The world is filled with many sad myths and misconceptions about what a teacher’s job entails. Since everyone has been a student, they think they know exactly what a teacher’s job entails, but alas, there’s a lot more to it than what you see as a student.
So without further ado, here are some common misconceptions and the realities behind the job of a teacher!
Misconception: We’re at school from 9-3
Reality: Teachers have to get to work early to prepare for their day. I’ve known teachers who get to work at 7am every morning! We also need to stay back to get work done – nobody leaves when the bell goes. The latest I’ve stayed back at school is 6:30pm, and at that time there were still teachers hanging around getting things done.
Don’t even get me started on parent-teacher nights.
Misconception: Our jobs are limited to the classroom
Reality: The actual classroom teaching aspect is only one part of our job. There’s a whole lot of work that takes place outside the classroom, and I don’t just mean lesson planning and marking. I mean professional learning, meetings, staff development, tracking student development, discussing and planning units of work etc. etc. It’s basically an endless list. And then yup, lesson planning and marking on top of that.
Misconception: We just work straight from the syllabus and hope the students learn it
Reality: Syllabus aside, there’s sciences and psychology behind the way that we teach. We need to know them very well, and need to constantly learn new methods as they become available to us.
Misconception: We just need to teach the students
Reality: Not only are we expected to teach, we’re responsible for the care of our students, we’re in change of their fitness, their mental + social + emotional health, in addition to their physical health. We have to keep an eye out for bullying, abuse, behaviour, lifestyle concerns – with 30 odd students in a classroom at a time. All that while juggling the learning needs of each individual student.
Misconception: We sit around while the students do their work
Reality: We’re always on our feet. Talking to students, helping them with their work, checking where they’re up to, helping those who need it. My feet are killing me by the time I get home, it’s like working in retail all over again.
Misconception: We have it easy because we get holidays
Reality: After teaching/caring for/managing large groups of children or teenagers day in and day out, believe me when I say that we deserve those holidays! (Which are usually spent partaking in staff development, planning lessons or marking papers anyway)
There we go, now you can safely talk to teachers without having them roll their eyes Did I leave anything out? Let me know!
Till next time xx