Thursday, March 13, 2014

What NOT to Say to a Teacher

Life As Always

If you haven't figured it out by now, I am a teacher by day, and a blogger by night.  I knew that I wanted to link up with Jamie, Lindsey, Jenni, & Sarah for "Live & Learn Thursday" this week, but I wasn't sure I've learned anything recently.  I sure do teach a lot (although, I'm not sure how much my students are actually learning.....).  

Anyway, I decided to give you some advice from a teacher's point of view.  Here are a few things you should never say to a teacher (be you a parent, student, or general human being).

1. "...but you have all summer off!"

Yes, this is true.  This is a PERK of my job.  This is also essential to my survival as a somewhat sane person.  Without this summer break, it is likely that I may commit murder lose my mind.  I need this time to recuperate, regenerate, and refresh.  

But don't be fooled.  It's not like I sit at  home all summer and eat bon-bons.  This is the time where I actually do a semi-decent job at being a housewife: cleaning, cooking, etc. etc.   I also start planning for the next school year, obsess over the dynamics of the class I will have, visit school at least once a week to start setting up my classroom, and so on and so forth.

2. "My [insert adult figure here] didn't put it in my backpack!"

First of all, child, your mom (dad/grandma/aunt/uncle/older sister) doesn't come to school in my classroom.  YOU come to school.  It was YOUR homework/book/permission slip/etc.  It was YOUR responsibility to bring it back.  (And YES, I told my students this even when I taught first grade.  They've got to learn responsibility sometime!)

3. "Why didn't you see Tommy hit my child??"

Well, contrary to what I want students to believe.  I don't have eyes in the back of my head.  Kids are smart.  Kids are sneaky.  If Tommy wants to hit Bobby, he will not do it while I'm watching him.  He will wait until my back is turned.  The same goes for Susie pulling Annie's hair.  Or Johnny throwing a paper air plane.  Or Sally poking Susie with a pencil.  

Would you do something you're not supposed to do while someone is watching you?

4. "Well then, why weren't you paying attention?"

Thank you for asking.  I was doing one (or more) of the following: working on my lesson plans, writing on the board, addressing Susie pulling Annie's hair, hanging a bulletin board, assisting a student with a computer problem, filling out paper work for another discipline problem, helping Ernie with his math homework, counseling Sally and Sarah about the fight they're having, giving directions to the student who was absent yesterday and needed to make up a test/homework/in-class assignment, calling the nurse for a sick student, looking over the messed up class list that's supposed to be accurate BEFORE the state tests are administered, grading papers, entering grades, writing a progress report.....

I could go on.  

Shall I?

5. "Teachers are overpaid."

First of all, I DO actually love my job.  I DID NOT go into teaching for the money.  Anyone who becomes a teacher knows better.  I'm actually quite happy with my salary, but please do not tell me that I'm over paid.

Instead...come walk a day in my (sometimes high heeled) shoes.  The list above just barely scratches the surface of all of the things that I am trying to accomplish every day.  I bring work home.  I have laid awake at night trying to sleep but have remained awake thinking of how to make a lesson better, wondering why my students are so disrespectful, wishing I knew how to reach them, realizing that I forgot x amount of things that I still need to do before school starts tomorrow (and then deciding that I'd better get up early).

Then I have to try to teach 20 students at a time who all have different learning styles, abilities, and problems of their own.

AND I'm also supposed to make sure these 20 different individuals learn the exact same thing in the same amount of time and all before the state tests on which part of my teaching performance is based.

Once you do that, you can tell me I'm over paid.

I would also like to clarify that this is not a complaining post.  It is intended to be informative, sarcastic, and somewhat funny.  

So did this teacher teach YOU something today?! :)


Kristin said...

My current issue is kids who don't wear their glasses. "My mom put them up so my brother couldn't play with them". Um, okay, why weren't they on your face to begin with? And now it's been 2 weeks and you can't see.
Or, parents who seem to think it's the school's fault that their child can't read. We teach reading,obviously, but it needs to be reinforced at home! (This is especially true with telling time and money…all those real world skills that you really learn at home.)

Kari said...

The "teachers are overpaid" one is ridiculous. Considering the amount of work, effort, and heart a teacher has to put into their job, they are WAY under paid!

K. @ Life's an Adventure said...

"but you have all summer off" cracks me up every time. First of all, you are right, if we didn't have that break, we would all burn out after the first two years. People don't realize what a high-energy job teaching is. (Second of all, as a music teacher responsible for marching band, I get like three weeks of summer and then I'm back at it.) I'm lucky (knock on wood) that I've never had to deal much with #3 and 4, but I've heard horror stories from my mom. Hang in there, girl!

Sarah Alway said...

I LOVE this post. My mom is a teacher so I've always been a little more aware of the "realities" of teaching than most people, I like to think. It is a thankless, underpaid job (even with the so-called summers off), and teachers deserve so much more recognition than they receive. I'm thankful for teacher's like you, girlfriend! Also thanks for linking up! :-)

Caitlin Cavallaro said...

I couldn't agree more with you... but insert 36 students per class (okay, that was the last few years...) Yeah, not fun!

Minttu, Kivempi blogi said...

one word: AMEN!

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