Working Moms

Exhausted Teachers

I know there was a post a few days ago by a teacher who was just plain exhausted and distraught with the profession.  Many of us agreed that it's taking a toll on us this year.  While the beginning of this article had me doubting and wincing a little, by the end I was nodding a little.  I was curious how other teachers would feel about it.  I'm not saying it embodies how I feel about my career, but it does touch on some valid points about how society currently treats teachers, or at least how we as educators are viewing how society seems to be treating teachers. 

Disclaimer: I know that most people on this board are not the parents mentioned in this article (and you will take offense to the ideas presented that society is expecting the school to raise your children, because you are not the parents this article is talking about!) but for those of us in the classroom, we see what many of you not in the classroom won't see of the average (usually low-income) American home. 

http://theeducatorsroom.com/2012/09/the-exhaustion-of-the-american-teacher/

 

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Re: Exhausted Teachers

  • I used to teach high school English and quickly became exhausted for many of the reasons in this article. Then I taught preschool. While I liked it better, I saw little difference between toddlers and teens, except maybe diapers. I was quite happy to leave.
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  • I've been teaching elementary school for 11 years. In that time things have changed drastically and not for the better. I am exausted and so are my colleagues. Thanks for sharing this article.

     

     

  • I didn't read the article in whole, but I have to say I am really exhausted of teachers complaining. While I understand the profession is challenging, all jobs are difficult in their own way. Most of the teachers I know have been doing it for many many years. So, my question is - if it soooo horrible, why do you continue to do it? If I hated my job so much, I would do something different.

    Teachers complain non stop about the hours. Guess what? Myself and all my friends who are professionals put in as many and in most cases more hours than my teacher friends.

    And the pay - I am tired of teachers complaining about the pay. All of my teacher friends make anywhere from $50,000 to $90,000 a year. While no one is getting rich on that, it is a good living. And, didn't you know what salaries were when you got into the profession??? I know when I started thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up, salary was a part of that decision.

    I think that teachers put too much pressure on themselves. I believe that the majority of parents do not expect nor desire teachers to "raise" their children. I personally do not want anyone but my husband and myself developing the morals, values, and ethics of our children. For some reason, teachers believe that this is part of their job descriptions. It is not. They are there to teach specific subject matter. 

    Please don't take this post the wrong way - teachers are extremely important and good teachers can't be paid enough. I understand the conditions of schools have changed over the years and not for the better. I get exhausted of anyone complaining about their profession - not just teachers, but teachers seem to complain more than most.

     

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  • image daisy662:

    I didn't read the article in whole, but I have to say I am really exhausted of teachers complaining. While I understand the profession is challenging, all jobs are difficult in their own way. Most of the teachers I know have been doing it for many many years. So, my question is - if it soooo horrible, why do you continue to do it? If I hated my job so much, I would do something different.

    Teachers complain non stop about the hours. Guess what? Myself and all my friends who are professionals put in as many and in most cases more hours than my teacher friends.

    And the pay - I am tired of teachers complaining about the pay. All of my teacher friends make anywhere from $50,000 to $90,000 a year. While no one is getting rich on that, it is a good living. And, didn't you know what salaries were when you got into the profession??? I know when I started thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up, salary was a part of that decision


    I'm a teacher and I couldn't agree with this more.  I feel like since I don't bering home work because I've learned to prioritize and make the most of my 7:30-2:30 day so I'm home with my kids 4/5 days a week by 3 that somehow makes me a bad teacher in the eyes of other bad teachers.  I also feel like I make a comfortable living, and if I didn't, I have plenty of opportunities to tutor or work the summer or have any other p/t job to make more money.  I don't know why teachers can't just be grateful for the things we do have, no profession is perfect. 

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  • image daisy662:

    I didn't read the article in whole, but I have to say I am really exhausted of teachers complaining. While I understand the profession is challenging, all jobs are difficult in their own way. Most of the teachers I know have been doing it for many many years. So, my question is - if it soooo horrible, why do you continue to do it? If I hated my job so much, I would do something different.

    Teachers complain non stop about the hours. Guess what? Myself and all my friends who are professionals put in as many and in most cases more hours than my teacher friends.

