Peter’s Wednesday blog – Interview with Wilson – A School teacher at the end of his rope, gets a new environment to teach in.
Hello, Fellow WOE Friends,
We are at the weekly half-way point for many of us. I hope you're doing well!
I have attached the new WOE HR Picture - Kind all the Time.
This weeks WOE Cares Need to Know is on Opioids. Find out about them and more in WOE Cares, on the website.
This weeks Wednesday Interview is with Wilson.
I met Wilson a month ago. I’ll wait until the end to tell you where. Wilson is a 56-year-old man with a wife and two grown children. He had taught school for 36 years. Here is his interview/story.
I hope you enjoy it!
“At the age of sixteen, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. And I knew I wanted to teach in elementary school. I was a band geek, played the trombone, and did all the marching you can imagine.
In college, I was always told by students studying other majors that teaching was a dead career. They said the pay was lousy and the students were awful. I never listened much to what they said.
I knew of the trouble teachers had. I watched the news and read the newspaper and saw teachers striking for more pay and better working conditions. Heck, even my parents weren’t too happy about my career choice, because they knew of the struggles teachers had.
But passion is passion and on I went. I first started teaching for a public school. A few of the students were downright awful. Mean and nasty, even to me. I then went to a private school and taught there for the next 32 years. I taught third and fifth grades. Over the years, I’ve seen many changes. The biggest has to be the children and the parents. A percentage of the kids can’t seem to remember what was taught just the day before. And many parents don’t make their kids sit down and do their homework or study.
Nowadays, it seems some parents think that once a child is potty trained and can dress and bathe themselves, their job is done. But in fact, it’s still going on. They need to spend that time with their kids helping them study. Review for tests and assist them with school projects.
I understand many families have two working parents or there may be a one parent household. But to not help them when they can, is letting the kids down. It puts a larger burden on the teachers to try and help support these kids.
I have heard of other teachers who teach in public schools where the students threatened them or threw objects at them. And these are kids in elementary school. There were schools that gave out free breakfast and lunch because the kids wouldn’t have any food to eat otherwise.
The nation and state keep changing curriculums, too many companies are making considerable profits off of the schools, and the unions can make it very difficult to fire teachers who don’t possess the desire to teach anymore.
For 32-years, I dedicated myself to teaching. To try and make a difference with young minds. But the reality of everything came to a head when I was accused of yelling at a student who started a fight with another. I guess I lost my cool at that particular point in time.
This child was a trouble maker and didn’t respect the teachers. He was going to the school on a scholarship, and his mom just didn’t care about raising him right.
Later that evening, the news headlines were about another school shooting massacre. As before, I knew little would change to stop this senseless violence. Our school used to have ‘lock-down drills.’
It was too early for me to retire, but I couldn’t take the stress anymore. I resigned at the end of the school year.
I picked up a part-time job at a local hardware store, and we struggled financially for a while.
Then, one day I was at the store when a family came in looking for a new lawn-mover. The little girl was about the age of my former students, so I asked her what she thought of school.
She told me she loved it! She said they go to school almost all day long, but they have fun things they do throughout the day. She said when they go home, they don’t have any homework or studying.
The family was so pleasant to talk to! The father told me I should look into getting a job there. I asked him where, and he gave me a name and said it was like a private school. I never heard of it. But I told him I would consider it.
He gave me his business card and told me to give the number on the card a call and tell them who I was.
I thanked them, and they went on their way, deciding not to buy a lawn-mover at that time.
The next day, I looked at the business card. It said, ‘Scott James – Associate Education Supervisor.’ But no school district name. I decided to give them a call, as I really did miss teaching.
When the lady answered the phone, I told her my name was Wilson. She told me they’d been expecting me to call and said they had an opportunity for me to teach at the WOE. My wife and I would get a place to live, healthcare, food, all for free. We would even get an allowance and retirement.
Peter, I know Jennifer is a teacher here because I work with her. I have enjoyed teaching so much these last two years!
I later found out that Scott was an Employee Scout. But he didn’t want me to know. He wanted to see if I was still interested in teaching.
I sure am! Have been since I was 16.”
Thanks for reading! Until next time,