Assumptions undoubtedly kill true insight, but they do more than that. They also hurt people, especially when they’re made about the particulars of a profession. Anyone who chooses to devote their lives to a certain vocation is unquestionably passionate about it, and this is certainly true of a teacher.
Unfortunately few occupations are more subject to crippling assumptions from those outside of it than teaching is. And if I live to be a thousand, that will still never make any sense to me.
There’s a huge list when it comes to what teachers wish everyone else knew about teaching that could probably fill a book, if not several books (Matthew Macaluso’s Pull Your Head Out Of Your Assumptions comes to mind). However, these go a bit beyond the regular workaday stresses and into a deeper realm. We’re talking about the little things here, the ones that truly matter.
With that, here are 10 different examples from education bloggers who are brave and vulnerable enough to share what teachers wish everyone else knew about the challenging, taxing, and incredibly rewarding job of teaching.
10 Examples of What Teachers Wish Everyone Else Knew
“I became a much better teacher when I put my students in charge. I let students perform skits, create posters, and participate in panel discussions. I have them teach mini-lessons to the class. I wrap up the conversation with a flourish if necessary, but I let them drive most of the way home. This approach makes my students feel valuable (which too many teenagers don’t) and helps build a community.”
Andrew Simmons, 7 Things I Wish People Understood About Being a Teacher
“… Even though I love my job and work harder at it than I’ve ever worked for anything, the loudest voice in my head is the one that is constantly saying ‘you’re not doing enough.’ I hear it all the time.”
Valerie Strauss, What I Wish Everyone Knew About Working in Some High-Needs Schools
“Tell me I’m doing a good job more than once a year. I keep your letters and emails and reread them on tough days.”
Dave Ramsey, 19 Fun and Helpful Things Teachers Want You to Know
“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people saying things like, ‘Maybe I’ll just be a teacher if this doesn’t work out,’ or ‘I could be a teacher, I went to school, how hard could it be!’ or ‘Maybe I’ll just quit and try teaching for a bit.’ Seriously? Do you know how many degrees, licenses, certifications, and how much advanced professional training you need to be a teacher and continue teaching each year? It’s not a ‘last resort’ profession. Teaching is the profession that creates all other professions.”
“Don’t worry and stress over sending your little ones to school (I know as a mom we have that guilt over not being with them and having others caring for our children). We teachers love them like our own … something I ask myself daily while teaching is, ‘How would I want my daughter’s teachers to treat her?’”
“The word ‘teacher’ just doesn’t cover it. We’re also nurses, psychologists, recess monitors, social workers, parental counselors, secretaries, copy machine mechanics, and almost literally parents, in some instances, to our students. If you’re in a corporate setting you can say, ‘That’s not in my job description.’ When you’re a teacher, you have to be ready for everything and anything to be thrown at you on a given day. And there’s no turning it down.”
“We love snow days too. Any teacher who says they haven’t slept in their pajamas inside out and flushed a few ice cubes to provoke the Snow Day gods is lying. We text our teacher friends in group messages and pray for school to close. We want to sleep in and go to the mall too.”
Cynthia Dite Sirni, 10 Secrets Teachers Won’t Tell You
“If I turn my back and my students start snickering behind me, you better believe that my face flushes red and I’m praying that they aren’t laughing at me. Or if I notice a student who literally has drool dribbling out the side of their mouth from boredom, I take that personally. That makes me feel as if I have failed at my job of creating engaging and interesting lessons.”
Emily Garcia, 10 Things Teachers Will Never Tell You
“We get misjudged. We get hurt. People sometimes don’t trust our motives. And it may be something that they’re carrying with them, and we don’t really know why. But that’s one of the most hurtful things, is when you’re judged. And sometimes you just have to let it be and do your best to make it right.”
Vicki Davis, 16 Things They Don’t Tell You About Teaching
“I’ve been blessed to have built some amazing relationships with some amazing kids and even more amazing parents through the years. Teaching is an exhausting and often thankless job, but oh so rewarding. I like to think that parents develop a little more appreciation for what we do when their kids are home for summer.”