Today, I found myself in quite an awkward situation.
I visited my Nanna, at which time she had her friend visiting.
My Nanna asked how my PGCE course was going, it had been a while since I saw her last.
I briefly explained how I love every second, how it gives me incredible highs but, how equally, it is incredibly intense and i’m quite drained from it all.
Such question sparked this friend of hers to begin running down the teacher profession, he very rudely interrupted the conversation and snorted at my comment and proceeded to dictate his opinions to the full room. He spoke of how he knows teachers who never leave the house because they work so little, teachers who do nothing to get paid a decent amount. He spoke of how ridiculous of me to say I often do 14 hour days and then spend all weekend planning. Clearly I must have been lying.
And on his zero hours of experience in education, surely he must be right.
He was down right insulting, comments I do not need to go into any further, as I'm sure you can begin to develop a picture.
At this point another family member decided to join in, perhaps joking, but still laughing at my expense.
The tone and harshness of each sentence spoke broke me down just that little bit more.
It went on for what felt like forever, getting worse, putting me down personally, and putting the career down further.
But what did I do? I hear you scream at your computer.
I’m sure you’re thinking that I must’ve really put them in their place.
I sat there. Silently.
& placed all my energy into not crying.
And now, all I can do is think how wrong it was to just be bullied in that way.
How dare two people I respected and trusted put me down in such way?
All I keep thinking is how I should have defended myself.
I should have told them that actually, even though they are fully entitled to their own opinions, I do not have to sit in that room and listen to that sort of discussion.
I know how hard I work, I know how hard teachers work; and I certainly do not need either of their approval on the matter, but, at the same time, have some respect.
I should have told them that never, in a million years, would I have the audacity to walk into a room and put either one of their careers down in such way.
I would never show such disrespect to another person who dedicates so much time to something.
And never, would I be so disrespectful to someone else's livelihood and career.
So why is okay for them to do it?
Because their older? Because I’m younger? Because I’m a female and will never know what ‘real work’ is?
It isn’t okay.
Perhaps I do need to build up my resilience.
& I’ve had sly comments an increasing amount since September, I expect many more.
But this was different. This was so much deeper than a sly dig, or passing comment.
And now, I’m sat here, completely frustrated and actually quite hurt by the situation.
So what now?
I can assure you that next time I will not be taking comments so quietly.
I do not think there is any need to be rude, or disrespectful in return.
However, it is important to defend what you believe and make known that you will not tolerate such comments at your expense.
I regret how I kept quiet today, and it will be different next time.
I’d very much like to see this person try the job out for a few weeks.
I'm interested if you've ever been in a similar situation, what have you done?
It appears as though I’ll be building up my resilience much more, as well as my need to speak up for myself.
Oh, there we have it, my first new years resolution.