You know when you were at school yourself and you thought of teachers of having the sole purpose to ruin your weekends and holidays by setting essays that would take up hours of your time?
How about when you blamed them for you having to cancel some fun plans as you had to revise for an important exam instead? Back then you probably had lot of misconceptions formed in your mind about those in a teaching career, here are a few that you might even still have;
- It’s a job with easy hours
If you were offered a 9am-3pm job right now, I’m sure you, like the rest of us would jump at the offer with no hesitation.
Those hours sound perfect, not gruelling at all and not the typical 9-5, think of how much you could get done at home with all that spare time. It would add up per week, you could pick up a new hobby, get the housework done or binge watch that new Netflix series you were meaning to get around to watching.
Although many think that teachers are lucky enough to revel in this luxury, they are in fact incorrect. Although teachers may only be actually teaching in front of a class from 9am until 3pm, the mountain of other work they do, such as preparation, tidying up and marking to name but a few are often overlooked. Not to mention detention after school, if a student misbehaves and gets detention, the teacher still has to stay and supervise, do you really think they want to be spending their own time like that?
Teachers are often some of the most hardworking souls among us, they dedicate their weekends, evenings and holidays to making sure their classes are planned down to a tee and their students are getting the most out of their learning. Therefore when people smirk and say that it must be ‘nice working such short hours’, teachers understandably get more than a little annoyed.
They have all the ‘background’ work to deal with, the things that a lot of people don’t see, often spending break and lunch times preparing for the next lessons whilst downing another strong black coffee, drowning in paperwork and keeping the peace between children at break-times.
2. They have the whole summer off
Another common misconception is that teachers are so lucky as they have the whole summer holidays off to spend as they wish.
Sure, it would be great to relive your school days and look forward to the whole six week summer off out enjoying yourself. It would also be nice to have a one or two week break every term to look forward to, however the realty is that although they may not have classes to teach when the school is closed, teachers still have work to do over the holidays.
Again, preparing for upcoming and future classes, holding revision sessions over breaks and the never-ending pile of marking is what comes to mind when a teacher thinks about their ‘relaxing holiday’.
3. Teaching is for people who cant do anything else
You know the common (and extremely insulting) saying ‘If you cant do, teach’, well this is another common misconception about the career. The above seems to be a common throwaway comment used to degrade teachers when the reality is, unless you actually teach, you don’t really know the amount of work and effort that is put into every second of every class.
Sure, maybe there are teachers out there that thought that it would an easy career move and that they would get by doing the bare minimum each day, however those teachers turn out to be very unpleasantly surprised. You get all different people in every single career path that will try and skive and manipulate their way into doing hardly anything all day every day, however in teaching, this is a very hard act to keep up.
Teachers are the reason we are able to learn, go out and get jobs and develop vital skills to enable us to succeed in the modern, ever-changing world.
We should be grateful, as without them, we would hardly know anything at all, they are there to prepare us for the big, bad world of work.
Even if you never got along with your own teachers at school, you have to admit that them setting you that essay to do when you really wanted to be out with your friends actually probably contributed to you grasping a concept and going on to further your education in the long run.
4. They hate change but are always on strike
Another myth about teachers is that they absolutely hate change but are always on strike. They are stuck in their ways and prefer to stay with what they know rather than succumb to any sort of change, even if it will be a positive one that will benefit the school and its pupils.
In reality this is untrue, many teachers are all for change if it will help their pupils, the only reason they will strike is because it is something that directly affects them or something they believe passionately about. Strikes are often a good thing as it makes a stand against any type of injustice, without a stand there will be no hope for improvement in the future. Teachers deserve security and a pay that represents the vital work they do in teaching children so if an occasional strike will help make others see the flaws of the current system then surely its a smart move?
5. They are completely to blame if your child fails
Teachers can guide your children, they can teach them everything that is on the curriculum and gently nudge them in the right direction. They can set homework and discipline those who don’t hand in assignments on time but at the end of the day, they cannot force your child to learn.
Learning essentially needs to be a two way street, of course good teachers will help students grasp a concept and encourage them to take their classes seriously but they cannot physically force children to learn.
Students want to gain all they can out of their education as well, teachers will be there to guide them but they are not there to do all the work for them.
Your teachers have already gone through their education, they have already sat their exams, gone to university, worked hard and got what they want out of a career, now they are dedicating their lives to making a difference to the next generation. It is unfair then, to completely blame them if your child does not get the grades they need or want. Grades are usually reflective of what the child deserves, if they worked hard then the numbers with probably show this, if they messed around all year then the same applies.
Of course a teacher who doesn’t care at all and lets the class run amok would be a different situation entirely, but most teachers are not like this. Most genuinely care about their pupils and their grades but they can only go so far. They can set work and give the class the tools to succeed, but they cannot and should not be expected to ‘force’ the students to do their work.
So here they are, some of those misconceptions will probably always exist, but hopefully you might think a little more and appreciate what they actually do all day every day for the next generation and the minds of tomorrow.