There's been a lot of talk about teachers of late. Since it's September, let's clear up some misconceptions!
1.) Teaching is a part time job.
I have NO idea what jerk put this out there, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Yes, school is only in session from 7am to 3pm for nine months out of the year. So yes, that would technically be part time.
But that doesn't take into account that after three, most teachers go home and work for a few hours. They also spent part of the weekend working on lesson plans and grading papers. The summer? Part of that may be on vacation, but I'm sure that a few weeks are spent taking classes or participating in workshops.
And remember, in an office job you can chose to go on vacation. As a teacher, you only have the summer.
2.) The parents buy classroom supplies for the teacher to use.
Every year the parents get a letter detailing which school supplies they are to send in. I remember asking for packs of loose-leaf, sharpened pencils, tissues and hand sanitizer. Why? Because learning takes place when kids are prepared. And we all know that by October, many kids have either run through, or lost a large number of their supplies. Also, having to stop every 15 minutes to make sure that every has everything they need really eats up your day. By making supplies communal, the teacher can keep order and make the process go quicker by simply pass things out.
And besides, teachers regularly spent $20-$100 a month on their classes. that's asking a lot on someone who only makes $30,000 a year (and is probably paying back massive student loans).
3.) "I found this amazing apple themed desk set for my child's teacher for Christmas. Why isn't she using it? My feelings are hurt!"
As a teacher, we appreciate gifts. We really do. But in all honesty, some of what you give us gets re-gifted or traded. Please don't feel bad that your child's teacher isn't using the special pencil cup. She may have gotten 17 ones just like it!
Take it from someone who knows: baked goods, candy and especially gift cards are big hits with teachers. Ask your child, is the teacher always coming in with the Starbucks cup? Then they would weep for joy if given a Starbucks gift card. Backed goods and candy are nice treats, and the teacher can spread the love around his or her family.
The best gift I ever got? A student got me a stapler after a student ruined mine. I love her!
4.) "I left a message for the teacher and she hasn't gotten back to me! it's been 10 minutes!!"
Teachers are busy! It takes a bit of time. Sometimes they have a life and can't get back to you after school. I always tried to call back, or send a note home explaining that today I was rather busy, but I'd love to set up an appointment to talk the next day. And remember, there's one of your child, but there may be 35 (and in Middle and High School more like 100) students under the teacher's charge.
Teaching is a hard job. Trust me, I've done it. It's not the cakewalk that the media make it out to me.
Remember, cut the teacher some slack, take a breath and remember that there is a method to their madness.
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