Reasons Teachers Are Rock Stars
#TeachersAreRockStars - and by teachers, I mean ALL educators, not just limited to classroom teachers, but librarians, administrators, support staff, etc. Note: I am not a teacher (but I am married to one)
- •Teachers normally work 80+ hours per week (often hitting 100)"100 hours? How is that possible? Even at 12 hours per day for five days, that's only 60 hours!" you say. Oh, you silly 9-5er. Read on...
- •Teachers are severely underpaidYou hear it all the time, but let's look at the facts (taking into account the hours you now know they work). I'm no expert on this, but even in the best areas, starting salaries for full-time teachers are under $40,000 per year. If you have a Masters in Education, you might get into the mid-to-high 40's (of course to receive a Masters, you'll likely have paid at least $50,000 for it). And year-to-year raises? About 3% cost of living ... if you're lucky. Most of the time it's less.
- •Teachers DO NOT get summers off (despite what you think)Once they've submitted all their grades and reports, handled any backlash from parents, dealt with bureaucratic end of year issues, etc. - teachers have about a month before the next year's preparation, meetings, and responsibilities begin. "A month off sounds pretty nice," you say. Well, that single month is the only opportunity teachers have for any professional development. So 1-4 weeks of that month are probably spent in training at conferences, etc. Now we're left with a week. Maybe two.
- •Working with children can be difficultDo you have kids? Do you know any? Have you ever spent time with 25-100 at a time all day? Probably not. But this is what a teacher does. Arguably they enjoy it, otherwise they wouldn't have gotten into this overworked and underpaid business. I know I'm stating the obvious, but each child is an individual - with her or his own emotions, learning style, allergies, and so much more. Multiply that by 100 and then remember that each student is someone else's kid. Can you even imagine the stress?
- •Teachers all work weekendsWhen do you think lessons are planned, assignments are graded, reports are written? Surely not while teachers are standing in front of students teaching lessons. "That's done during breaks and after students go home, right?" you suggest.
- •While in school, teachers do MUCH more than just stand in front of students and teachMeetings, meetings, and meetings with parents, students, teachers. Extra-curricular activities (most of which may earn an extra couple hundred dollars for a couple hundred hours of work), extra duties (lunch, recess, study hall, home room, advisor, pick up, drop off), writing recommendation letters, field trips, and so much more I'm forgetting. It's no wonder why the grading, reports, and planning is all done during evenings and weekends.
- •Pensions are not what they used to beI'm not an expert on this one here, so feel free to crowd source the details. From my understanding, politicians are stripping them (Wisconsin?), states are going bankrupt and not paying them (California), if you ever change jobs (especially between states) they all but disappear, and more...
- •School's not just from 9-3 (it's every waking hour)Oh, no no no. While a teacher may only be on school grounds from 7am to 5:30pm (that's 10.5 hours for those of you counting). If teachers can't get all lessons planned and grading done on weekends, they have to get to it in the evenings or early mornings. And with the advent of email, students and parents have access to teachers at all hours of the day. Until teachers turn their phones off for the night, their jobs are not done.
- •Teaching can be stressfulIf you've read this far, you've probably made this assumption. But the emotional toll teachers pay is pretty high. Managing all of these responsibilities is as tough as it gets. Many teachers don't make it past the third year of teaching before looking for other careers. And can you blame them? But think of the ones that stick with it! #TeachersAreRockStars
- •Rules and standards are constantly changingFederal, state, and local governments have forced changes upon teachers numerous times in just the last decade, and no one can seem to agree to any set standards. Too much testing and too much homework are certainly problems in my personal opinion. Without getting too political (although it's hard not to), perhaps we should actually have someone with classroom experience help make the laws (as opposed to a politician's spouse)? Just sayin'...
- •Go thank and hug a teacher today.And hug a teacher's spouse. Sometimes it can get pretty lonely for us during the months of early August through late July ...
- •Teachers are role modelsNot all kids have a great home environment or good parental figures. Often the only leadership and care they get is in the classroom, from their teachers, who care about them not just as another number in their classroom, but as people.Suggested by @LizDawson
- •Teachers spend their own money.They buy classroom supplies, snacks for kids who don't have enough food at home, clothes for kids who don't have enough or warm enough clothing and many other things.Suggested by @pili_ervin
- •Most Teachers have 2nd JobsEither part-time jobs, weekend gigs, and most likely summer jobsSuggested by @kate81