"If teaching is so easy,..."

Discussion in 'General Education' started by TeacherGroupie, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 23, 2011

    That's pretty much my standard answer to the whole "teachers have it easy, they have summers off" line... "Yep, I'm living the good life. Why didn't you go into it???"
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Exactly.

    And I realize it's a minor complaint, but it was mentioned in the article: I wish it "clicked" for more people that many educators no longer have those lovely three month summer breaks from yesteryear. Try six or seven weeks. You'd think it would dawn on them that when their children are back in school at the very first of August, so too are the teachers. :rolleyes:

    Two notable quotes I'd like to pull from the article.

    1) "...most people get over the idea that teachers are ultra-powerful beings who live unattainable lives of luxury at around the age of 7, when they realize that rumpled, coffee-stained JC Penney office apparel is not haute couture." That's funny!

    2) Rush Limbaugh: “The whole educational system has been co-opted by people who have found an easy way to a good living, and they realize it and they don't want to give it up without a fight.” Sigh.
     
  5. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    I sometimes wish I had the stomach to read through liberal drivel like that to reach their actual point. Then I realize they probably don't have one.

    Whining in response to whining just doesn't do any good.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    The thing is, I actually mean my response.

    I think I AM living the good life. I'm glad I do what I do.
     
  7. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    "If teaching is so easy"... why do almost 50% of new teachers not make it past 5 years? Gee, must not be so easy after all.

    Though, be it far from easy, I have no plans to trade in my teaching shoes and will start year 4 this fall.
     
  8. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I liked the last line too about the subcompact chariot that awaits us! ;)

    If you watch those pundits (and I've only seen clips ala Jon Stewart) they really do refer to us as making a fortune for the job we do. I really think there are people out there who think it's an easy job therefore we are being paid too much. I've always said I would love to see a documentary of putting those people in the classroom-just for a week to see what happens.

    And to put us down for trying to keep our rights? What's wrong with that? Many unions do the same thing every day.
     
  9. office1

    office1 Rookie

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    Well,teaching is never easy and never will. It's quiet hard to discipline and mold a child,Just imagine a teacher who handles 20,50 children?

    I guess,it's never easy at all. :)
     
  10. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    I have a reply, too, when people say how lucky I am to be a teacher. I say, "Hey, it's not too late to change careers!" That usually draws a, "Oh, I could never be a teacher!" Hmmm....
     
  11. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I've always said the same thing! My friend actually showed me parts of a documentary a few years ago that was almost like that. It was in the very "worst" parts of NYC and they were desperate for teachers that they literally were letting people with any bachelors degree sign up to be a teacher for a year. They followed 4 of them around and documented their year. It was hilarioius- boy were they in for a rude awakening! I wish I remembered what it was called!

    To play devil's advocate a little bit, I'd point out that people ARE banging down the doors of schools trying to get in. There is certainly no shortage of people trying to be teachers. Most positions have hundreds if not thousands of applicants. I like the fact that he's sticking up for teachers, but that fact alone kind of unravels the whole argument.
     
  12. Teaching Grace

    Teaching Grace Connoisseur

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    I had to interview several people during my college years about their thoughts on teaching. One of our family friends told me,"Teachers make too much money. They hardly do anything and get paid a fortune. I think the governor needs to take a look a the budget and cut the funding a bit."

    He's never been one of my favorite people...less so now...
     
  13. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    teaching-n-2, I accept that some feel we earn too much money. But those who claim we "hardly do anything" are either 1) intentionally being a butt to get a reaction, or 2) terribly, terribly out of touch with reality.
     
  14. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    This cretin is a cornucopia of lies about public schools and the teachers that inhabit them. Im betting he has not crossed a public school doorway since he was 18. And a wealth of knowledge to boot. Im telling you the guy makes more people (sheep) spread lies about schools than
    any ten of those out to destroy public schools through the axe of legislation.
     
