Julie Marburger in Texas left work early on March 28 after an incident with a parent left her “unable emotionally to continue for the day”.
Marburger knows people will say she “shouldn’t be posting such things on social media” but the Cedar Creek local “DOES NOT CARE”.
“I have never heard of a profession where people put so much of their heart and soul into their job, taking time and resources from their home and family, and getting paid such an insultingly measly amount,” she wrote.
“Most parents can’t stand to spend more than a couple hours a day with their kid, but we spend eight with yours and 140 others just like him. Is it too much to ask for a little common courtesy and civil conversation?”
The primary school teacher was planning on leaving the profession at the end of this year – what would be her third year teaching – but is now considering bringing her quit-date forward.
“Parents have become far too disrespectful, and their children are even worse,” she wrote. “Administration always seems to err on the side of keeping the parent happy, which leaves me with no way to do the job I was hired to do…teach kids.”
Marburger says limited classroom budgets mean teachers often pay for classroom supplies and decorations out of the own pockets.
She also shared images showing items and bookshelves she says were damaged or destroyed by students. “These are my personal possessions or ones I purchased myself,” she wrote.
Then, there are the report cards.
Marburger says she’s been forced to fail several students this term after they didn’t bother handing in assignments, even though she chased and reminded them (and their parents) frequently.
She’s concerned the students won’t be disciplined for their disappointing report cards, instead it will be she who receives the backlash.
“Most of these students and their parents haven’t seemed to care about this over the past three months, though weekly reports go out, emails have been sent and phone calls have been attempted,” she wrote.
“But now I’m probably going to spend my entire week next week fielding calls and emails from irate parents, wanting to know why I failed their kid.
“My administrator will demand an explanation of why I let so many fail without giving them support, even though I’ve done practically everything short of doing the work for them.”
Marburger says she “expects this” because it is “what has happened at the end of every other term thus far”.
We speak to an expert about whether it’s acceptable to bribe your kid to do well at school with money. Post continues below.
Marburger’s not making the decision to leave teaching lightly, and says she is “heartbroken” at the reality facing people in her profession.
“My heart is broken to have become so disillusioned in these short two years,” she wrote.
“People absolutely HAVE to stop coddling and enabling their children.
“Any passion for this work I once had has been wrung completely out of me. Maybe I can be the voice of reason. THIS HAS TO STOP.”
She’s not alone, either.
The reaction to her post has been phenomenal. It’s been shared more than 350,000 times and received almost 300,000 reactions.
The resounding feeling from commenters is one of utter support, with many sharing similar experiences.
“I was physically assaulted by a student, then had the parents try to do the same thing to me in front of the district and ‘union rep’,” one woman commented.
Another person said: “[My daughter] lost her fifth grade teacher mid-year… She just didn’t come back one day. She had been repeatedly threaten by a student, with physically violent acts. I’d walk away too. This environment sounds abusive really.”
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One commenter said she knows someone who’s experienced abuse from parents, also:
“I saw Jon struggle with the frustration of teaching high school and having the same problems. He was constantly getting phone calls from parents wanting to know why their kids failing… and the kids never doing their work.”
And there are many people in agreement that children need discipline, not “coddling”.
“Kids need attention and support and love. In the right directions. With discipline. They need to know consequences even in the real world. I hope these kids find another outlet other than the classroom,” one person commented.
Another said: “Things have certainly changed since we were young. Bring home bad marks and our parents were all over us with punishments until we did better. I fear for the future of the country if this is what we have done to education.”
Marburger believes teachers in the US are “leaving the profession in droves” and that it’s the lack of respect from parents, and minimal of support from school administrators, causing this.
Her experience is based solely off the US system, but what about teachers in Australia?
Is the same sentiment – that’s gone viral across the Pacific – felt here, also?
Tell us what you think in the comments below.