My parents taught us all not to say the words "shut up." To say that to someone--to silence them--was seen as the height of disrespect.
On the heels of my recent experience where someone badgered me into a melt-down, I have been processing some of their talking points. One is a phrase that I've had said to me that I have never said to anyone I work with before: "You do too much."
This is typically relayed to me when talking about work situations. Variations are "You do too much for your students" or "You put too much effort into X." Perhaps. Maybe I do. But that's not for anyone else to determine. I don't work for the paycheck (although I don't turn the money down). If I wanted a job where I punched a time clock, I certainly never would have entered the teaching field.
And I would never tell a peer they "do too much." Who am I to say that to someone? I have many valued colleagues who put in as much or more time and effort into teaching as I do; we worry about how our students are doing. We want to provide them with opportunities to succeed. I don't happen to think that's a wrong thing to do.
Another comment that I've been pondering is this statement, which sometimes shows up in student evaluations in various forms, too: "You belong at a traditional university." OK, I've been there and done that. I did that for 1/2 of my 20+ years in teaching. I have to say, teaching Composition and Literature at the undergraduate level is pretty much the same no matter where you are (unless the school strips it down so much that it is palatable for the customers--I'm looking at for-profits here, which are starting to tumble). The student issues I see now with undergrads are not really any different than those I saw on-ground.
But you know what? By suggesting that I should go teach at a "real" school you are insulting our college and insulting the students in our classes. And students who make those comments that I try to teach ENG101 as a "graduate class" you're selling yourself short and abdicating the responsibility you have as a learner. If I were making you read and write about a novel every week and completely ignoring the system assignments and assessments I can see where you would get that; however, by saying that I (and by extension every instructor at our school who holds you to the curriculum) teach it like a graduate course is actually insulting to you.
So, here's my challenge. Stop telling your colleagues they are doing too much. Saying that isn't about them--it's about your own feelings of failure that you're not doing enough. And students--stop saying that instructors that hold you responsible for your own learning are trying to hold you to graduate student standards. We're not. Step up to the challenge and do what you have to do to meet the bar rather than blaming the bar for being where it is.