  15. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    What really, really irks me is when people say that we have a "part time job." I'm not going to argue with them about vacation time- to be perfectly honest, we do have way more vacation time than anyone else, and that is a perk. However, I've literally heard newcasters saying "It's a part time job- they're done at 2:30!" I mean really, how ignorant can you be? People honestly don't realize that even if you do the absolute bare minimum and do no extra work other than show up at school, it's still a contracted 8 hour day. If someone is done at 2:30 than they started at 6:30! I even had a friend that tried to pull that, and when I mentioned that my coworkers and I often pull 12 hour days, she kept insisting we were "in the minority" which I know is a common thing to say as well. Either way though, even if you're doing the absolute minimum it's an 8 hour day same as any other job.
     
  16. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    We have a 6.25 hour paid day. We also have "lunch" at 2:45. We also have hours of paperwork we have to do on worthless online systems that we never have time to do during the school day.
     
  17. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I've never heard of a school that didn't have 8 contracted hours for teachers. The kids are there for 7 hours and we have to be there 30 minutes before them and 30 minutes after. Even if you do no "extras" whatsoever, show up and teach right out of your textbooks, you have to be there for those 8 hours. Yes, we do get a lunch, but any job gets a lunch and in many other places its more than 20-30 minutes.
     
  18. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    Whenever someone makes a slight comment about my job being part time or being overpaid, I tell them that I would be very happy to trade jobs not only for a day but for a week.

    People don't imagine the level of intensity that we endure in our job. The behavior issues we face are many times unbelievable and we are expected to get good results under any conditions. We can't even go home to rest and unwind, since we also have to grade papers, redesign lessons, plan, and plan.

    We need more documentaries showing the challenges teachers face day to day so that the public can see how hard it is. If it was that easy, why are there many teachers leave the profession?
     
  19. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    Yes and here is where the "we have the shortest school day in the nation argument" emerges from.

    I actually don't think we have the shortest day, but I agree it is short.

    We were willing to work longer hours if they paid us. Looks like that won't happen. But we will be working longer hours for a pay cut.

    Anyway- Our children are guaranteed per our contract (at least in K-8) to three 36 periods a week of "extras" (our preps). So some kids get no gym, some no library etc. Some schools have 5 preps a week, but most have 3. Only 1/4 of our schools have recess. I know some districts have multiple recesses for the elementary level. Some schools like mine have 15 minutes, 3/4- have none. Lunch is 20 minutes. As in walk through the line and fork your food down in 20 minutes. Some schools have other teachers manning the lunch room- and thus teachers get a "lunch" when their kids do. Teachers eat with their kids at some schools. Some schools provide two 10 minute "comfort breaks" for teachers.

    We have a few random "start times" but for the most part the elementary school day is either ....

    8:00 - 8:30, teachers - 8:30 - 2:15 kids
    8:30 - 9:00 Teachers - 9:00 - 2:45 kids
    7:30 - 8:00 Teachers - 8:00 - 1:45 kids

    Teachers can leave at the end of the school day- as this is their "45 minute duty free lunch" So if you want to get technical our day can include that 45 minute lunch- in fact in the contract it says, we're allowed to stay in the building for our 45 minute lunch. So technically I guess our day is 7 hours. We get paid for 6.25
     
  20. pete2770

    pete2770 Comrade

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    I don't think any less of anyone with differing opinions on the state of education and teacher compensation.

    In essence it's the public's business as much as it is educators'. We're in hard economic times, you're going to have to defend yourself. I think it's unwise to belittle or insult people because they think you're compensated too well. It just looks as though you validate their sentiment. Facts and explanations are the better method.

    I would never dislike someone over the issue, let alone attack them.

    The article makes some good points; I don't like its sometimes demeaning and satirical nature though.
     
  21. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I think that's part of the problem. People don't see all of the after hours. We have an after school program and I love when I'm leaving at 5:30 and parents picking up their kids will say "you're still here?". Um, yes-lessons to plan, things to get ready for tomorrow, e-mails to return, meetings, etc. I would love to keep track of my actual hours worked one year and see what that comes out to.
     
  22. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Sure, but far too often the general public is terribly ignorant regarding education in general and specifically a teacher's career.
     