    And the pay - I am tired of teachers complaining about the pay. All of my teacher friends make anywhere from $50,000 to $90,000 a year. While no one is getting rich on that, it is a good living. And, didn't you know what salaries were when you got into the profession??? I know when I started thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up, salary was a part of that decision.

    I think that teachers put too much pressure on themselves. I believe that the majority of parents do not expect nor desire teachers to "raise" their children. I personally do not want anyone but my husband and myself developing the morals, values, and ethics of our children. For some reason, teachers believe that this is part of their job descriptions. It is not. They are there to teach specific subject matter. 

    Please don't take this post the wrong way - teachers are extremely important and good teachers can't be paid enough. I understand the conditions of schools have changed over the years and not for the better. I get exhausted of anyone complaining about their profession - not just teachers, but teachers seem to complain more than most.

     

    I'm a teacher and I don't complain.  That being said, not every teacher's situation is the same.  I work in a very nice school where the kids are nice, the administration is very supportive, and the parents are nice.  I know teachers who work in really crappy schools.  I really can't blame those teachers for complaining.  It bothers me when teachers who work in nice schools complain.

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  • image megann831:
    image daisy662:

    I didn't read the article in whole, but I have to say I am really exhausted of teachers complaining. While I understand the profession is challenging, all jobs are difficult in their own way. Most of the teachers I know have been doing it for many many years. So, my question is - if it soooo horrible, why do you continue to do it? If I hated my job so much, I would do something different.

    Teachers complain non stop about the hours. Guess what? Myself and all my friends who are professionals put in as many and in most cases more hours than my teacher friends.

    And the pay - I am tired of teachers complaining about the pay. All of my teacher friends make anywhere from $50,000 to $90,000 a year. While no one is getting rich on that, it is a good living. And, didn't you know what salaries were when you got into the profession??? I know when I started thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up, salary was a part of that decision


    I'm a teacher and I couldn't agree with this more.  I feel like since I don't bering home work because I've learned to prioritize and make the most of my 7:30-2:30 day so I'm home with my kids 4/5 days a week by 3 that somehow makes me a bad teacher in the eyes of other bad teachers.  I also feel like I make a comfortable living, and if I didn't, I have plenty of opportunities to tutor or work the summer or have any other p/t job to make more money.  I don't know why teachers can't just be grateful for the things we do have, no profession is perfect. 

    I would be proud to have you teach my children! :) The best thing about teaching are the hours - so teachers absolutely should take advantage of that. Good for you for having a work life balance! :)

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  • image skibunny59:
    image daisy662:

    I didn't read the article in whole, but I have to say I am really exhausted of teachers complaining. While I understand the profession is challenging, all jobs are difficult in their own way. Most of the teachers I know have been doing it for many many years. So, my question is - if it soooo horrible, why do you continue to do it? If I hated my job so much, I would do something different.

    Teachers complain non stop about the hours. Guess what? Myself and all my friends who are professionals put in as many and in most cases more hours than my teacher friends.

    And the pay - I am tired of teachers complaining about the pay. All of my teacher friends make anywhere from $50,000 to $90,000 a year. While no one is getting rich on that, it is a good living. And, didn't you know what salaries were when you got into the profession??? I know when I started thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up, salary was a part of that decision.

    I think that teachers put too much pressure on themselves. I believe that the majority of parents do not expect nor desire teachers to "raise" their children. I personally do not want anyone but my husband and myself developing the morals, values, and ethics of our children. For some reason, teachers believe that this is part of their job descriptions. It is not. They are there to teach specific subject matter. 

    Please don't take this post the wrong way - teachers are extremely important and good teachers can't be paid enough. I understand the conditions of schools have changed over the years and not for the better. I get exhausted of anyone complaining about their profession - not just teachers, but teachers seem to complain more than most.

     

    I'm a teacher and I don't complain.  That being said, not every teacher's situation is the same.  I work in a very nice school where the kids are nice, the administration is very supportive, and the parents are nice.  I know teachers who work in really crappy schools.  I really can't blame those teachers for complaining.  It bothers me when teachers who work in nice schools complain.

    I agree - there are schools that are terrible. Again, I say those teachers should go work somewhere else if they don't like it. Just like any other job. I have worked crummy jobs with horrible bosses. I don't work there anymore.

