Teaching has made me a better person! However, as much as I love my job, we don’t always get a fair perspective from the public. Let me share with you just a few things you may not know about the wonderful profession of teaching.
- So, you’re a teacher, right? Teaching is just one of the hats that we wear. We are mentors, leaders, sponsors, counselors, listeners and learners. Most teachers are also very active in their communities. I find myself being a teacher everywhere I go. I teach at school, I teach classes at my local gym, and I teach little ones in Sunday school at church. I teach young people how to be leaders in their communities. Teaching comes natural; it’s in my DNA!
- Teachers only work until 3:00, it must be nice. I challenge you to observe a school after the students have been dismissed and I bet majority of the faculty parking lot will remain packed. Teachers are hard workers and most times we need to stay after work hours to modify lessons, grade papers, contact parents, assess daily work to gauge our instruction, etc. According to a survey conducted in 2012 of 10,000 public school teachers, here’s how they spent their time:
- almost five hours on instruction.
- 45 minutes planning, preparing, or collaborating with colleagues
- about 36 minutes on student supervision and discipline.
- 36 minutes grading, documenting, and analyzing student work.
- just under 15 minutes communicating with parents via email, phone, or face-to-face meetings.
- Wait, you can’t go to the bathroom at free will? This is true. We teachers like to say that we have trained our bladders for the school year. We have to find time to squeeze in visits to the restroom. It’s not uncommon to see a teacher making a mad dash to the bathroom between transition bells.
- My child’s teacher doesn’t do anything for my child. It makes me so sad to hear a parent say these words. I wish that you could see what goes on in a classroom. We go above and beyond the line of duty. For example, have you not seen a teacher at Wal-Mart with a cart full of school supplies? The public may think that is for their own children but in all actuality, we are constantly purchasing materials and supplies for our students that are in need. Personally, I have even paid for a few haircuts to keep my students from getting dress codes and paid a few lunch tabs so that my students weren’t embarrassed by an overdue balance. We gladly do whatever it takes to make the climate of our classrooms a positive and comfortable experience.
- Teaching must be easy, you get 3 months off! Well, actually we are off in the month of June and July not August. However, most teachers are guilty of using their 2 month summer break revamping their lesson plans to better fit their students needs or spending the summer as a learner by attending professional development workshops.
- Yeah, I heard on the news about how awful teachers are… Just like any profession there are ‘rotten apples’. I can assure you that population consists of only a small percentage of those in our profession. Unfortunately, majority of all hard-working, effective teachers are not recognized by the media for their efforts but nonetheless there are multitudes upon multitudes of wonderful teachers doing incredible work in classrooms in every community.
- I don’t like to answer the phone when the school calls. Most times when teachers call home, it’s for three reasons:
- We call because your child has missed several days of school and we are concerned about he/she falling behind.
- We call to brag on an achievement or a wonderful thing that your child did that we would like to share with you.
- We call to voice either a behavioral or academic concern for your child and we want the parents and teachers to be on the same side to help the student succeed. I encourage you to be actively involved with your child’s education and don’t hesitate to answer the phone.
Teachers are PATIENT. Teachers are KIND. Teachers are AWESOME!