Dear Abby: Downtrodden High School Spanish Teacher Is Ready To Quit
DEAR ABBY: My husband’s job brings him a lot of sadness, but he doesn’t want to quit. He was a high school Spanish teacher for 13 years. It was the only career he had ever known. There have always been ups and downs, but the problems in recent years seem to be that the majority of children in his school, and the school environment in general, have become increasingly apathetic, dysfunctional and lacking in civility. .
He hesitates because he knows that if he left, he would lose the interaction with the few children who make his working days worthwhile, plus he would forfeit his pension. He is afraid that another job, if there is even one he is qualified for, will make him unhappy in a different way. He comes home seriously downtrodden more days than he comes home feeling good, let alone happy, and I feel so helpless. What should I do? — A NEW YORK TEACHER’S WIFE
DEAR WIFE: Remind your husband how important the work he does is and that his efforts are appreciated by at least some of the students he tries to teach. He performs a service that will help caring children for the rest of their lives. I speak from experience.
When I was in high school, like many teenagers who had no exposure to international travel, I thought the whole world spoke English. My heroic Spanish teacher, Sr. Ruben Beltran, somehow managed to force a rudimentary knowledge of Spanish grammar and vocabulary into my shrunken head. I’ve used what he taught me so many times, as Spanish has become more and more common in the southwestern part of the United States, where I live.
In years to come, students who make the effort will remember your husband with respect and gratitude. Please tell him I said so and don’t take the malfunction personally. Over the past few years, I have often thought that group therapy should be offered in the staff room. PS If he continues to be unhappy, he might benefit from talking to his financial adviser and possibly a career adviser about his options. He should also keep an eye out for other jobs while he is still employed at school.
DEAR ABBY: I started dating a guy two months ago. It’s going really well. I believe we are both on the same page when it comes to our investment in the relationship. My brother and sister-in-law are having an informal wedding reception next month here in my town, as they had originally arranged a forced marriage. It’s supposed to be very casual. This guy met my sister-in-law, and right in front of him, she mentioned that I could bring a guest.
I laughed it off at the time. It’s not that I don’t want him there, I’m just wondering if it’s too early to invite him to an event where my whole family will be and if it looks like I’m rushing the relationship. Should I tell him he’s welcome or is it too early? — UNCERTAIN IN THE WEST
DEAR UNCERTAIN: Because this person knows about the party, why not ask them if they would be “interested” in going? I don’t think telling someone they’re welcome sounds pushy.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.