The Gaslighting of Teachers, Professors, and Education Administrators: The Elephant in the Room
Gaslighting in education has been the elephant in the room for centuries. If you don’t know what gaslighting is, it is a form of psychological manipulation where victims are made to constantly doubt themselves. It forces the person to doubt their feelings, memories, and themselves. In the worst scenario, victims of gaslighting start to question their mental stability. In this piece, I want to discuss gaslighting as it pertains to education professionals.
The Gaslighting of Education Professionals
If you work in the field of education in the capacity of a teacher, professor, education administrator, etc., you know all too well what gaslighting is. Although I am no longer employed at a school or university, I remember the feeling of being labeled as whiny when I complained about the lack of resources, the low pay, and the lack of schoolwide discipline. In response, I was essentially told that I should not complain “because I signed up for this.”
I was never ever at the point where I questioned my sanity, but I did get to the point where I questioned whether the profession I loved, loved me back. I was tired of being gaslighted and tired of having my concerns and critiques be censored and silenced. Education professionals should work in a safe environment; they should expect to be respected and be paid a living wage. As professionals, we have to start to demand these civil liberties, even if people within our own profession don’t believe the same.
Covid and Gaslighting
I was disgusted at the treatment that I saw teachers endure during Covid-19. Although the conditions inside schools were not safe, teachers were expected to be good little soldiers and put their lives and the lives of their families in jeopardy by continuing to teach. Those that choose their health over teaching were called selfish and cruel. They also faced public scrutiny, as the health experts exclaimed that teaching during the epidemic was not a health risk. The experts were obviously wrong about that.
Let’s face it, in this post-Covid world, a lot of our education professionals are still suffering from the trauma that they experience in 2021. Many of them lost family members due to their decision to continue to work during the pandemic. The grief alone is tearing a lot of people apart. We can’t continue to overlook gaslighting as an acceptable part of the job. No, it is not acceptable to me and will never be.
What do you think about gaslighting in education? Do you see it as an acceptable practice? Or do you see it as a severe problem that must be addressed? Regardless of what you think, the truth is, the education field is losing its best and its brightest because of it. High School students heading into college also see the disrespectful and vulgar stance that the general public has taken towards teachers, and they want no parts of it. That should tell you all that you need to know about the issue at hand.