PSA: Respect Your Teachers

I had a post scheduled for today but I decided to postpone it for a small PSA.

I love this time of the year for many reasons; like my birthday, mine and Devon’s anniversary, etc.

But, I also hate it because there is always so much teacher bashing that happens now. Between parents complaining up and down about the school supply lists and about how teachers don’t do their jobs; it’s hard to hear being an educator, especially right before the beginning of a new year where we should all be coming back refreshed and energized for a new year.

Devon shared an article with me yesterday (that I also shared on my personal Facebook page) about how “Teachers suck…”

Don’t let the title fool you; it’s not dogging teachers, like so many others do.  It’s explaining what we do other than teach all day long.  Teaching isn’t as simple as walking in the door and teaching a lesson and then leaving for the day.  You have to plan the lessons you’re doing (because most teachers have more than one class/content/subject/etc), you have planning for extra-curricular activities you run, you have meetings to go to, mandatory trainings to attend, PAPERWORK OUT THE ASS, mandates to follow, testing to prepare for, observations to prepare for….

And teachers do all of that along with teaching students, listening to them, caring for them, trying to help them be decent people.

The school day is roughly 7-8 hours.

A teachers typical day is roughly 10-12 hours.

And even still, at the end of the day, we’re not done; we’re mainly just going home because we’re tired and need to eat and see our families.

But we all do this every day because we genuinely love what we do.  There are parts we don’t like (like mountains of paperwork designated to us by people that have never taught a day in their lives) but what we like outweighs the annoyances.

Yes, I know, I’m not a “teacher”; no, I don’t create lesson plans everyday and stand in front of a room of 30 people and teach hours on end everyday.

I am a school counselor.

While I have a different job description, I’m still an educator; a teacher is an educator; we’re all in this together.

Devon and I were talking about this over breakfast yesterday.  There are parts of his job that are easier than mine; there are parts of my job that are easier than his.

For instance, I couldn’t make four lesson plans and teach 4 classes of 30+ 7th graders all day and he couldn’t listen to students cry, rant, complain, etc, all day.

But we’re both educators, at the end of the day, we want to teach students, help them, and do what we can to make sure they become decent human beings.

So every year, around this time of the year, we see this and it makes us both nuts.  And all I ask of anyone at the end of the day, is to try and understand your teacher or your child’s teacher.  Yes, your child is special to you, as they should be.  They are also special to their teacher, but every other student in that teacher’s room is also special and that teacher is trying to make sure every student feels special.

An educator is only one person; just as you as a parent do the best you can every day, the teacher is also doing the best they can every day with what they have.  They won’t be perfect every day but they are trying.  It’s okay to have a discussion with a teacher when something happens you don’t like; you’re a parent, it’s your job to make sure your child is well cared for at school.

But belittling a teacher/educator and making it seem like their job is insignificant isn’t okay.

We are in this profession because we love it.  We love seeing our students everyday (even those that frustrate us), we love seeing them grow, watching them finally get that concept that they’ve been struggling with, seeing them make a good choice or help someone else that they might not have before.  It’s why we’re willing to spend 10-12 hours a day at work and likely doing more work at home and why we’re willing to spend so much of our own money on our classrooms/offices for doing activities, parties, etc.

Teaching used to be one of the most respected professions in this country.  Back in the day, if you said you were a teacher, you would get the “wow, that’s amazing!” reaction. You say you’re a teacher now and a lot of the time it’s “wow…..that’s….something” and looks of pity and feigning sympathy.

We don’t really want sympathy.  Like I said, we love our jobs (most of the time).  It would just be nice for people to understand, we’re doing the best we can with what we have and no matter how many new mandates are thrown on us or how much paperwork we drown in, we’re going to keep doing that for our students and your children.

As I step off my soapbox now, I just want to ask all parents to try to remember that your child’s teacher does care about your child and does want what is best for them. IF we can all work together, we can help all of our kids be amazing young people and eventually amazing adults.

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