Embarrassed to Admit your Profession?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by The Natural Log, Apr 18, 2015.

  1. The Natural Log

    The Natural Log Rookie

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    Apr 18, 2015

    I've always wanted to be a teacher since I was a little kid, and most of the time, I love the job and would never want to do anything else. That said, I sometimes feel embarrassed when people ask me what I do for a living, and I respond "teacher". Some of it has to do with the fact that I graduated first in my high school class, and lots of people (my parents included) just naturally expected that I would become a doctor or a lawyer or some other high-paying job. I think a lot of it also has to do with the current "teacher bashing" atmosphere in our state and in many others.

    Does anyone else ever feel similarly?
     
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  3. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I can honestly say I am proud to tell people I'm a teacher. I love the profession and my kids.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nope. Never embarrassed... I am passionate about our PROFESSION. . speak passionately about what you do...or accept your misguided notions about what we do... Or find something else to do..,so sad you can't be proud of the difference you make in studenTs lives. :(
     
  5. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Whenever anyone gives me guff about "underachieving," I channel my inner Taylor Mali and let them know exactly what I think about their opinion.
     
  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    "That said, I sometimes feel embarrassed when people ask me what I do for a living, and I respond "teacher". "

    Actually, I couldn't feel any less like that. I thought that I would be a veterinarian, but married one. Still actively involved with his practice, I continued to grow and learn. Imagine my surprise when I could no longer run from the fact that teaching was speaking to my heart, as if a calling. I took the scenic route, but all of my prior experiences have helped to make me passionate about my content, and just as passionate about being able to pass that on to my students. I have been out sick for several weeks, and going back to school on Monday. I am as giddy as a school girl - I feel as happy as I was as a youth when the first day of school would finally arrive after what felt like an endless summer.

    Perhaps the pride I feel as a teacher is part of the reason "ateacher"s comments sometimes ruffle my feathers. This was, for me, a true choice that has brought me great satisfaction and joy. I'm not "a good soldier", but believe I am a good teacher. This is not a slam against ateacher, but I do feel that I should not have to prove myself or my motives to another teacher.

    I hope that you will find what makes you complete, whole, and proud to be yourself. For me, that road is education, but perhaps there is another road in your future. Whatever you choose, embrace it, defend it, and live your life with it without reservation.

    Be well and happy.
     
  7. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Nope. I'm proud to be a teacher. The only one in my family. The first and only currently to obtain a Master's Degree, much less have a Bachelor's. My dad did not graduate high school nor get a GED. My mom graduated high school after being held back for ditching school too much. I didn't have great role models and they didn't encourage me to do better, I decided on my own.

    Most of my family members did not go to college or didn't finish. I have cousins in jail and others in less than ideal situations. Only my aunt and one of her daughters have done well in becoming Nurses.

    Doesn't matter how much negative publicity our profession gets, I still love being a teacher because I've made a difference in a child's life.
     
  8. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Apr 18, 2015

    I'm always proud to say I'm a teacher. I can only think of one time where someone responded with, "must be nice to get summers off." Most people seem to really respect me when I tell them what I do.
     
  9. Luv2TeachInTX

    Luv2TeachInTX Comrade

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    I'm proud of what I do. It fills me up with pride when I see the growth that I have helped my students achieve. It's kind of amazing! I couldn't imagine doing anything else.
     
  10. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    I'm very proud to be a teacher! I love telling people that! I've felt like that since day one. For all the teacher bashing in the media and online, I still haven't experienced it in real life. Even if I did, I wouldn't let it make me feel less proud. Teacher bashing comes from ignorance, and I'm not going to let that have power over me.
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I'm very proud to be a teacher.
     
  12. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I'm so incredibly proud to do what I do. I've only had positive reactions from people when they find out I'm an administrator/former teacher.
     
  13. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    I've been embarrassed to admit many of my jobs, but teacher isn't one of them. (Admitting I'm a substitute teacher is a bit embarrassing though.)
     
  14. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I'm in my late 20s, and if anything, the usual response among my extended social group is respect or the attitude that it's a good paying "grown up" job. Many of my friends are still finding their way into decent paying careers with benefits.

    I have pride in being a teacher. I do cringe, though, when conversations turn to how awful the education system is today, though it's more likely to come up with older people.
     
  15. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Same here! It's pretty uncommon among the people I know to have a career before age 30.
     
  16. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Apr 19, 2015

    I'm never embarrassed to say I'm a teacher, but I do get embarrassed about my grade level. I teach special ed. preschool in the public schools. It's incredibly mentally and physically exhausting. When I say I'm a teacher and people ask me what grade, I almost always get an "Awwwww, thats so sweet. You must have so much fun". It's not their fault they don't understand, but it does feel embarrassing sometimes.
     
