Anyone can be a Teacher…It’s sooooo easy!
When I was in college I had quite a few friends major in Education. They were going to become teachers. I thought about it. I considered it. But for some reason I never switched majors. I majored in the “oh so marketable” Psychology. Yep. Hear me now if you are in high school…there is not a large market for people with Bachelor Degrees in Psychology. Or Latin. Or Philosophy. Just trust me.
So anyway..teachers…what an easy job, huh? I mean how hard could it be? You jot down a few lesson plans that the district already basically outlines for you. You get to decorate your room in all cute colors. You have sweet little ones hugging you all day and thanking you and bringing you gifts. You spend half of your day on the playground or in the teacher’s lounge eating & hanging out & gossiping with your teacher friends. And then you’re off work at 3:00 everyday. What a racket. Why did I not major in Education?
My Mom was a public school teacher. For quite a few years. In fact she taught at MY high school. Mortifying, I know! I think most of her students really liked her. I guess she was a pretty cool teacher. Sarcastic, witty, smart…what’s not to like? Plus when I needed money I just sauntered down to her room and bummed money off of her. Convenient when I needed her. However, when I maybe possibly MIGHT have gone into Mexico on my senior trip to South Padre Island after I promised my parents I wouldn’t somehow my Mom found out. Somehow she found out EVERYTHING I did. So I guess there were negatives & positives to having her there.
So I got first hand knowledge of what public school teachers REALLY do. Because I lived with one. And because I went to public school. For K-12 and then to a state school for college. And there’s a secret glamorous side to teaching that some don’t realize exists.
Those lesson plans the district provides are a general guideline for all students. Assuming all students learn the same. But they don’t. So teachers know that for each student in each class they have to teach differently. They have to cater to that student’s needs. They have to find a special way to get through to that particular kid. So they tweak & change those lesson plans a 1000 times to fit the needs of their kids. All of their kids. Those decorations they “GET” to put up. Well…there are very limited funds for that so usually 80% of what my Mom bought to decorate was out of her own pocket. You know- those deep pockets from that HUGE teacher’s salary. And sometimes those sweet kids are not so sweet. They cry, leak, scream, argue, call you names, roll their eyes at you, and tell their parent’s their own version of what transpired that day. And those hours in the teacher’s lounge scarfing down your lunch in the 5 minutes you have are also used to make calls to parents, make copies, have conferences and squeeze in every other thing you don’t have time for.
My Mom (and many other teachers I know) spent their own money & their own time buying supplies for kids that couldn’t afford them. Finding prom dresses for girls who wouldn’t have had one otherwise & paying for prom tickets. Staying late & coming in early for students who had to work at a job & got very little sleep and needed extra time to do tests or help with work. They knew when kids had problems at home or family issues and made time to talk to them or help them or find them the help they needed. They were parents, counselors, disciplinarians, educators, cooks, mess-cleaner-uppers, referees, peace-makers and a million other things.
99% of the teachers I ever had were incredible. They were funny & caring & selflessly gave of their time. And not one of them EVER got off at 3:00. After school meetings, conferences, kids needing make up tests, grading papers, preparing lessons and a myriad of other things prevented that. Teaching is a 24 hour job. I am so grateful for every teacher I ever had. I am thankful my Mom was a teacher. I am thankful for my kids’ teachers. I am thankful I never changed my major to Education because I DO NOT HAVE THE BACKBONE FOR THAT KIND OF COMBAT! Thank you teachers. All teachers. You are amazing and you are UNDERPAID!