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  • I am a sixth grade teacher in my 11th year. I have had my fair share of listless/demanding students and crazy/unrealistic parents. For the most part, though, I still enjoy what I do. I try not to complain simply because i do have a good job that works so well with my family's life. That being said, teaching has gotten more difficult over the years with the ridiculous cuts thank you, NY politicians, the apathy among students and parents, the the general feeling of always having to look over your shoulder.

    My biggest complaint about the profession is that so many people hate teachers. Everyone thinks that they can not only do our jobs, but do them better than the people who have been educated and trained to teach in the modern society. And to those people I would gladly welcome them in to my classroom for an entire week! Many eyes would be truly opened at that point. I seriously can't think of another profession that people are so outspoken about or disrespectful toward.

    I am basically just commiserating. Hang tough. People in the trenches understand. And if it ever gets that bad, teaching provides you with such an arsenal of skills tht you could do a million other things!

    Sorry if there are typos. I'm on my phone.
  • image daisy662:

    I didn't read the article in whole, but I have to say I am really exhausted of teachers complaining. While I understand the profession is challenging, all jobs are difficult in their own way. Most of the teachers I know have been doing it for many many years. So, my question is - if it soooo horrible, why do you continue to do it? If I hated my job so much, I would do something different.

    Teachers complain non stop about the hours. Guess what? Myself and all my friends who are professionals put in as many and in most cases more hours than my teacher friends.

    And the pay - I am tired of teachers complaining about the pay. All of my teacher friends make anywhere from $50,000 to $90,000 a year. While no one is getting rich on that, it is a good living. And, didn't you know what salaries were when you got into the profession??? I know when I started thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up, salary was a part of that decision.

    I think that teachers put too much pressure on themselves. I believe that the majority of parents do not expect nor desire teachers to "raise" their children. I personally do not want anyone but my husband and myself developing the morals, values, and ethics of our children. For some reason, teachers believe that this is part of their job descriptions. It is not. They are there to teach specific subject matter. 

    Please don't take this post the wrong way - teachers are extremely important and good teachers can't be paid enough. I understand the conditions of schools have changed over the years and not for the better. I get exhausted of anyone complaining about their profession - not just teachers, but teachers seem to complain more than most.

    I skimmed the article as well, but the teachers I teach with don't complain about the hours or the pay.  We complain about all the other crap they make us do that doesn't make us better teachers.  We don't complain about having to raise your children; we complain that parents don't trust teachers to make good decisions in terms of education.  Obviously, your high school kid knows much more about what's best for them and as a parent, your high school kid can't be wrong.  When your kid won't do homework and parents don't make them, somehow the teacher needs to come up with another way to teach math without practice.  And somehow, all of your kids HAVE to be honors.  There's no way they should be in REGULAR classes.

    I am not complaining about the hours, but you probably have no idea how many hours teachers put in.  No idea.

    I'm sorry, but your post was insulting.  "Stop complaining, but teachers are important." I hope I never get your kid in class.

  • This is my 12th year of teaching elementary, and I can definitely understand the feelings of being tired/burnt out.  For the most part, though, I still truly love my job, and if I ever felt like I didn't, I wouldn't continue to teach.  I believe teaching is one of those jobs where you cannot be really good at it unless you are really invested and love it(and I don't just mean loving kids or long vacations).  I will have to say that my students have never been the reason for my periods of being tired of it - it's mainly been bad administrators and poor decisions that don't seem to have the best interests of the students at heart.  I teach in a rough neighborhood - lots of poverty, many are English learners, and many with issues at home.  However, last Friday, one of my former students came to visit.  He told me he is almost finished with college and currently has an internship in graphic design.  He came to thank me for teaching him ten years ago.  He will be the first in his family to graduate from college.  I totally teared up as I was talking to him.  Whenever I am feeling exhausted and overwhelmed, I try to remember how I am making a difference in my students' lives.
  • I am an exhausted teacher.  I have had a few jobs/careers in my lifetime.  Nothing compares to the demands of teaching.  To be good at it you work all day, hardly have time to eat or pee, and go home only to work all evening.  Granted, the longer you do it the better you get at it and the less work you do at home.  For anyone to say teachers need to stop complaining need to try teaching.  My mom came to volunteer in my class for 1 day and now never opens her mouth about my summer "vacation", etc... Anyway, just my two cents.  
  • image daisy662:

    I didn't read the article in whole, but I have to say I am really exhausted of teachers complaining. While I understand the profession is challenging, all jobs are difficult in their own way. Most of the teachers I know have been doing it for many many years. So, my question is - if it soooo horrible, why do you continue to do it? If I hated my job so much, I would do something different.

