Monday, June 24, 2013

You might be a badass if...

I was wondering, "Am I really a badass teacher?" So, I thought about what might make me a badass.

You might be a badass if you sit in professional development meetings and wonder why they sent you since you already do these things in your classroom. Moreover, you have told your colleagues about this, or maybe you tweeted it to your followers. In any case, for you, the professional development was not time well spent.

You might be a badass if your motivation to get work done for your class is because the kids will be better for it.

You might be a badass if you think merit pay would be stupid. How the hell do you figure out which teachers merit more pay than another? Test scores? Really? You want me to get higher test scores? Since when did higher test scores mean someone learned more or taught better?

You might be a badass if you spend evenings, at your own direction, reading about education, lessons, or subject matter knowledge. Why? Because it's fun.

You might be a badass if you spent your own money on supplies you used in the classroom.

You might be a badass if you were lesson planning and got pretty excited and couldn't wait to go to work tomorrow to show the kids the lesson!

You might be badass if you often think about how your lessons went that day and try to figure out how to make them better tomorrow.

You might be a badass if you saw a good idea and stole it immediately to use in a lesson tomorrow.

You might be a badass if part of your daily conversation with a spouse or friend is about how things went in class today. You might be a bigger badass if you worry aloud to said listener about how much the kids are learning and what you can do to help them.

You might be a badass if you ever started listening to the awful music your students listen to because you wanted to understand them better. Or, you watched the same TV shows or movies and oddly found yourself enjoying them.

You might be a badass if you have ever had a kid tell you something that broke your heart because you suddenly realized how hard their life was.

You might be a badass if you have filed a report for the police because you suspected child abuse because you were paying enough attention to notice.

You are definitely a badass if you filed a report because a kid trusted you enough to be the teacher they told about their abuse.

You might be a badass if kids are frequently telling you how much they like your class. The chances you are a badass is even higher if you teach high school and this happens. The chances further increase if the kids also complain about how hard your class is, how much work they have to do, and how you never watch movies, and you're their favorite teacher.

You might be a badass if you spent several days over the summer getting ready in your room getting ready for the year. You cleaned, decorated, straightened and organized so everything would be right when the kids showed up.

You might be a badass if your principal doesn't like you. (This one isn't always true. It's possible your an a-hole. You will need a few more badass traits than just this one. Just saying.)

You might be a badass if you speak at board meetings.

You might be a badass if your principal avoids you or is scared of you. There could be non-badass reasons they are afraid of you, granted. But, if you are a badass, your principal is scared of you because you speak the truth. This truth often makes more work for them. Many principals hate getting more work to do. Also, this truth might make them feel stupid. Or expose their stupidity. Principals really hate that.

You might be a badass if students try to take your class again next year. You are almost certainly a badass if even the kids who wouldn't work, wouldn't stop talking, and got in trouble with you also want to take your class again. Like, seriously? After all of that you still want to be in my class? Why? (It might be because you're a badass teacher!)

You might be a badass if you are watching a show or movie and think, "Oh, this would be really good to help explain that thing the kids are having trouble understanding."

You are almost certainly a badass if you get a copy of that thing and show it to them the next day.

You might be a badass if your kids didn't realize they were learning in class because they enjoyed it.

You might be a badass if kids didn't realize class was almost over. "That's it? Oh, wow, that went by fast!"

You might be a badass if kids want to eat lunch in your room. And breakfast, sometimes.

You might be a badass if kids say hi to you when they see you out of class.

You might be a badass if you're reading an article and want to read it with your class so you make copies and rearrange lessons so you can share it with them.

You might be a badass if you like going to teacher supply stores.

You might be a badass if you get angry when you have to do test prep during class time. You do it anyway and you might not say anything to the kids but you're still mad that you're wasting time going over test prep strategies. If you figure out a way to disguise your regular lesson as test prep, you are almost certainly a badass.

You might be a badass if you think standardized testing is stupid and a horrible way to judge how much a kid has learned that year.

You might be a badass if you realized that one of the biggest reasons for the push for Common Core is so textbook makers only have to make one book for all the states instead of multiple versions for various state standards.

You might be a badass if you're tired of people disrespecting teachers and you are sick of hearing how easy your job is, how short your hours are, and how long your "paid vacations" are. You'd love to have them try to control a classroom full of runny noses, whining, giggling, and waving hands that have to go to the bathroom. Or a room full of hormones, flirting with each other, giggling, and nasty comments to the other kid they hate that may or may not erupt into a fight. Even better, you'd like to send them with 30 homework packets, or 165 essays to grade. If not that, you'd like to have them do some lesson planning, just so they can get an idea of your "easy" job and "short" hours. Then, you'd like to let them live off your paycheck after all of that, especially when they can do some professional development and curriculum planning during "vacation" while you don't get paycheck, or if you do, it's because the district got to hold it, interest free.

You are almost certainly a badass if you want to do something about all of it. You want to stand up and be heard. You want to stop the testing, the valued-added evaluations, the merit pay proposals. You'd much rather have up to date text books, carpet without stains and holes, desks without writing on them, computers that work, up to date software. You'd probably murder to get more boxes of tissues, more paper, more pencils and pens, more copies and the ability to get a bulb for your projector or ink for your printer at the time it needs it and not in a week or two.

If you care about students, care how much they learn, take your job seriously, and get pissed when you know what could be done to help kids but get told, "We don't have the money for that," or "We need to see if that fits into the site plan before we can implement that." If you're tired of being treated like a curriculum delivery device rather than a professional practitioner of a craft that is part art and and part science. If you're tired of people saying "It's for the kids!" when it's clearly being done in the interest of adults, then you are probably a badass



  1. I have wondered the same about myself...!! Guess what? I AM a badass!! Thanks for the validation

  2. Can we get Jeff Foxworthy to read this as either a PSA or on YouTube or anything? This is badass!

  3. Ive been a Bad-ASS... for 40 + years

  4. I scored 27 out of 34 of these, or 79%. I guess that makes me a proficient badass, but not an exemplary one.

  5. Thank you all for the compliments. I am glad you enjoyed the post. Personally, I think being badass is already exemplary. I don't think there are gradations of badassery. Badass is already the top of the scale. :) Welcome to the club!

  6. Federal education policies, as usual, are akin to filling potholes. Instead of looking to create more solid roads by improving teacher education and certification standards, instead of encouraging parents to provide a better foundation for their children, they naively believe that they can turn things around by making teachers "accountable" for test scores. Sure, we already have a society over-obsessed with quantities of money; let's further feed the quantity-fetish by making society even more mark-obsessed than it already is.

  7. Badass without a doubt and a old one at that which makes me a miserable old badass... the worst kind lol


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