Teaching is a career derived from passion, creativity and empathy. However, it is probably THE most misunderstood career as well! Here is a list I’ve compiled of the top 5 things you should never say to a teacher. Ever.
- “Tests are a good way to see if the teacher is doing their job right”.
No no and no. Tests are the necessary evil we must face every year. Not only do they not measure a teacher’s ability to teach, but it doesn’t always measure a student’s level of understanding. One bad day = one not so good test. That test doesn’t equate to the countless raised hands and answered questions during any other day or lesson. For this reason, many teachers don’t place all of the importance on tests; what students produce elsewhere is just as important.
- “Maybe you should try doing more fun activities in your classroom”.
Yes- activities are a great way to learn, however not everything we do can be turned into an activity. Sometimes independent work is needed, or a writing assignment in a journal. That doesn’t mean that we don’t try to make it fun!
- “It’s great that you finish your day early”.
May I introduce you to lesson plans? How about correcting exams and homework? We definitely don’t wake up in the morning and randomly decide what we’re going to teach that day. We spend nights, days and weeks planning just exactly what we’re going to teach. Most of the time, it doesn’t go as planned, which means we need to re-plan and regroup. Not once have I went home after practicum and a day of teaching and said “wow, I have nothing to do today”.
- “I could so be a kindergarten teacher. It’s like babysitting”.
Far from it. A lot of teaching goes on in a kindergarten class. This is where we get students ready for school; we set the tone, give them a good base to start from and teach them the basics that they will need to use from here on out. Kindergarten teaching is not easy, and it is absolutely not babysitting. I have infinite respect for kindergarten teachers- especially when in a class of 30 students!
- The famous, “Teaching is so easy. You get summers off!”
Apart from the fact that some of summer is usually spent planning for next year, teaching is not easy. Yes, it is rewarding and yes, we don’t only have 2 weeks vacation, but we are in charge of something very important. Someone important in my life pointed out that I are going to mold young minds, and he’s right. We mold young minds. We teach them things they will remember for the rest of their lives. We spend 7 hours a day with children to teach them about so many different subjects. Not only that, but we teach them life lessons as well. We are in charge of their learning, and that isn’t easy. Knowing that you need to help them learn and succeed is gratifying, but can be stressful as well.
Cheers to current teachers, past teachers and future teachers. May we continue to persevere, inspire and succeed in shaping the education of today and tomorrow; and cheers to our well deserved summer vacation.