Teaching - the best job on Earth
Updated: Jun 23, 2019
I love my job. I really do… I mean, I like it… some parts of it. When the ‘naughty’ kids are away, it’s a dream! Aside from the helicopter parents, the bitchy colleagues, the never-ending playground duties, the lack of regular toilet breaks and the piles and piles of marking building up on my desk. And don’t even get me started on the dreaded ‘R’ word (reports). Sheesh.
The list of shit that a teacher has to deal with is perpetual. Yeah, yeah, I hear you say. Teachers work 9 to 3, with no weekend work and 12 weeks of holidays per year, right? WRONG! I, for one, arrive at work by 7:30 each morning. I spend the hour and a half before the bell rings preparing the day’s lessons, cleaning up the filthy messes of other people’s children and dodging the neurotic parents that loiter shamelessly around my desk while little Johnny changes his reader. The hours from 9am til 3pm are consumed with me trying to plaster on a realistic looking smile as breezy teachers show up unannounced at my classroom door for a chat just as little Mary decides to start beating the shit out of little Johnny for borrowing her smelly Smiggle pens without asking. After 3pm, about half an hour is spent trying to appease the queue of fretful mothers who’ve just realised that their child is seven years old and still hasn’t figured out how to write the letter B. Following 3:30pm I’m left looking for a quiet corner of the school to sit in as my classroom has been taken over by a nine year old learning the recorder. This is my time to respond to emails, complete the multitude of compulsory professional learning courses we have to do, or mark the twenty-five maths tests we’ve just completed. Really, the list is endless. If I actually finished all the work I needed to do before leaving each day, I’d be walking out of the school around 8pm.
Luckily, I have a husband and a dog waiting for me at home, so I’m usually bolting out of the door by 4:30 so I’m home in time to walk the dog and cook something for dinner.
But what about all the holidays? I hear you ask. Don’t be fooled into thinking that teachers actually get holidays during the year. At the onset of most holidays, our bodies are so close to spontaneously erupting with built-up virus and disease that we spend the first week in bed, doped up on Valium and Nurofen. The second week is spent programming and planning for the next term.
That’s why it really bothers me when I hear people blindly repeating Bernard Shaw‘s famous saying, “He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.” Or “She who can, does. She who cannot, teaches.” (Because, feminism). Actually I believe that it takes a special kind of person to be a (good) teacher and to survive this career without murdering anyone. It takes patience and kindness and creativity to get through to the hundreds of children that a teacher will inevitably teach over the span of their careers. It takes charisma and kookiness and a sense of humour to entertain young people for six hours a day. Teaching demands knowledge and work ethic and flexibility in all areas of life. So next time you hear some idiot utter a line as nonsensical as the aforementioned, I challenge you to stand up for teacher-kind and put that dope in their place. Or show them this article. Whatever works.
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