Teacher Rant

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It’d be so damn cool if teachers got the respect they deserve. Or the pay. Or the acknowledgement.

I have this dream that I’ll see all those wishes of mine granted in my lifetime. I know that people who make touchdowns and music videos and movies will still be earning over triple the amount of income and recognition, but I have faith that one day after I’m gone, that will change too.

I’ve tried to pinpoint in my three short years of teaching, what exactly it is that makes our job seem so easy and worthless. Most likely, it is the fact that we get summers “off”. I guess most people don’t realize that we are never really “off”…we are constantly planning, collecting, brainstorming- bettering our teaching and our classroom. Our kids follow us everywhere like nagging/loving little hairs flying across our face at all times. They are our motivation. And let me tell you, we are forced to be the most passionate and motivated profession out there- because we’re in the business of “failure is not an option” and “no child left behind” and “give me only your best”.

We are warriors of Potential and Effort and Rigor and Pride. We are champions of Respect and gladiators of Equality. We are artists because we “mold the minds of tomorrow”. We are absolutely, bona-fide crazy- but in a “you WILL find a book that you will enjoy” kind of way. Glorified babysitters? Sure, if a glorified babysitter can stomp the flames of bullying and teach a kid what onomatopoeia means all in half an hour.

I realize we don’t carry briefcases (if we did, they’d be filled with stickers and pencils- you’d be surprised how much a kid will write for a sticker/pencil prize). We don’t wear suits. We spend our entire day with mini adults. But if we had business cards, every millimeter would be filled with tiny text, listing our hundreds of roles and responsibilities. Or they’d just say Professional Badass.

If you think juggling 100 middle schoolers, all with their individual needs, is easy, I welcome you to come trade shoes for a while. Please don’t forget to modify for the language learners and special education kids, scaffold for the different levels, add in each type of learning style, give the kids choice but structured choice, stay on top of behavior management, make sure you utilize technology, keep cultural significance in mind, let them have individual, partner, and group time, and of course, they should be engaged, participating, and having FUN!
P.S. Plus, you have a department meeting, a professional development, a team meeting, a faculty meeting, a parent meeting, tutoring sessions, UIL practice, monitoring duty, a REED, an ARD, an SST, and an observation all in the next couple days.
P.P.S. You have 100 essays to grade.

Yeah.

Sorry to go all Mali on y’all.

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9 responses »

  1. Pingback: In Response… | Down the Road

  2. “Professional Badass” pretty much sums it up. 🙂

    Also, you only have 100 kids? That’s amazing! When I was teaching 7th, we all had about 200 students each.

    • WHOA, that’s insane. This year, they separated the kids into reading and writing periods, so we get the same group of kids for 2 periods in a row. It’s strange…we’ll see if it boosts ELAR scores (fingers crossed!)

  3. I’ve stopped caring that people don’t respect and/or understand exactly what it is that I do for a living some time ago. Take those compliments as well as insults with a grain of salt because they change at the drop of a dime. For about 9hrs a day, 5 days a week, 190 days + out of the year I’m the greatest, worst, what’s wrong with education, what’s right with education, funniest, meanest, coolest, rudest teacher on earth…lol There is never a dull moment, and I love it because it’s what I do best. I learned a long time ago that your profession doesn’t define who you’re; you define who you’re. It’s a tough lesson to learn, but it comes with the territory. Teachers will never get paid what they deserve and frankly I’m okay with that. One doesn’t get into teaching for the money. If they do, they are fooling themselves 😉 Good post and great topic!

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