With all Due Respect

By Don Swinney | July 1, 2016

It seems to me that every time I hear the above words; “with all due respect”, used, they are followed by something very derogatory or the opposite of what the usual opinion is. {{more}} Being as I am a retired teacher, I will, where ‘with all due respect’, may be implied, use them as an example. I’ve heard it said “Teachers are a lazy bunch”. They work 180 days a year while other workers work 260 days a year. They are always complaining about how little they make Now I’m gonna throw you a curve ball, with all due respect, I agree with much of this. It takes a special breed of cat to be a teacher. It took me a few years to recognize I’d found my calling, and by that time the school closed . The next five years I went back into teaching to qualify myself to teach for the Department of Defense. I did this to be able to support myself while being a missionary. After eight years of doing this, I returned to my home town of Big Spring, Texas, where I taught until I retired. In the beginning of my third year at Big Spring High, a group of us teachers were gathered outside the Principal’s office, talking about what we’d done over the summer. I was last. When I finished one of them gasped and asked, “What do you do for a hobby?” The Principal answered for me he said, “Teaching is his hobby.” And he was right! Many teachers seem to have no idea about a student’s attention span.[[more]]They think they must teach from bell to bell. They seem to think they’re in a contest with the students as to who is going to rule the classroom. There’s lots of shouting going on. It is easy to see why teachers who operate like this are climbing the walls before weekends, holidays and summers are in the near future. Because I knew I’d be working harder during the summers than I did while teaching I wasn’t climbing the walls and talking of hitting the golf course, fishing streams and theme parks and with All Due Respect, I wasn’t bitchin about how little pay we got. With what I made running three businesses, I was probably making more money than some doctors, lawyers, etc. There’s no one statement you can use that holds true for all teachers. I tried to pace myself to keep from burning out before school was out. The poor elementary teachers I’ve known seem to put in more work than any of us secondary teachers. One thing we teachers have going for us is the satisfaction. For this, many people have left higher paying jobs to go into teaching. Throughout my working career, I’ve heard doctors, lawyers say; “Tell your students/children not to go into my career because…” I would definitely encourage young people to make the same career choice that I made. With all due respect.