    Teachers complain non stop about the hours. Guess what? Myself and all my friends who are professionals put in as many and in most cases more hours than my teacher friends.

    And the pay - I am tired of teachers complaining about the pay. All of my teacher friends make anywhere from $50,000 to $90,000 a year. While no one is getting rich on that, it is a good living. And, didn't you know what salaries were when you got into the profession??? I know when I started thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up, salary was a part of that decision.

    I think that teachers put too much pressure on themselves. I believe that the majority of parents do not expect nor desire teachers to "raise" their children. I personally do not want anyone but my husband and myself developing the morals, values, and ethics of our children. For some reason, teachers believe that this is part of their job descriptions. It is not. They are there to teach specific subject matter. 

    Please don't take this post the wrong way - teachers are extremely important and good teachers can't be paid enough. I understand the conditions of schools have changed over the years and not for the better. I get exhausted of anyone complaining about their profession - not just teachers, but teachers seem to complain more than most.

     

    The only way I can get another job is if I went back to college. And...I work in a Title I school, with over 40% of the kids living under CPS custody. It is my job to teach morals, values, and ethics.  

    And as far as salary? I had no idea that I would be making 28k a year. The areas where I grew up paid around 44k starting off, I won't make 44k where we live until I have taught nearly 30 years and, no the cost of living isn't any cheaper here.  

    I don't know anyone that complains of the hours or the pay, it is all of the other things that keep on adding up.  

    My job would be much easier if parents let me do my job---that I have been trained to do.  

  • I expected to get flamed and find it refreshing that some of the teachers agree with me - I would love to have those people teach my kids. I am sorry pp would not want to teach my kids - don't worry - I woud prefer the bitter teachers not teach my kids either!  I am sure your pissy attitude is part of the reason the parents don't "trust you to do your job". My thought process is the majority not the minority. You may want to at least take it into consideration and lose the chip on your shoulder - it may make you a better teacher and more able to relate to the parents. I am still trying to figure out what I said that was offensive.

    Again, I will reiterate - every job has it's issues. Teachers think they are the only ones that work long hours and have challenging careers. I never said you don't - I said I am tired of hearing the complaints. Every job is challenging in it's own way. I think if teachers spent a few days in the private sector they would start to realize that every job has it's issue.

     I know many teachers in my personal life - and the bulk of them complain about the pay and the hours. And, they are making way more than $28K a year. My MIL makes $60K a year and all she does is complain about pay and her hours. She works a lot of hours, but chooses to because she teaches extra adult ed classes, etc. And, btw - she gets paid extra for it. When I work extra hours at my job, I do not get paid extra - I am expected to do what it takes to get the job done.

    Teachers need to learn that they are dealing with people's most important thing in their life - their children. So, you will continue to hear their opinions as you should.

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  • image CPBP:
    I am a sixth grade teacher in my 11th year. I have had my fair share of listless/demanding students and crazy/unrealistic parents. For the most part, though, I still enjoy what I do. I try not to complain simply because i do have a good job that works so well with my family's life. That being said, teaching has gotten more difficult over the years with the ridiculous cuts thank you, NY politicians, the apathy among students and parents, the the general feeling of always having to look over your shoulder. My biggest complaint about the profession is that so many people hate teachers. Everyone thinks that they can not only do our jobs, but do them better than the people who have been educated and trained to teach in the modern society. And to those people I would gladly welcome them in to my classroom for an entire week! Many eyes would be truly opened at that point. I seriously can't think of another profession that people are so outspoken about or disrespectful toward. I am basically just commiserating. Hang tough. People in the trenches understand. And if it ever gets that bad, teaching provides you with such an arsenal of skills tht you could do a million other things! Sorry if there are typos. I'm on my phone.

