I Teach Therefore I Drink: What Message Does This Send? From Julia and Jaime
To write I've never wanted a drink after a long day at work would be a lie. To write I need to drink because I am an educator would also be a lie, and incredibly irresponsible. Jaime Alvis, the Director of Educational Programs at Responsibility.org, recently sent me this link to a shirt that reads: "I TEACH therefore I DRINK". She was irritated by the message and wanted to know my thoughts.
First and foremost, the grammar and punctuation errors should deter any teacher from wearing the shirt. Also, the slogan is ridiculous. A quick Google search will yield hundreds of similar items, ranging from Pinterest quotes, to wine glasses, to bumper stickers. Why? What message does this send to students? Parents? The public? It's supposed to be a joke, I understand. But here's the thing: it's not funny. We teach our kids about being responsible on social media, so why don't we practice what we preach? What do you think, Jaime?
Seriously, Julia. While I can understand the sentiment, it’s not funny. I've just finished the first of a two-year graduate program in school counseling and I was in a Middle School last semester to see first-hand the challenges educators face. To say teachers, and all other education professionals, have a tough job would be an understatement. It’s challenging to maintain the level of energy required to manage, let alone teach, a group of school-aged children every day. I get it. There's always a crisis. You have to juggle behavior issues with making sure they understand important lessons and are achieving age-appropriate learning outcomes.
Some days are better than others and I know there are also students out there who inspire you. Parents, students, peers, and colleagues who will see this are being sent a terrible message about your use of alcohol as a stress-reducer.
What is a healthy way you unwind after a long day of teaching?
K-12 Certified School Counselor
Responsibility.org Director, Educational Programs
*The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) or any Responsibility.org member.*