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Mom Sparks Drama By Wishing Herself ‘Happy Teacher Appreciation Week’ For Helping Son With Online School

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Parents were forced to wear many hats during the pandemic. Their new self-isolation lifestyle included working remotely, being a mom or dad, and helping their kids with virtual learning.

And while their endeavors during a challenging time were worthy of praise, Redditor ChocCheesecake08—a 31-year-old woman who teaches middle school—drew the line after reading a comment about education posted by a friend.

When she confronted this person, it did not end well.

She visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit and asked:

“AITA for refusing to wish my friend happy teacher appreciation week for simply helping her kid with virtual learning when I’m an actual teacher?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I am a middle school ELA teacher. I have a friend, also [31f], who is not a teacher.”

“She posted on her Facebook page the following message: ‘Happy appreciation week to the real teachers out there: parents! Kids couldn’t do this virtual learning without us!’ followed by a lot of hashtags about being mom strong and what not.”

“I didn’t comment on FB because I’m 31 and don’t do FB arguments. I did, however, bring it up in a conversation we were having over the phone.”

“We were talking about her child’s virtual schooling (he’s 8) when she said how hard teaching is. She says this a lot, but I have always blown it off because I never thought she actually believed she was a teacher until this moment.”

“That’s when I asked her if she really believed that status update she posted, and she said absolutely.”

“She then said she should be paid for teaching her child and that any teacher virtual should not receive their full salary (before you ask, yes, I am full time in the classroom with average 27 kids each bell).”

“I informed her she was not a teacher. She was a parent, and she was doing what she should be doing: parenting.”

“She told me she was because she makes sure her son does his schoolwork. I told her that’s only a fraction of the job, and I have several other things to do like grading, planning, creating activities, data gathering, assessing, parent contact, meetings, etc.”

“She told me I was exaggerating and I should thank her for being involved as well as other parents for doing what she does. That’s when she joked that teachers have an easy job and shouldn’t complain so much.”

“I told her she was being very dismissive and ignorant. She told me that since I do not have kids that I don’t get how hard it is for parents to do their own jobs and mine.”

“I just hung up on her and haven’t spoken to her for two days.”

“Was I the a**hole here? Our friends are all siding with her but my fiancé is siding with me.”

Strangers on the internet were asked to declare one of the following:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

Redditors weighed in with their thoughts—many of whom favored the OP as “not the a**hole” in the situation.

“NTA my pharmacist gave me 3 months of medicine all at once and I have to give it to myself every day on time and I’ve never once considered myself a pharmacist.” – punkass_book_jockey8

“NTA. Does she also put bandaids on her kid’s knee and call herself a doctor?! Virtual school is hard for everyone, but it doesn’t make her a teacher.”

“You’d think with this newfound appreciation she seems to have for teachers, she’d be advocating for you instead of suggesting you be paid less.” – Jaded_Cryptographer

“SO EFFING IGNORANT. Virtual teaching is NOT some vacation for teachers, it is literally THREE TIMES more work. It is brutal, unrelenting, unappreciated, and utterly exhausting.”

“Your friend is self-centered and completely clueless — about teaching AND, yes, parenting. (Also very hard, especially now … but not teaching.)” – Fiotes

“And even ‘rather in the classroom’ right now looks like teaching half of your class at home, while simultaneously coming up with assignments for the kids at home that are meaningful, will actually teach them something, and are something they can accomplish on their own.”

“Virtual teaching is twice as much work as regular school, and hybrid is three times as much work.”

“I had to take a sub yesterday due to an emergency medical procedure, and it was a nightmare. Spent 3 hours the night before writing sub plans for in person, still worked all day in between doctors visits to continue lesson planning, and am still hopelessly behind where I should be at this time in the week and will be spending many many hours over the weekend catching up.”

“Let this school year end!”

“And then to hear the countless parents thinking they are ‘teaching’ their kid, when they help them answer a question that the teacher A) taught the kid the content for through Zoom/Google Meet B) planned and prepared how to teach that content and C) spent 10x longer creating a digital assignment to practice that content.”

“Not to mention then grading it and spending countless hours emailing and meeting with the kids and families who refuse to do any of the work. NTA.” – thisisultimate

“NTA. Jesus Christ, I can’t imagine knowing someone so conceited and ignorant.”

“Thank you for what you are doing, especially during virtual learning. Thank you for continuing to teach an important skill that these students need to survive and appropriately articulate their thoughts. Happy Teacher’s Appreciation Week.” – squidulacra

“This. She is not a tenured teacher, just a narcissist who wants praise for something she didn’t do. NTA, OP.” – tolkienphilosopher

“Believes she is a teacher. Helps her kid with the schoolwork that was designed and planned by an expert, who has years of experience and a masters degree under their belt.”

“No lessons planning: no teacher. She might get away with calling herself a tutor. Helping your kids with schoolwork (or organizing them help) is the bare minimum. NTA.”

“I can’t even believe that🤦‍♀️ I hope she won’t start to criticize the teacher for didactic choices she knows nothing about. Imagine us telling a plumber what to do. However, with teaching suddenly everyone knows how to do it better despite no knowledge on psychology, didactics or empirical data.”

“Also imagine being overwhelmed with one kid to the point that you feel the need to falsely label yourself as a professional. We can only be thankful that she isn’t a real teacher with 30 kids to care for.” – kybelespriestess

Many Redditors continued sharing their frustrations with the OP and agreed her friend did not deserve the title of being anything more than a parent/tutor.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a New York-based actor and writer. Originally hailing from Los Angeles, he received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese. Disney parks are his passion, and endless cups of coffee are a necessity. Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1