    Honestly, I think people feel that way towards teachers because they are secretly jealous of us.  They hate the fact that we can leave our jobs around 3:00 everyday, have week long breaks for holidays, have the summers off, etc.   

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  • image daisy662:

    I expected to get flamed and find it refreshing that some of the teachers agree with me - I would love to have those people teach my kids. I am sorry pp would not want to teach my kids - don't worry - I woud prefer the bitter teachers not teach my kids either!  I am sure your pissy attitude is part of the reason the parents don't "trust you to do your job". My thought process is the majority not the minority. You may want to at least take it into consideration and lose the chip on your shoulder - it may make you a better teacher and more able to relate to the parents. I am still trying to figure out what I said that was offensive.

    Again, I will reiterate - every job has it's issues. Teachers think they are the only ones that work long hours and have challenging careers. I never said you don't - I said I am tired of hearing the complaints. Every job is challenging in it's own way. I think if teachers spent a few days in the private sector they would start to realize that every job has it's issue.

     I know many teachers in my personal life - and the bulk of them complain about the pay and the hours. And, they are making way more than $28K a year. My MIL makes $60K a year and all she does is complain about pay and her hours. She works a lot of hours, but chooses to because she teaches extra adult ed classes, etc. And, btw - she gets paid extra for it. When I work extra hours at my job, I do not get paid extra - I am expected to do what it takes to get the job done.

    Teachers need to learn that they are dealing with people's most important thing in their life - their children. So, you will continue to hear their opinions as you should.

    I just wanted to clarify some of the these points you are making.  I, for one, could never ever work in the private sector.  Every time I have a particularly frustrating day at school I think about other people's jobs, and I feel blessed to have a job that I truly love.  I could never work in an office all day (Boring) and yes although teachers do work their asses off we do get breaks that the rest of working adults do not get.  Every time I complain to my brother about how I had a particularly challenging class that day or how it would be nice to be able to go to the bathroom whenever I want, he reminds me of all of the days of the year I don't have to go to work and then I shut up.  He also doesn't even get home until 7.  I get home at 3:00.  I agree that people often underestimate how hard teachers work but we do get breaks so I guess it kind of evens out.

    As for salary, it really depends on where you live and what kind of school you teach at how much you get paid.  Public school teachers make more than private school teachers and teachers in high cost of living areas generally make more than teachers in lower income areas.

    You said that teachers get paid extra for what they do.  This isn't always true.  If they are a coach or advisor for a club, or if they tutor, then yes they get paid extra.  However, many teachers provide extra help after school and they do not get paid extra.  All of the grade level teachers in my school are required to have one extra help day a week (I'm lucky.  I teach music so I don't have to do this.)  Anyway, they do not get paid extra for this.  Oh, and even though you don't get paid extra at your job for working extra hours a lot of people do.  My DH gets overtime every time he stays late at work.

     

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  • image skibunny59:
    image daisy662:

    I expected to get flamed and find it refreshing that some of the teachers agree with me - I would love to have those people teach my kids. I am sorry pp would not want to teach my kids - don't worry - I woud prefer the bitter teachers not teach my kids either!  I am sure your pissy attitude is part of the reason the parents don't "trust you to do your job". My thought process is the majority not the minority. You may want to at least take it into consideration and lose the chip on your shoulder - it may make you a better teacher and more able to relate to the parents. I am still trying to figure out what I said that was offensive.

    Again, I will reiterate - every job has it's issues. Teachers think they are the only ones that work long hours and have challenging careers. I never said you don't - I said I am tired of hearing the complaints. Every job is challenging in it's own way. I think if teachers spent a few days in the private sector they would start to realize that every job has it's issue.

     I know many teachers in my personal life - and the bulk of them complain about the pay and the hours. And, they are making way more than $28K a year. My MIL makes $60K a year and all she does is complain about pay and her hours. She works a lot of hours, but chooses to because she teaches extra adult ed classes, etc. And, btw - she gets paid extra for it. When I work extra hours at my job, I do not get paid extra - I am expected to do what it takes to get the job done.

    Teachers need to learn that they are dealing with people's most important thing in their life - their children. So, you will continue to hear their opinions as you should.

