With so much going on in the public school arena, there is no wonder that people who spend years getting a teaching certification want nothing more than to get out of it.
I can’t blame them.
From standardized test focus in areas of Math, Reading and Science, to pressures from inadequate parents to continually spoon feed the kids the answers, teaching is tough.
I’ve taught both in a public school, private setting and I’ve had several jobs outside of teaching.
I can give you a LONG list of reasons as to why teaching sucks (and so can this person: www.angelapercaso.com), but that wouldn’t give you the five reasons to stay.
So why bother staying in teaching if things are so bad?
Well..here are the top FIVE that I can think of after a decade of teaching:
1. Summer. You know that had to be first but let me tell you something…it’s not what you think. People who work all year round are probably more stable and have less emotional turmoil at night than a teacher. Teaching takes a lot emotionally, in particular when you are dealing with kids who are on drugs, whose parents are on drugs, who sell drugs, who get pregnant at 13, whose parents died of an overdose, whose house burnt down, who needs clothes that don’t stink, who had to climb out of a window when they were 4 to get their brother food because their mother left them home while she went to the bar and got high on heroine……..the list goes on and on.
2. The Benefits. The benefits as a first year teacher in most schools is phenomenal in comparison to other professions.
3. 3pm quit time. Although you have to work earlier, it is still a perk to have more time in your day than other professions after work. That being said, you get up earlier and sometimes you need those two hours just to recover from a student assaulting you.
4. You get to Make a Difference. Although you may never know how far your reach is….you are the center of the stage in your classroom. You may or may not be remembered. Those who do remember you will likely have remembered because of one of two things: Either you said something profound that touched them OR you pissed them off.
5. Longer Holiday Breaks and Snow Days. When the weather sucks, it’s exciting because you get the day off. That is a good thing.
Notice I didn’t say pay, freedom, respect, or anything like that…..
Although these are
great reasons, I’m not so sure they’re going to keep me in teaching much longer.
You can only take so much ridiculous bantering and indecisive decision making in your lifetime.
On top of the crazy politics, the teaching profession itself has taken a down toll. Parents and kids yell at teachers rather than respect them these days and those standardized tests and the pressure to get kids to know the “magic curriculum” is a big part of it.
Long gone are the days where teachers could teach to the kid’s strengths because no child left behind means every kid that needs a ton of help is in the classroom …..and there’s not just one….there’s about 25% in a given classroom with one teacher.
One person who needs to sit down and work one on one with these kids.
No child left behind is causing our kids in public education to be left behind. How?
They don’t know how to inquire. They don’t know how to think for themselves.
They HATE reading because they HAVE to. It’s forced. The pleasure of enjoying a novel without having to go back and comprehend every last sentence, comma, colon is gone.
We have kids who love the digital age and learn well from videos but we are forcing them to stick to black and white retro ways.
Education is failing because the leadership has fallen.
But…in all that…as a teacher…I see those 5 reasons to stay…..for now anyways…. I might be better off going to work for that window company in North Olmsted, Ohio that I found the other day with a lovely secretary.