  23. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    They did sort of put a person in the classroom. It was Tony Danza. He originally had an education degree, but ended up acting. As he turned 50, he decided that he should give teaching a try. I think the show gave a fairly good view of what goes on behind classroom doors. It was in a high school in Philadelphia if I remember correctly. He was supposed to teach for a year. I don't know what happened to the show - I couldn't stay up and watch it all the time - had to get up and be a teacher in the AM. But he cried, got frustrated, felt helpless, wanted so much to influence the kids to succeed but felt he was against a brick wall many times. Sound familiar? He actually had an "educational coach" in the room for many/most? of his classes and they would meet after class to review what worked, what didn't. I didn't know if that was just for the show, or if certain districts actually provide that guidance for new teachers.
     
  24. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    It was just for the show. He needed a credentialed teacher in there with him at all times.
     
  25. NUMB3RSFAN

    NUMB3RSFAN Rookie

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    The documentary you mentioned sounded interesting so I did some searching. I found one called Teachers Wanted: No Experience Necessary that sounds right. I couldn't find it on netflix, but it is available on Amazon.com.
     
  26. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    That's so funny, I actually almost wrote about that show! ;) I loved that his experience was so true to what new teachers face. I just don't think many people actually watched it. If we had more of that kind of thing, maybe the public would see what we go through.
     
  27. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    I agree. If we can find a way to show the public the day to day challenges we face, maybe they'll have more sympathy for us.
     
  28. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    The nursing profession has these commercials that they show in which they show the importance of nurses and the human, touching side of what they do. Even though the commercials are short, it's a powerful message about the special value of nurses who put their hearts into the jobs. Too bad teaching can't/won't do the same.

    The media is powerful & even short commercials really do influence what people think about certain things in life.
     
  29. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Speaking of the nursing profession...

    You know, I don't often hear their profession or salary or benefits being knocked. Which is good, of course. I have several close family members working in healthcare. But I have to wonder, why the difference in treatment? Unless she picks up additional shifts out of choice, my sister works two days a week as a nurse and earns right about what I do. She has an Associate's degree while I have beyond a Master's. Steady and consistent raises, good healthcare...I just don't understand. Is it because we apparently do such a wonderful job teaching that the majority of people look back on education and think fairly pleasant thoughts? That we worked so hard behind the scenes to make lessons and activities run smoothly that students take into adulthood that it must be easy? And maybe because a nurse is facing his her difficutlies so often directly in front of the patients? Something I've thought about before and continue to ponder...
     
  30. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    Nurses are also not paid from taxpayers money and nurses are needed at delicate times of people's lives. Also, nurses pretty much follow the same procedures they're trained to do with everyone. Even if a nurse is mean, as long as she follows the right procedures that's all that matters.
     
  31. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I guess I see it as "the people" ultimately paying a nurse's salary. When my husband had surgey, we paid copays and our insurance paid, which of course we pay for as well, and that money ultimately pays the nurse. People complain plenty about the cost of healthcare in general, but not specific employees' salaries.
     
  32. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    A mean nurse or doctor can be really emotionally damaging, especially since it's at a vulnerable time in one's life. There are some horrible ones out there that do cause people a lot of physical pain because they didn't follow procedures, or made simple mistakes. Medical mistakes are huge (with docs as well). I'm online friends with a woman whose sick child has almost been killed multiple times by incompetent health professionals, and I have other personal stories.

    But police officers and others are also paid with taxpayer's money, but they're never put in the hot seat regarding pay.

    I think it really does boil down to summers off, school ending at 3:30pm, working with children (so they think we play, sing songs, color all day), teaching 'simple' or 'easy' subjects that everyone has already taken when they were in grade school and such.
    'How difficult can it be to teach kids how to say their ABC's, colors, shapes, read, and write?" Everyone has learned those things...as well as the upper grade subjects, so they can't fathom why it's challenging.

    People in general will see doing CPR, drawing blood, and things like that as more prestigious and difficult as teaching kids how to count and read etc. Sad, but I think that's what it boils down to. The public will never know there's so much more to teaching than what they think (or what they see 8-3:30)
     
  33. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    I wonder if it's also a issue about having options. If we don't like a doctor or the way a nurse treated us, we have options to look for other doctors or hospitals.