    I just wanted to clarify some of the these points you are making.  I, for one, could never ever work in the private sector.  Every time I have a particularly frustrating day at school I think about other people's jobs, and I feel blessed to have a job that I truly love.  I could never work in an office all day (Boring) and yes although teachers do work their asses off we do get breaks that the rest of working adults do not get.  Every time I complain to my brother about how I had a particularly challenging class that day or how it would be nice to be able to go to the bathroom whenever I want, he reminds me of all of the days of the year I don't have to go to work and then I shut up.  He also doesn't even get home until 7.  I get home at 3:00.  I agree that people often underestimate how hard teachers work but we do get breaks so I guess it kind of evens out.

    As for salary, it really depends on where you live and what kind of school you teach at how much you get paid.  Public school teachers make more than private school teachers and teachers in high cost of living areas generally make more than teachers in lower income areas.

    You said that teachers get paid extra for what they do.  This isn't always true.  If they are a coach or advisor for a club, or if they tutor, then yes they get paid extra.  However, many teachers provide extra help after school and they do not get paid extra.  All of the grade level teachers in my school are required to have one extra help day a week (I'm lucky.  I teach music so I don't have to do this.)  Anyway, they do not get paid extra for this.  Oh, and even though you don't get paid extra at your job for working extra hours a lot of people do.  My DH gets overtime every time he stays late at work.

     

    All of this. I love my job and I love the time I have with DD.  I could never work an office job!  BUT I make 30k per year. I won't make anywhere close to 60k until I've been working 30 years, have my masters, and have completed national boards (all of which I do plan to do, but can't quite yet).  I know teachers in some parts of the country get paid really well, but it's not universal. In fact, in all of the four states I have experience in, the lower pay scale is much, much more common. I've never seen anyone make more than 40k, even the really experienced and educated teachers.  And I did know about this going into the profession so I'm obviously ok with it- I didn't go into it for the money - but I get tired of hearing people talk about how much money teachers take home. 

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  • Its seems to me that teaching should be governed by market forces like everything else - as long as people are willing to accept at the salaries offered w/ the conditions as they exist, there is no incentive for governments/school systems/tax payers to offer more money or better conditions.  As a worker/market actor, selling my time and labor, I can determine what I am willing to sell my time for and what working conditions, I'm willing to accept - if I dont' want to accept certain conditions/wages at a certain workplace, I can leave.

     

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  • image CPBP:
    I am a sixth grade teacher in my 11th year. I have had my fair share of listless/demanding students and crazy/unrealistic parents. For the most part, though, I still enjoy what I do. I try not to complain simply because i do have a good job that works so well with my family's life. That being said, teaching has gotten more difficult over the years with the ridiculous cuts thank you, NY politicians, the apathy among students and parents, the the general feeling of always having to look over your shoulder. My biggest complaint about the profession is that so many people hate teachers. Everyone thinks that they can not only do our jobs, but do them better than the people who have been educated and trained to teach in the modern society. And to those people I would gladly welcome them in to my classroom for an entire week! Many eyes would be truly opened at that point. I seriously can't think of another profession that people are so outspoken about or disrespectful toward. I am basically just commiserating. Hang tough. People in the trenches understand. And if it ever gets that bad, teaching provides you with such an arsenal of skills tht you could do a million other things! Sorry if there are typos. I'm on my phone.

    I think this is a big reason why there are so many lousy teachers out there.  I think many people go into it thinking that it will be easy and they get to leave work early and get the summers off.  Then they start teaching and it is not what they thought.  I think it takes a certain type of person to teach.  It's certainly not a job that anyone can do.  It doesn't matter how knowledgeable you are about the subject area you are teaching, if you don't have the personality for teaching then you are not going to be a good teacher or enjoy it very much.

    The problem is that the tenure system makes it very very hard for people to be let go if they are lousy.  All you have to do is work hard for 3 years and get tenure and they basically can't fire you unless you molest a kid or if there are budget cuts.  It also makes it very hard for teachers to leave even if they don't like it.  Yes, many of us could be making more in the private sector but as teachers we have a good pension, great health benefits, job security, a salary step which means you get a raise every year regardless of your performance, and summers off. I know of teachers who just tolerate it and give the kids busy work just so they can stay because of these perks.  I think there are a lot of lazy teachers and I think it's the lazy teachers and teachers that have gone into the profession for the wrong reasons that have given the rest of us a bad rap.

