In this post, I kind of go on a rant about myths and skewed perspectives people may have about teachers. Read on to see how I debunk them!
The end of the school year is so close for me, yet so far away! Can you tell that I’m excited to be off?
Summer break is most definitely a perk of the profession, but if you aren’t a teacher, you don’t understand all of the hard work we put in the other 10 months of the year. Needless to say, our breaks are well-deserved.
This misunderstanding also comes with jabs at or myths about teaching which really irk me. I thought it’d be interesting to debunk these myths (or jabs, however you want to think of them) in order to change the perspective. Let’s get into it!
MYTH #1: “If you can’t do, teach!”
NO! If you can’t do, find something that you can do. Riddle me this: How are you supposed to teach someone how to do something that you can’t do or aren’t successful in? Find your real passion instead of taking a position away from a passionate, yet unemployed or “stuck” teacher.
MYTH #2: “Anyone can teach.”
Afraid not, my dude. Like any profession, you need specific degrees and/or certifications, job training, and completed courses in order to become a teacher. On top of that, not everyone is meant to be a teacher which is why there are bad teachers out there. You need to be patient, knowledgable, and, above all, like working with children (you’d be amazed at how many teachers openly say they don’t like children regularly). Get this mentality out of your head!
MYTH #3: “Teaching is so easy because you get so much time off!”
Yes, the time off is a perk, but do you know how many hours I’m putting in a week (paid and unpaid) in order to provide the best learning experience and environment for my students? If you were to calculate the amount of hours I spent doing work throughout the year that I didn’t get paid for, it would equally the amount of time I had off because of breaks and holidays. Plus, we barely get any sick days (some of us don’t get any at all), so there’s a chance we won’t get paid for doing the right thing and staying home sick because we don’t have the time. Let me enjoy my summer to I can recharge for the next school year in peace!
MYTH #4: “All you have to do is teach. What’s so hard about that?”
No, I don’t only teach. I work in an urban setting with underfunded schools and yes, that was my choice, but regardless, the necessary supports a school should have are lacking. Not only am I a teacher, but I’m also my students’ social worker, counselor, school nurse, security, and, in the eyes of some parents, baby sitter. Not all urban schools are like this, and there may even be some suburban and rural teachers that can relate, but some of us are wearing too many hats. As well, teaching is hard work. If you’re teaching in an inclusive classroom (a mix of gen-ed, special-ed, and ESL students) without a co-teacher, bless your heart because you’re doing the most work in the profession! I’m blessed to have a co-teacher, but it’s hard for us to keep up with differentiation, accommodations, and everything else in our inclusive classroom because of class sizes. Imagine managing a class size of 40 students without any bumps or hiccups for 90 minutes — welcome to my every day!
MYTH #5: “Teachers didn’t want to go back to school because they got used to doing nothing at home.”
This one only applies to this past school year for me because I had taught from home from March 2020 to April 2021. To be honest, working from home was harder than working in the classroom for me. Engagement, attendance, and productivity were all very low, so I felt like I was performing a juggling act every time I was in the virtual classroom. I was dying to come back to school, but only if my school was safe and followed the CDC’s guidelines. Is health and wellness too much to ask?
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love what I do and this is the field I am meant to grow and thrive in! I just think it’s unfair that teachers are looked down upon and I believe we deserve more respect than what we’re getting. I hope this debunking has changed some perspective on the field. TL;DR: Let your teacher friends relax this summer break!
IN THE COMMENTS . . .
If you’re a teacher, share any other myths that need debunking — there are plenty more, I’m sure!
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