Today I was once again reminded of a strange standard we hold in our society.
Perhaps you have heard of this Boston area teaching assistant who has recently been in hot water with her employer due to her second job as a model.
Or, you may have heard of this horribly horrible terribly horrible quite horrible sexist horrible horribly terrible man (and I link to terrible because I associate him more with terrible than with man, honestly) who was finally arrested after threatening and harassing countless women, publicly declaring to ruin their lives. This guy would go out of his way to find scandalous photos of women, or Photoshop and just create fake scandalous photos of women, just to gleefully watch as their careers plummeted because of his doing.
Are these top two stories related? Not sure. But you know what else happened today? Justin Bieber was arrested, and I bet more people were up in arms over this than what is happening in Kiev, because he is a celebrity and an entertainer. And ok, I get that. I work with entertainment, and I know a boatload of entertainers. I’m humbled and honored by some of the artists I have worked with or met and discussed with. Heck, I am humbled by my own bandmates.
If you read my blog, you know that I am often disgruntled by the perception of a career in the arts in modern society, and how hard it can be to make a career as a performer.
However, I also get quite worked up over how much is expected from our educators and how quick our society is to hate on teachers. How many other professions require you to be college educated, sometimes with a required master’s degree, certified by state, and to continue education after you land a job…but then pay less than the majority of other jobs that require this type of skill set? And then ask you to be a teacher, parent, friend, and more? To monitor bullying…when children are not in your classroom? To be blamed for your student’s grades, and threatened by standardized testing? The list goes on.
And on top of this, an educator has to monitor their outside of work activity to minute detail. Even being a musician outside of school can be a huge problem, and I know this from my friends who perform and also teach in schools. Not just because they have to watch the image they put out there outside of the school district, but because students will bully them online. Yes. Your child may have the gall to go on their teacher’s music page and make fun of them and harass them! Isn’t that nice? That’s a whole other issue, though. Bullying has become such an online event that it’s impossible for teachers and schools to keep it under control when the majority of bullying occurs on social media, when children are in their parents homes or hanging out with friends.
Speaking of bullying. All of these teachers, or even other women, who lose jobs or come under fire for their other jobs…yes, we can admit that Kaitlin Pearson’s photos were risky and risque. Does it impact how well she can teach, or help students with special needs? I don’t know her, but I am guessing not. So, for all of the people saying Weiner or Spitzer or Clinton’s outside of work activities had nothing to do with how well they perform their jobs…would you say the same for Pearson? Or does it matter more to you because she worked in a school? And if you’re holding a school on a higher pedestal than the White House, does that re-evaluate your thoughts on teachers at all?
This leads me to another point that constantly irritates me. Again, let me stress how I think our society’s slant on math and science over arts is messy. However, how can modeling ruin your career when your job is teaching, but drugs, DUI, theft, domestic violence, etc, seem to do little harm to those in entertainment? You may say it is because teachers directly influence children and young adults. To which I say…and celebrities don’t?
Chris Brown still had a career after his incident with Rihanna. Michael Vick? Lindsay Lohan? Paris? Little Wayne? Is it because we put these people on such a pedestal due to celebrity, that these run ins don’t have such stopping power in a career? You may argue that these people have not had the same career they once had, but they still work in the same industry. What pop star gets arrested for drunk driving and is forever banished from Hollywood? Heck, throw everyone in a room together and you have another low budget, no brainer reality show.
What I am getting at is…sneeze the wrong way and you can lose your teaching job.
Hit someone with a car while high as a kite in Cloud City? You might have to do a Lifetime movie, or a 20/20 interview.