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  • I skimmed the article, but I wanted to respond to the conversation more so  than the article.  I love teaching.  I had no idea what my salary would be until I started.  My fault, I know, because I didn't research it at all.  I didn't care, I just wanted to teach. I would not complain about my salary, because I feel I make a decent living.  I don't make anywhere near 50,000 or 60,000 and I might not ever. I don't like it when teachers who make a decent living complain because it makes all teachers look money hungry. There are places in which teachers do not make enough, and I feel those teachers have a right to complain.  At my district they took out the first step (initial pay) because anyone hired there would be eligable for food stamps, and the district didn't feel that was a good move.

    As far as the "stop complaining and leave" arguement (not that anyone said it in those words) I have a masters degree and 10 years experience. I can't just go to another district if I don't like my situation, because of this degree and experience.  Most districts aren't looking for someone with my experience, and even if I said I'd take first year teachers' salary, they wouldn't consider me.  I'm lucky not to want to leave where I'm at, but it's not necessarily easy for anyone to move. I could leave the profession, but I'm not really qualified to do much else, so like a pp said, I'd have to go to school again.  Again, this is not specifically about me, just general situations that make the solutions suggested( in general, not necessarily here)  not as easy as they seem.

     I think the biggest frustration I face is the judgement from people who don't walk in my shoes.  I try very hard not to judge other professions, because like someone said, all jobs have their perks and hardships.  I don't know the inside details of any job other than my own.  But I feel that because teacher (in my case) is a public job, paid for by taxpayers, many people take that to heart. They are my boss.  Some make that clear.  Although they have no idea what I actually do in my classroom, they can still judge because "they pay my salary." (And yes, I also pay taxes, which honestly, some people don't know.) overall though, I'm very lucky to teach in the area I do.  But I know that's not the case with everyone, so I get the complaining.  I don't like complaining about little things-every job has little things to complain about, and because teachers are in the public eye a lot, complaints are generalized to all teachers.  I'll admit I'm over sensitive too.  I get defensive.  I always do my best.  I want the best for my students.  I love my students and I always keep in mind that my students are someone else's children. I know not every teacher is like me, and when you hear about those who are constantly complaining, I want to scream that we're not all like that...because I take the "teachers shouldn't complain" or "teachers are paid well" type comments to heart.

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  • image skibunny59:

    image CPBP:
    I am a sixth grade teacher in my 11th year. I have had my fair share of listless/demanding students and crazy/unrealistic parents. For the most part, though, I still enjoy what I do. I try not to complain simply because i do have a good job that works so well with my family's life. That being said, teaching has gotten more difficult over the years with the ridiculous cuts thank you, NY politicians, the apathy among students and parents, the the general feeling of always having to look over your shoulder. My biggest complaint about the profession is that so many people hate teachers. Everyone thinks that they can not only do our jobs, but do them better than the people who have been educated and trained to teach in the modern society. And to those people I would gladly welcome them in to my classroom for an entire week! Many eyes would be truly opened at that point. I seriously can't think of another profession that people are so outspoken about or disrespectful toward. I am basically just commiserating. Hang tough. People in the trenches understand. And if it ever gets that bad, teaching provides you with such an arsenal of skills tht you could do a million other things! Sorry if there are typos. I'm on my phone.

    I think this is a big reason why there are so many lousy teachers out there.  I think many people go into it thinking that it will be easy and they get to leave work early and get the summers off.  Then they start teaching and it is not what they thought.  I think it takes a certain type of person to teach.  It's certainly not a job that anyone can do.  It doesn't matter how knowledgeable you are about the subject area you are teaching, if you don't have the personality for teaching then you are not going to be a good teacher or enjoy it very much.

