Are teachers "romanticized"?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Backroads, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    So, we generally love teaching, kids, etc. and thus become teachers. We are known for working long, stressful hours with little pay, for putting our students first in our lives, and we are praised for it in the public mind.

    How common is this view of teachers? Is this a good way to view teachers? Do you ever run into problems where you aren't dropping everything for a student? Do people ever expect you to view your job as a martyr might? Do you even think you have overly long hours and pathetic pay?
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I earned my reputation as an excellent educator...it isn't come from some idea in the media or collective coscienceness. In fact, I think in many case teachers are not well portrayed or spoken about in many cases.:(
    Do you ever run into problems where you aren't dropping everything for a student?
    I work hard to meet student needs. However I don't 'drop everything' to do so. If I did,I'd be ignoring other vial responsibilities and obligations to my other studens, myself, my family...

    Do people ever expect you to view your job as a martyr might?
    No. I'm not a martyr. I'm a professional.


    Do you even think you have overly long hours and pathetic pay?
    No. I work from 8-3. I bring some work home but is not all encompassing or overly time consuming.
    I don't work for pathetic pay.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I'm not sure that this is true....
     
  5. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Fair enough. I seem to find people either in love with teachers or despising them.

    czacza, love your answers.
     
  6. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    IA with Caesar that many people do not have such a positive view of teachers ...

    When I tell people where I work, they do (sometimes) see me as a "martyr" because the kids and my district have a rough/bad reputation. But, on the flip side, people often vilify teachers in my district and claim we are not teaching/doing our jobs effectively because our students perform poorly academically and the district is known for having behavior issues.

    I no longer feel the need to fulfill every request/demand put upon me because I am a teacher - I don't drop everything especially if it is outside of contract hours.

    The hours and pay is not my issue.
     
  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    I, too, consider myself a professional, with a paycheck that is appropriate for my level of education. It's not about the job or how it is viewed by a fickle public, but much more about my ability to do my job well. Today I may be a villain or a heroine to those who barely know me, but it could all, no, probably will, change tomorrow. I teach because for me, this is being true to my ideals and principals. I don't know about other teachers - I suspect there are almost as many stories as there are teachers, and a satisfaction level that ranges from 0 to 100 percent. I did not come to teaching blindly, without knowledge of what teaching entails. It was not something I chose because I "love children." Instead, it is something that attracted me because I love learning and the best part of that learning is being able to share it with others. If someone would pay me to keep going to college, taking interesting courses, learning new things, I would consider that my dream job. Well, teaching is as close as I have ever come to finding that dream job, and I am a better person for doing what I do. Sometimes the public sees the disillusioned teacher, or the person who is only a teacher because they had no idea about what they should really be doing with their life. Some will grow into great educators; some will fall by the wayside. That is not unique to teaching - every profession has an attrition rate as the wheat is separated from the chaff. The wheat is valuable, while the chaff can be very annoying.

    I second Czacza - I earned my reputation as an educator. It is not something bestowed by others who may not understand what we do. I choose to teach, good days and bad, then come back and do it again and again. That makes me a professional, not a martyr.
     
  8. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Answering my own... (this whole thing was a conversation brought on by my grandmother last night)

    I think my pay is quite decent for my area, my work, and my education. Not "big money" by any means (that's other fields entirely) but certainly respectable.

    I don't work especially long hours. I'm not particularly cutesy nor do I seek to make extra work for myself. I do my darndest to get my work done and done well, but I don't buy into the "work all day and weekend" mentality that does exist in my area. In that scenario, it is a bit of a problem. I get that some people just need the time for their own ways of the job, but I avoid it.

    In my area and my grandmother's experience (she is a retired teacher and current school volunteer) there is an expectation that teachers do constantly go above and beyond to the point it's the minimum expectation. I think this can be a problem.

    In my area, teachers are beloved, but we do see a bit of the "we love you, so we need you at the school 24/7) mentality.
     
  9. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    I agree. This post wouldn't even exist if that was true.
     
  10. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    I'm pretty sure the general public has decided that teachers, along with all other taxpayer-funded jobs are lazy parasites. Why else would so much of "reform" center on an increased ability to fire us?

    So, no, I wouldn't say that teaching is romanticized.
     
  11. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Yes, but not necessarily by the public, but by ourselves.
     
  12. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    If you want to see a romanticized job try the US military. In some eyes they are all heroes fighting for our freedom. In my eyes they are people that chose (none drafted now) a profession that gives them housing medical care and a damned good retirement if they stay 20 years and also free college. On the flip side they can be sent ANYWHERE at anytime to face people that are VERY hostile to Americans. Some of them will risk their lives everyday until they come home. Throw in the political side of it and you have a confused and volatile mix.
    I think the military is good for many people. We need them and they will be there when the blank hits the fan. Does America need military in over 100 other countries? I am guessing it does not make us look very peaceful or trying to impose our will on others. Some say this is a very dangerous world and we need to be that vigilant. I say with satellite tech, and our Air Force and drone technology we probably have most of the bases covered.

    I think I may have gone off topic here and apologize in advance.
     
  13. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Often when I meet people for the first time, they might start with "Oh, you teach 8th graders? That must be tough." It is somewhat but it's not for the reasons they think it is. The kids are fine.

    Very soon after they'll move into, "Oh, but you get so much time off, and short hours. All you have to do is put on a movie, etc."

    That's annoying.
     
  14. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I find the public greatly varies in how they view teachers. This is probably due to their different experiences in school. Some do look at us and think like we are angels dropped from heaven. None of these seem to be working in the press.
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    You think? And your apology is after the fact...:2cents:

    Your argument is akin to saing teachers CHOSE this profession knowing they wouldn't get paid well but they get a pension and healthcare, are finished everyday at 3 and have their summers off...doesn't make us look too professional.

    Both are naive arguments.
     
  16. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I find this to be true for sped- I always get comments like, "Oh you must be a saint!" or "Wow, I bet that's really tough." However, I think very few people realize what I actually do (I teach mild/mod.) and are imagining that all sped is kids with significant disabilities. When I taught 3rd (gen ed) and told people that, I was much more likely to get comments like, "Oh that must be fun!" or "How cute/sweet!"
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    People really have no idea what teachers do...
     
  18. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    My apology was in advance of those that would tell me how far off I went. I was not trying to compare how we are compensated but how we are romanticized. I think many go into the military for certain benefits not because they are all Johnny Gungho. My brother went in for the GI bill and ended up in the prestigious Old Guard (he met the profile). If I somehow put us in a bad light I am an idiot. But seriously, your comment that people have no idea what teachers do made me laugh out loud because it is absolutely the truth. btw Naive is my middle name many would tell you.
     
  19. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    My husband has always thought decently of teachers, but he was surprised by how much data I work with. As a scientist, he appreciated that. But it wasn't what he expected.
     
  20. bluegill

    bluegill Rookie

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    My outlook on teaching is that it is a lifestyle and I get paid a salary to live it - I get money to be myself and do the things I love. There is a balance to everything in this lifestyle; spending too much time planning or grading and lose my free time, it will have a negative impact on instruction. To me, every teacher is a good teacher all teachers have good days and bad days. It all comes back to balance. I try new things all the time to seek out the perfect balance.

    And I don't care for the "romanticized" aspects of teaching. I guess I am the unconventional type :)
     

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