Patronizing Teacher Talk

Discussion in 'General Education' started by highlow405, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. MissKatie

    MissKatie Rookie

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    Jul 30, 2011

    As a Senior in high school, I receive one of three replies when I tell people that's I'll be applying for a major in Middle School Education this fall:

    1.) Are you crazy? With this new legislation? With this job market? With that salary? With your high GPA? Why would you become a teacher?
    (Mostly said by my own teachers.)

    2.) Oh my goodness! People like you are so amazing! Teachers aren't paid near enough for what they do, and I can't imagine making such a sacrifice!
    (Usually said by other students.)

    3.) Good career choice. Teachers are overpaid for the job they do- short days and summers off. Plus, they get great benefits.

    (A common statement from quite a few family members. Want to make a family Birthday party awkward? Ask your teacher-cousin about upcoming union-restricting legislation while opening gifts.:eek:)

    I can't say that I agree with any of these statements...

    1.) Why would a teacher tell a high-achieving student not to become a teacher? That's like silently agreeing to the statement that "Those who can't do, teach."

    2.) I don't want to become a teacher so I can be some sort of superhero. Sure, I want to help children, and am taking a rather low-paying job to do so. But there are other reasons that I want to pursue education. I'm creative, and I can't stand the thought of being trapped in a cubicle every day. I enjoy being around children, and actually find them amusing, not annoying. Teaching lets me follow a similar schedule to the son/daughter in my future. Teaching provides a steady (not large, but steady) paycheck.


    3.) It hurts to hear my family say that. Some teachers have stable salaries and nice benefits; others struggle. They are not evil monsters, bent on draining taxpayer money.

    ~

    I'm just a person. Just a person who wants a job they do not detest.
     
  2. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Aug 1, 2011

    Cerek- I think people understand that other jobs are a lot of work to or that they also do work outside of 9-5. For me, the difference is that you don't generally hear people saying that lawyers/doctors/business executives etc. are lazy, overpaid, or sit around all day. They get credit and respect for the work they do, and they are generally compensated well also. Personally, I'm not looking for people to think that teaching is better or more difficult/time consuming than other jobs. I'm looking for people to respect the fact that I work just as hard as people with other jobs. I want people to realize that I don't sit around watching kids color,nap, or stand at the blackboard saying "2+2=4" all day. Many people in the general public actually think that's what goes on in elementary school. I would venture to say that most people outside of education also don't realize that at most schools you literally can't arrive when the kids show up and leave when they leave, even if you wanted to. According to my contract, I must be there early and stay late (for an 8 hour day) even if I don't "go the extra mile." My non-teacher friends know how hard I work, but I constantly hear "oh but you're the exception, most teachers don't work that many hours." I've even heard on news stations before that teaching is a "part time job" because teachers are "done at 2:30". At my school and most others, if you do the absolute bare minimum that is required in your contract, you're still working an 8 hour day just like anyone else!

    In regards to the OP, I also feel that even some "positive talk" about teaching is a bit patronizing. When people hear that I teach special ed, they often act like I'm making some great sacrifice or something. Although I will say I prefer that opinion over the "elementary teachers watch kids color" opinion. There were literally people at my college that thought we did things like color in my teacher education college classes- no joke. That is a problem.
     
  3. Good Doobie

    Good Doobie Rookie

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    Dec 4, 2011

    I haven't read all of the posts. Many that I did read have me thinking as follows. Briefly, teaching, like any job can be easy or really difficult. In teaching it mostly depends on the students, parents or administration. For example, if you are the only one trying to work habitually lazy students, then the principal will feel forced to answer parent's concerns by putting you under his close scrutiny. This way the principal can tell parents he is working on the problem. This has been my experience over the years. When the government finally backed teachers up with NCLB (which I think got twisted by deceitful opponents) and when the media and the schools (many schools) finally sent the message that it is the students who need to work harder and when for instance the school got the "Buckle Down" review books for math and science, when a lot of these kinds of things started happening, I noticed my job was getting a lot easier. Principals were quitting, parents were shutting up and students who wanted to learn had support. I think the intent of the NCLB was good, but even I wanted to support other teachers who hated it because I like to get along with others.
    Now teaching is easy, but I think a lot of lazy losers may now only work for revenge.
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Dec 4, 2011

    You are right that teaching can be easy or challenging depending upon many circumstances. There are a few teachers in my school who have it insanely easy. But that's because they suck. Seriously. I am thinking of one in particular and the instructional assistants do far more than this teacher, sometimes as a direct result of the teacher's lack of effort. :(
     
  5. Mrs.DLC

    Mrs.DLC Comrade

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    Dec 4, 2011

    As other FL teachers have said here-our insurance is not good. Single person premiums are several hundred dollars a month, my copay is $60 for specialists,$25 primary care, large co-pay and deductible for other things.. I know many people in other parts of the country seem to make much more in salary and benefits, trust me-cost of living is not cheap where I live. I don't mean to whine, I like my job. However, it is like comparing apples and oranges when teachers on this board ask about salary/benefits /reirement equity, etc. I think that is where some of the differences of opinion come into play.(Being paid a decent, living wage for a job well done.)
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dec 4, 2011

    I'm a professional educator who swings for the fences daily. I'm passionate about what we do, I make a difference for children. However, I work in a state where teachers are under attack by the governor and state legislature. Our governor has likened some teachers as treating kids 'like drug mules'.that hasn't stopped me from doing my best every day for the kids I teach, but it does make things difficult when one considers the long run...retirement, benefits, contract negotiations only get more tenuous. I'm in for the long haul though and still loving what I do. Every day.
     
  7. ciounoi

    ciounoi Cohort

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    Dec 4, 2011

    I went in for a job interview this summer... the panel had just finished reading my application essay that I had written a few minutes before. I am a good writer (not on the forums, though!) and they seemed to like my essay. I answered only one interview question, then the principle said, "OK, this is off the record, but I have to know... based on your essay, you could do a lot of things, why special education?" On one hand, I was flattered that they were impressed with my essay, but on the other hand, I do feel passionate about special ed! Those kids need the best teachers out there and I hope to be one of those teachers one day. I understand that there are other jobs available to me, but I like special ed the best.

    Now that I have a job, I often have this little exchange.

    Person: What do you do for a living?
    Me: I teach science.
    Person: Wow, that's cool! What grades?
    Me: 7-12.
    Person: Where do you teach?
    Me: Juvenile detention.
    Person: *jaw drops and they start kissing the ground at my feet*

    Honestly, it's not that bad. I'm not a martyr if I LIKE doing what I do!!! :cool:
     
  8. Pacificpastime

    Pacificpastime Companion

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    Dec 4, 2011

    Teachers are easy to pick on and easy to blame. If the current generation isn't where we would like it to be, it must be the teachers' fault. It's much easier to blame teachers than take responsibility.
     

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