Education is about as frustrating to me as politics right now, maybe more. I retired just before the 2020-2021 school year began. As the years of my career careened forward, the job became worse and worse. Constant changes added more to our plates. There wasn’t enough time in the day to do everything that was expected. Then the Coronavirus hit. Add online learning to the mix. Teachers were looked at in a different light for a short time. We knew that wouldn’t last.
Teachers are the scapegoats when they are rarely the ones making the decisions. Who makes the major decisions for teachers? It is the government, the administration, the school board, and even the parents. It’s a trickle down situation with teachers at the bottom of the barrel. That is how I felt. I was at the bottom of the barrel with the rest of it filled to the tippity top, and items were continuing to pile up over the top. Adding the Coronavirus to the already full barrel was too much for me. Luckily I had enough years in to retire, even though that wasn’t the plan.
The public often sees teaching as babysitting. Teachers don’t get a degree, often degrees, to babysit. We don’t consistently update our education to babysit. Teachers are trained to teach, to know their class and do what needs to be done to help each student. They can tell you who struggles with what from being in class with them day after day. It doesn’t take a variety of tests to tell them, but the tests are given anyway. Each year gives you a different mix of kids with different needs. Those needs involve much more than just their academic education.
Teachers are feeling beaten down and overworked. They already gave so much extra time to their profession. Then came the task of teaching in class and on-line. Now they have a second job added on with even less time to do it in. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. Academics, classroom management, lack of consequences, constant changes in all areas, social & emotional education, anti-bullying lessons, paperwork, data entry, parent communication, testing, grading, lesson planning, parent meetings, team meeting, staff meetings, IEP meetings, helping with after school activities, and learning new technology. The list goes on from here.
Unless you have recent & consistent experience in a classroom, you do not know what it is like to teach. As with most things, you do not know what it is like if you have no experience in that area. People tend to think they know all about it because they were once a student. Nope, not even close my friends. Please remember that teachers are people too. They work hard and are given way more work than they can handle. Treat them well, be respectful when you talk to them, and please don’t talk badly about them, especially in front of your children.