Own who you are, inside and outside of the classroom. You are enough.