Anyone with a career in education knows that a teacher's job is comprised of much more than grading assignments and planning lessons. General misconceptions often overlook the many responsibilities teachers face when not working directly with students.
Below are seven common assumptions people make that teachers can't help but roll their eyes at.
“At least teachers get to take summers off."
Just because school is out for the summer doesn't mean teachers don't have work to do. Many teachers spend their summer days teaching summer school classes and tutoring students who need extra help.
In addition to preparing students for the coming school year, the first day back from summer vacation takes precise planning and preparation to go off smoothly. Throughout the summer, teachers must arrange their lesson plans for the forthcoming year, organize their classrooms and attend faculty meetings.
“Lesson planning and teaching is all there is to it."
If you ask students what a teacher's job consists of, you're likely to receive simplified answers like, “planning lessons" or “delivering lectures." However, if you ask teachers that same question, you're likely to receive much different answers.
Yes, teachers must plan lessons and give lectures, but they must also tailor their style to fit the individual needs of each student. Additionally, teachers must track each student's progress to ensure the teaching methods are successful. Progress tracking often requires multiple teachers to work together to find the methods that work best and how they can be utilized most effectively.
“The workday ends at 3:30 once students leave."
Because teachers are busy giving instructions and administering classwork throughout the day, there's little to no time for adapting lesson plans, grading assignments or preparing tests. These behind-the-scenes tasks require teachers to arrive at school early, stay at school long after students are dismissed and work weekends.
Teachers have many different students spread across several different classes. Each lesson requires hours of effort, meaning teachers must work during their personal time without receiving any additional compensation.
“Why do crowded classrooms bother you? I thought you liked your students."
There are many different methods of teaching and learning, and utilizing the wrong method can lead to low grades and long-term educational issues. And crowded classrooms make customized education almost impossible.
With fewer pupils in each classroom, teachers can spend more time focusing on the personal learning needs of each student, providing each one with a quality learning experience.
“Teaching elementary school students is glorified babysitting."
Babysitting consists of keeping children away from potential dangers. While an elementary school teacher's role does involve ensuring all children are safe and accounted for, there is much more to the job.
Elementary school teachers are responsible for molding minds at their most impressionable stages. In addition to creating educational foundations and developing crucial skill sets, elementary teachers provide their students with moral direction and an introduction to responsibility.
“You went to school a long time. Shouldn't you be a millionaire?"
It takes several years of education and more than 40-hour workweeks to be a teacher. With all the hard work and responsibilities that accompany the profession, it may be hard to believe teachers aren't paid millions of dollars a year.
However, unlike other professionals, those who become teachers do so for reasons other than money. Teachers enter the classroom because they care about the world's future. Teachers want the responsibility of helping the generation evolve into intelligent adults and powerful leaders.
“Those who can't do, teach."
If this statement were true, structured education would cease to exist. Teaching is not an easy profession to pursue. Successful teaching requires consummate skills, dedication, time and ceaseless effort.
Without skilled and talented teachers, learning would be difficult for students, and the opportunity for them to grow into successful adults and future leaders would be rare. Those who teach can — and do — change the world.
Begin Your Teaching Career with a Degree from University of Findlay
University of Findlay offers an online Master of Arts in Education program, along with an online Doctor in Education program. Both are offered entirely online, allowing you to complete coursework on your own schedule and earn your next degree at your own pace.
Check out Findlay today to find out how to upgrade your career and educate future generations.