The Acid Reflux :: Resentment :: #2 of A Teacher's Life :: Columns
Resentment by Aquinas at Wed 29 Aug 2012 04:00:00 UTC

Resentment. It’s an ugly little emotion that rears its head whenever you least want it to. It crops up when you notice someone get the lucky break you wish you had or you damn those who did not get made fate’s plaything. It can be directed at complete strangers who excel in your field as much as it can be directed towards we cherish the most. It is never a pretty sight.

In many ways, including its dictionary definition, resentment walks hand in hand with that little green-eyed monster we swear blind to not be a slave to. Like in every profession this something that can occur at any given point but can be brushed off after some soothing strokes of the ego and a few Jack and Cokes. In the world of teaching, however, resentment is really something that cannot be reconciled too easily, especially when you just start.

The big thing that any newly qualified teacher (NQT for short) will attest to is that their first year is a time sink. The year or so before this year also robs you of your time but depending on your school the NQT year can be pretty much the same or worse. Goodbye evenings. Goodbye weekends. It’s a rite of passage that we are assured that will pass or at least lessen in its intensity within a few years. As much you get this you cannot help but hate others who do not have your workload. I will go more into detail into what this workload really is in a later installment (or I may have already since I am not sure in what order these will be published) but it’s an emotion that arises.

There is resentment towards the colleagues that have already stumbled through the ring of fire and can use their previous plans. Resentment builds towards your friends whose Facebook profiles you end up stalking on late-night sessions when you are wracking your brains with a way to explain balancing equations to a less able class. It builds towards our boyfriends and girlfriends who throw a sickie because they do not feel 100% when you are teaching in a sweltering classroom with a wastepaper bucket stacked on the desk because there is a 40% chance that you will hurl in the middle of an explanation.

As unpleasant as all these are a day where you allow yourself to unwind with a long walk, a foot-long Italian BMT and a small splurge on eBay can cure most of these. We remind ourselves that we are actually good at this job because otherwise we would not be allowed to spew our brand of nonsense at an unsuspecting group of children. In many ways teaching is a fantastic job that challenges you and, given the right environment, allows your creative juices to flow. You just have to learn not to hate the kids when they complain about the Saturday they lost because you set them an extra-hard homework. No, those are the moments to dig deep and let the schadenfreude kick in. That’ll teach them for having all that free time on the computer. Muahaha.

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