Teachers as SEALs of the Classroom
Jack McDermott

This is a great read. As a middle and high school teacher, who is also an Iraq Veteran, it drives you mad to see people like me being judged on nothing but military based stereotypes. It ranges from cliches about the military mindset, to flat out being afraid of leaving me with their children, to assuming I am really trying to brainwash their kids into military service.

Of course, others only look at me like I will somehow revolutionize every program I am in with “door kicking” go-getter mentalities, which isn’t how any human outside of the movies really acts. Everyone expects a degree of excellence and then say things like, “Oh, well you should just try to all be like the most heavily funded, highest trained, most supported operators on the planet.” Yes, we’ve thought of that actually, and once we get that type of support, we’ll see how well it all turns out.

When they don’t see the miraculous level of performance they don’t expect from their other teachers, (or employees in any job) somehow, I’ve become the failure, not because I didn’t do well, but because I didn’t live up to the impossible mythos you’ve created to grade me on, far in excess of your other employees. I do a great job at what I do, but when you hire a Marine to be a teacher, but you really wanted them to be like a SEAL, and all you got was a teacher who outperforms all the others in your employ… you have no right to be disappointed. You have a great teacher, but you were foolish in that you intended to get a Special Forces Operator, are paying for a Boy Scout, and aren’t happy with “just a veteran.”