    However, when my daughter had a really mean teacher, she had to put up with her for a whole year, day after day, and my very high taxes went to pay this teacher's salary and I couldn't control that. Nothing could be done because she was tenured and unless I packed up my stuff and moved to another neighborhood, there was no way to avoid this teacher.

    I think having a bad nurse can be dealt with more easily than having a bad teacher. When my aunt got a mean nurse during her stay at a hospital, I just complained and things improved greatly. However, a bad teacher can really have a huge negative impact on a child because that child has to deal with that teacher for a whole year and it doesn't matter how much a parent complains, as long as the teacher is tenured, nothing would change.

    Fortunately, after that horrible year, my daughter had wonderful teachers but that year was a horrible experience that made me wonder about the public having valid reasons to dislike teachers.
     
  34. KatherineParr

    KatherineParr Comrade

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    I think it's useful to keep in mind that every profession receives a lot of negative attention - some deserved and some exaggerated.

    Police officers are the subject of constant scrutiny with regard to use of force, corruption (dirty cops, the "thin blue line"), and efficacy.

    Doctors and nurses face enormous insurance costs because they, too, are subjected to constant oversight due to medical malpractice.

    Religious leaders? Every time one of their number acts badly it reflects on the whole idea of dedicating yourself to faith.

    And don't get me started on lawyers or public servants.

    Teaching is hard work, and it matters. But I think it's a mistake to tell ourselves we receive a disproportionate share of criticism all the time. At the moment, teachers are a target. At other times, other professions have been in the hot seat.

    And I agree with Marci - there *are* problem teachers in the profession. I vividly remember teachers who pursued vendettas against students, who were profoundly uninformed, and who treated their jobs as a timewaster until retirement.

    But people LOVE great teachers. They lovelovelove them. So surely our best option is to fly the flag for what we do. Tell people what you face in the classroom, how hard you work, and how much it takes intellectually. Invite them to admire the value of the work.

    For me, the bottom line is this: we have the chance to shape every generation. From age 5 until 18 they are in our care. So if we want them to admire teaching, we can show them why they should. No nurse, or lawyer, or doctor has that kind of access to budding citizens.
     
  35. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I absolutely agree that teaching is most certainly not the only profession to be criticized or attacked. Police officers in particular are subject to a great deal of public criticism...should they be driving their cars off-duty, do they get into events free taking advantage of their badge? These are types of small-town questions I hear often.

    Especially when we're talking about pay, nursing is just one profession that I don't hear as part of the discussion. Again, I'm glad...truly. It's just surprising (surprising, not bad) that we hear about working "part time" while nurses can work a twenty-four or thirty-two hour week and be paid for forty (essentially).
     
  36. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I discuss the impact of this often on the way parents and schools interact. I think it has significant impact particularly if previous communictions and interactions between the school and the parent have been difficult.
     
  37. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    Agreed.

     
  38. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Of course no one can deny that other professions have gone under attack.....But never to the level of teachers. 'Good' teachers are under attack as well and that is the difference.

    No one is demanding that corrupt or 'failing' police units be shut down (like they are shutting down 'failing schools'). No one is putting the entire profession's training, education level, hours worked, salary, motivation, job methods, motives etc under intense, national scrutiny as a profession like they are doing with teaching. They are not publishing police officer's personal professional information (arrest numbers, gun & safety mishaps, # of tickets given) in the newspaper or online for the world to see. There is no nation-wide movement to bust their unions.

    There are no hugely popular studies that show how corrupt or ineffective police officer can cause damage to a neighborhood or endanger the lives of those they are supposed to protect and serve.

    No one is using arbitrary, controversial standards to rate police officers as effective or ineffective. Same with the other professions. When it boils down to it, IMO, the level of teacher-hate and bashing is unprecedented and more than what any other field as ever experienced.
     
  39. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

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    Jun 26, 2011

    :agreed:
     
  40. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    I agree.
     
  41. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Jun 26, 2011

    well said :thumb: I totally agree
     

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