Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dare You To Trade For A Day

And don't forget
to smile!
In honor of American Education week, I thought I would give teachers some support.  We usually only hear about the crappy ones in the news, but we all know that none of us would be able to read, write or pretend to know math if it weren't for teachers.  The job is not for the fainthearted.  I don't want to say anything, but I think we know that's why elementary education teachers are primarily women.  

There are always lots of people who act as if teaching is a cushy job and that anyone who is a teacher took the easy way out in regard to working.  To hear some people talk, teachers make way more money than they deserve and have a cake schedule, and therefore really shouldn't complain about anything.  I have heard this kind of thinking from well-educated business people as well as blue collar people.  Why the hate friends?

Rather than start a debate, I thought I would just throw out some points and let those who think being a teacher is easy have some food for thought.  And for the rest of us who know better, we can make smug faces and say things like "Yeah!  What do you think about that!"

When you have to go to the bathroom, you just get up and go.  You take as long as you need.  You don't have to wait for any special assigned time.  Heaven forbid you are having some stomach issues, you can go back and forth as much as you need.  You don't have to take a day off from work just to have freedom to use the bathroom.  (caveat - if you are going to stink up the work bathroom all day, just know your co-workers are completely going to talk about you and say mean things; consider taking the day off).

The obtuse and difficult
must be treated with
kindness at all times.
You're thirsty and your coffee cup/ water bottle is empty?  Sucks to be you.  You have to wait until the designated time to leave your room to refill.  Oh don't have to do that?  You can just get a drink when you're thirsty?  Maybe it doesn't suck to be you.

When you take your lunch break, you typically get an hour - give or take a few minutes.  You don't get 45 minutes, 10 of which are spent delivering and picking up your class from the lunchroom.  There's no give or take a few minutes, you are due back right on time, every time.  Don't forget to fit in going to the bathroom.  And doesn't everyone love to eat microwaved lunch from home every. single. day. and never get the chance or have enough time to go out to lunch?  Remember, some schools are not in good neighborhood, you can't always even take a walk to get some fresh air.

People making six-figure salaries (and higher) many of you have only a bachelor's degree?  For teachers to make any amount of money they have to at least have a master's degree.  Many have a master's plus 30 or 60 and they have dual certification in their field.  Some even have doctorates.  Regardless of education and seniority, you would be hard put to find many teachers making six-figure salaries.

If you are a supervisor of any nature...when you make a presentation to your employees they either listen or pretend to listen.  They do not talk over you.  They do not throw things at each other.  They do not make fart noises or actually fart or burp.  When you are making your major point during your presentation, no one yells out and waves their hand around (distracting the people paying attention) and asks if they can go to the bathroom.  When you are done presenting or sharing important information or directions, no one asks if they have to know it for the test.  Everyone you are speaking to gets that you are telling them stuff they need to know.

If someone at work were to actually do any of the above-listed things you could totally call them on it.  You wouldn't have to worry about injuring their self-esteem.  As long as you don't drop the f-bomb, you're probably okay.  No employee who has been fairly reprimanded will bring their mother in to yell at you and call you a liar and tell you that you are picking on their kid.

A test?  So then, I should
write this down?
Children are annoying!!  Imagine the person you least like to work with and then trap yourself in a room with 25-30 of them.  Now remember, no matter what they do or how ridiculous they are, you cannot tell them they are annoying.  It is your job to help them find better ways to behave.  Oh, and if they don't care to cooperate, it's your job to find more ways to help them.  Ditto getting their work done.  Employees have to do their job or they risk getting fired/not getting paid.  If a kid refuses to do his work, that's your fault.  His parents will make sure you know it's your fault.  Further, you will have to come up with ways to make the work more appealing to said child so he will consider doing his work.  All failed attempts are your fault.  The child and his  parent are in no way to blame.

I assume I am making my point.  Being a teacher is hard.  And remember, these highly educated people pick to do it because they like it and want to help educate children and make the world a better place.  Hhmmm, when I say it like that it kind of makes teachers sound like big, tree-hugging, stuck up geeks who think they are better than we are.  I mean they are and everything, but I don't think we need it rubbed in our faces that their job is pretty much more important than most other jobs (even though no one admits it).  Come on, you think your doctor taught himself to tell you it's just stress and you're fine and that you're not having a heart attack and quit calling the office 100 times a day?  No.  A teacher taught him that.


  1. LOVE this!! If I could figure out how to make those little heart thingies, I'd do that, too. Great post!!!

  2. I have a degree in special education. I never taught because I was not patient or disciplined enough to complete my student teaching. From where I am now, I see that I am making more than I would as a teacher and can go to the bathroom whenever I want. Not to mention, I am sitting here at "work" in my bedroom wearing my pj's.

    On the other hand, I am not molding the minds of any young people and do have some regrets. I KNOW that teachers who have to deal with children like mine deserve at LEAST 6 figures, if not more. Many of the other people in my department never went to college.. sigh

  3. Good points!

    My son is 2.5 and therefore not in school yet, however he goes to daycare.
    We are VERY lucky that we have a daycare that only has 5 kids but 3!!! caregivers watching them.
    I know, it is amazing. I totally have to blog about it.
    Why do they refuse to take in more kids?
    Because they want to provide the best environment for them. They want to teach them and give them the best start into school life they can get.
    This is exceptional.
    We are blessed that Ace can go to this daycare.

    Having said that, they are 3 people and still they are busy. Kids will keep you busy.
    I have tons of respect for what they are doing and teaching my child.

    So on that note, I think it is amazing what teachers accomplish who have 20 kids in class.

  4. I used to teach high school and at both schools where I taught, we only got 25 minutes for lunch. The students also only got 25 mins. Barbaric!

  5. I am "only" a substitute teacher, so I don't deal with the parents or administration headaches. I don't have to take papers home to grade or make lesson plans. But I deal with the other stuff you mentioned, and get less respect because I'm not a "real" teacher. And yet, without me, those "real" teachers would not be able to take a day off to go to the bathroom constantly or to stay home with a sick child.

    From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

  6. So, you have been listening all these years. Who knew?
    Your mother loves you.

  7. *standing ovation!!!*
    THANK YOU. My SIL starts her student teaching in Jan and graduates in May to become a HS Math teacher. She has worked her booty off and had to take these killer math classes that are ridonkulous - I asked WHY? You would never teach that! It's so she can learn how to learn to better help the students, she knows how it is to not get something, she knows what it feels like to think you'll never use this again... wow. Never thought of that before. She just told me the other day that she never realized how much crap teachers go through. I'm proud to say she continues going forward and will be an awesome teacher!

  8. You really get what it's like for teachers. Thank you. :)

  9. I must have missed this the first time around....I love it.


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