  17. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    I never even considered to be embarrassed about telling others what I do. I have never received anything but positive reactions. In fact, because of all the media attention and publicity surrounding our education system, I quite often get a few questions and/or get drawn into a conversation. People seem curious and engaged about this topic and want more information beyond what is available in the media.
     
  18. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I love that I get to say I'm a teacher.
    Very proud of my profession.
     
  19. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Apr 19, 2015

     
  20. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    Apr 19, 2015

    I LOVE my profession!!!! I am always so proud to tell people (and talk about) what I do.

    However, I don't think you should feel guilty for feeling the way that you feel. There is a lot of educator bashing, and maybe you have seen it and dealt with it firsthand. You also said there was pressure from your family in a sense about not getting a higher paying job. So don't feel bad about coming here with a genuine question! With all that being said, you should be proud of what you do because you're awesome and impacting kids' lives each day!
     
  21. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Nope, I've never been embarrassed to say I'm a teacher. In fact, I wear it like a badge of honour. I love what I do and I'm proud of our profession.
     
  22. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I can kind of see what the OP is saying. I don't feel exceptionally proud to be a teacher. I like what I do, generally, and I find a lot of value in the profession. But admittedly it isn't the most difficult job to get.

    Almost every year I can tell you the point in my semester when my advanced students will perk up and visibly show much more respect for me. It is when I mention what I did in a previous career and how it pertains to the subject we're discussing. That career is prestigious but teaching is not. shrug.

    I'm proud of some of the work I personally do with kids. But not so much of the profession as it is.
     
  23. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    No, I am proud to be a teacher, and the responses I usually get from people are positive. The media likes to bash education in general, but I find people are warm to the idea of a person choosing to help children as a career.
     
  24. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    I guess it depends where you look for a job but most people want to make more money. Hey, if their motivation is the $$$ more power to them. I get things from kids that money cannot buy. I am proud of my profession because inspite of all the political nonsense and lies teachers still go to work and help kids.
     
  25. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Not embarrassed, but I don't like talking about it because some people assume you love teaching, you love the kids, and that you only have positive things to say. Or, they may have other expectations about teaching. Since I don't have positive feelings about my job; I don't like talking about it and I try not to bring it up - ever.

    Luckily, most people that know me well know this and never ask about my day or my job.
     
  26. SleekTeach

    SleekTeach Comrade

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    I don't ever feel embarrassed, but I do often find myself trying to defend my job, especially teaching first grade. Even my own family thinks all I do is color and sing songs all day.
     
  27. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Im so proud.
     
  28. PinkCupcake

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    I've never felt embarrassed or shamed when I tell people I'm a teacher. I've wanted to teach since I was a little girl and can't imagine being happy with another career.
     
  29. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Having taught first grade, I think maybe some of your family members may need to spend a day volunteering in your classroom.

    It's funny the reactions that people give you. When I taught first grade, it was always "AWWWWW they must be so cute!" Now that I teach 5th, it's "Oh....yikes." People seem to be afraid of 5th graders. In reality, though, I think teaching 1st grade is a lot scarier than teaching 5th! :lol:
     
  30. adeeb

    adeeb Rookie

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    Assuming you enjoy your profession, you should be proud to tell others about it, regardless of what it is! Yes, different professions have different connotations associated with them, but teaching is often respected. The way in which you tell others your occupation also plays a big part in how it is received. If you show enough genuine enthusiasm and excitement for your job, it's hard for others to look down upon it, even with their pre-conceived notions.
     
  31. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    This question reminded me of this story when some blowhard asked a teacher how much $$$ they make because that must be how important you are:



    Read One Teacher’s Genius Response to the Question “What Do You Make?”
    Teacher Taylor Mali's unforgettable, searing retort to a thoughtless question certainly put a dinner companion in his place—and can make the rest of us appreciate the incredible role teachers play in our lives.
    By Taylor Mali from What Teachers Make: In Praise of the Greatest Job in the World





    He says the problem with teachers is

    What’s a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?

    He reminds the other dinner guests that it’s true what they say about teachers:

    Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.

    I decide to bite my tongue instead of his and resist the temptation to remind the dinner guests that it’s also true what they say about lawyers. Because we’re eating, after all, and this is polite conversation.

    I mean, you’re a teacher, Taylor. Be honest. What do you make?

    And I wish he hadn’t done that—asked me to be honest—because, you see, I have this policy about honesty and ass kicking: If you ask for it, then I have to let you have it.

    You want to know what I make?

    I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.

    I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional Medal of Honor

    and an A- feel like a slap in the face.

    How dare you waste my time with anything less than your very best.

    I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall in absolute silence.

    No, you may not work in groups.

    No, you may not ask a question.

    Why won’t I let you go to the bathroom?

    Because you’re bored.

    And you don’t really have to go to the bathroom, do you?

    I make parents tremble in fear when I call home:

    Hi. This is Mr. Mali. I hope I haven’t called at a bad time; I just wanted to talk to you about something your son said today. To the biggest bully in the grade, he said, “Leave the kid alone. I still cry sometimes; don’t you? It’s no big deal.” And that was the noblest act of courage I have ever seen.

    I make parents see their children for who they are and what they can be.

    You want to know what I make? I make kids wonder,

    I make them question.

    I make them criticize.

    I make them apologize and mean it.

    I make them write.

    I make them read, read, read.

    I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful over and over and over again until they will never misspell either one of those words again.

    I make them show all their work in math and hide it on their final drafts in English.

    I make them understand that if you’ve got this (a brain), then you follow this (a heart), and if someone ever tries to judge you by what you make, you give them this (the finger).

    Here, let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:

    Teachers make a difference. Now what about you?



    Read more: http://www.rd.com/true-stories/inspiring/what-teachers-make/#ixzz3XsSNEo9T
     
  32. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

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    I'm not embarrassed to admit my profession, but I would be to disclose how much money I make. If I wanted to, I would qualify for food stamps and partial Medicaid coverage in my state.
     
  33. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    yes, I often feel ashamed to admit I'm a teacher. I've only realized I want to teach after getting my ungrad in IT, and after working for a couple of years as a programmer.

    In the beginning of my teaching career, when I was searching for what I can teach I was ashamed to admit I still didn't find myself because people who knew I was a programmer before would wonder why would I ever change career to something where it's obviously so little money and even with the little money it's hard to find a "good" position.

    Well, now I have even more reason to be kind of ashamed. The only "real" teaching that I do these days is at home for FREE with my daughter and 2 other kids. Don't get me wrong, I love teaching. Just saying that "I'm a teacher" in my case sounds a bit weird. Well, I can always say I'm a teacher because I do substitute teaching
     
  34. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I'm def. not ashamed to say I'm a teacher. I'm an educated person, who has the privelage to teach teenagers, in my case, the ones that are labeled the 'worst of the worst". I actually chose them, and i feel that my job is challenging and rewarding at the same time. Def. proud.

    I also feel that I'm well paid and appreciated by my administrator and my students' parents. A happy camper all around :)
     
  35. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    I am very proud to say I'm a teacher. Teachers are such vital parts of communities, and the world. The most impactful people in my life have been teachers, including my mom. She's currently not a teacher, but has taught preschool on and off again. She's got that teaching vibe, and I could totally have seen her working with any grade level because she's super smart and is great at working with kids.

    My parents and family are incredibly proud I'm a teacher--so am I.
     
  36. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    The only time I've felt slightly embarrassed was when I was at a dinner party one of my close friends hosted. She, along with everyone else there, was a graduate student or already had a Ph.D. Somebody (actually the guy she ended up dating and marrying!) asked me a question basically assuming that I was "just teaching" until I decided what I really wanted to do. I realized that, in their circle, that was very common--people who had content-area majors and added an ed. cert. as a backup, or who were teaching while taking a break from grad. school, etc. I stammered through a response about actually going to school intending to teach all along. I definitely felt that group looked down on my decision--especially since I was 'only' an elementary teacher...

    (P.S.--Her husband is a wonderful person, and we've since had conversations to clarify this topic. I'm confident he was just trying to make conversation. :) )
     
  37. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    No. In my state it's a common and popular "mom job". People like it well enough. Even the male teachers are respected.

    The only difficulty I see is that it's viewed in the category of "noble martyr" and that bugs me.

    As for people finding careers, my husband is 30, still can't find a career in his graduated field, and I make more than he does.

    I have some friends who were from a high-achieving family--parents college professors, kids held to 4.0 GPAs or being grounded. 3 of the 5 kids became teachers and no one thought the less of them.
     
  38. Rox

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    Not ashamed.

    But I hate when my mom talks about someone else in a negative tone: "Now she's a special ed teacher." I feel like asking if she has forgotten what I do!
     
  39. Rhesus

    Rhesus Comrade

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    I'm not ashamed to be a teacher, but I think "defensive" might be a better description in this era of heightened teacher-bashing.
     
  40. leeshis0019

    leeshis0019 Companion

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    Not even done with the probationary period for teaching (what is that...5 years or something? :D), but I will let you know with a smile on my face. Or whatever expression is most appropriate.

    I come from teachers. My parents were the first [in a long time] to not be teachers.



    My only problem is that when I do say it people glance at me with this "Really? Are you sure?" look on their face. I'm young and I look even younger so I've gotten used it it at this point.
     
  41. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    It's no surprise that teachers would be proud. They're teachers after all. Just like a bunch of policeman would be proud to say they're policeman & doctors would be proud to say they're doctors. Of course most of society will have differing opions, but who cares. As long as the person him or herself is proud, that's all that matters.

    I understand your point about the above & hey, we can't expect everyone on earth to like what we're doing or how education is going.
     

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