    The problem is that the tenure system makes it very very hard for people to be let go if they are lousy.  All you have to do is work hard for 3 years and get tenure and they basically can't fire you unless you molest a kid or if there are budget cuts.  It also makes it very hard for teachers to leave even if they don't like it.  Yes, many of us could be making more in the private sector but as teachers we have a good pension, great health benefits, job security, a salary step which means you get a raise every year regardless of your performance, and summers off. I know of teachers who just tolerate it and give the kids busy work just so they can stay because of these perks.  I think there are a lot of lazy teachers and I think it's the lazy teachers and teachers that have gone into the profession for the wrong reasons that have given the rest of us a bad rap.

    Our district did away with tenure!  It's been great really, because if you do not perform up to expectations, you are let go.  We've had teachers who have been teaching for many years fired because they flat out were not good teachers.  I actually really like our new evaluation system.  As for the article, nowhere did it mention teachers complaining because they aren't paid enough or about the work load, etc. Honestly, I don't know many teachers who actually complain about those specific things.  It was more about how things that used to be taught at home around the dinner table are now being taught in the classroom instead, which distracts from teacher's ability to actually teach academics. 

     

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  • I am so proud of the teachers that indicated they are happy that the tenure system is going away. There should absolutely not be tenure or contracts or anything of the sort. I have heard many teachers indicate they are upset that they are not paid at the level of the private sector. Well, in the private sector, there are no guarantees, no pensions, and none of many of the other perks listed by pp's above. Another reason things are so horrific in the schools are the unions - they should be completely abolished. It would solve so many issues in our schools and create much better working conditions for the teachers.

    Many of the teachers above are awesome - I love your attitudes about the situation. You got into teaching because you want to make a difference. That is what it is all about. I have nothing but the utmost respect for you all! :)

    For those that think they got the raw deal - teachers have been complaining about the same things for decades - you should have done more research before getting into the field. I recall my high school teachers saying all the things you guys have indicated above and I graduated 16 years ago. 

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  • I think the issue is that everyone also thinks they know about teaching since almost everyone went to school. That means everyone is an expert. I don't claim to know what's involved in your job so why do you think you know about mine? You say you graduated 16 years ago. I started teaching 12 years ago. Trust me...teaching then and teaching now are night and day. Oh, wait, you don't trust me so nevermind. Because obviously you know more about education and teaching. Once again, that's my point. Everyone is an expert. You can hate my pissy attitude. I actually think the most bitter teachers in my building are the best teachers. You probably won't believe me. We "complain" because we know things are being done that are not in the best interest of the kids. We love the kids and the teaching. We hate doing things that is not spending our time preparing good lessons or helping kids. Everyone hears our complaints and somehow ALWAYS lump it into pay or hours. I told you my complaints were completely different than what you said. And somehow I'm a bad teacher.
  • image daisy662:

    I expected to get flamed and find it refreshing that some of the teachers agree with me - I would love to have those people teach my kids. I am sorry pp would not want to teach my kids - don't worry - I woud prefer the bitter teachers not teach my kids either!  I am sure your pissy attitude is part of the reason the parents don't "trust you to do your job". My thought process is the majority not the minority. You may want to at least take it into consideration and lose the chip on your shoulder - it may make you a better teacher and more able to relate to the parents. I am still trying to figure out what I said that was offensive.

    Again, I will reiterate - every job has it's issues. Teachers think they are the only ones that work long hours and have challenging careers. I never said you don't - I said I am tired of hearing the complaints. Every job is challenging in it's own way. I think if teachers spent a few days in the private sector they would start to realize that every job has it's issue.

     I know many teachers in my personal life - and the bulk of them complain about the pay and the hours. And, they are making way more than $28K a year. My MIL makes $60K a year and all she does is complain about pay and her hours. She works a lot of hours, but chooses to because she teaches extra adult ed classes, etc. And, btw - she gets paid extra for it. When I work extra hours at my job, I do not get paid extra - I am expected to do what it takes to get the job done.

    Teachers need to learn that they are dealing with people's most important thing in their life - their children. So, you will continue to hear their opinions as you should.

    I was offended that you think we should just shut up and do our job.  Most people think teachers should never complain for some reason. 

    And I will take your though process into consideration when dealing with parents.  When they want me to stay after to help their children with math, I will say, "Oh, I'm sorry, one of the perks of my job is leaving right after school.  I can't help your child."   That would make me a good teacher.

    I know I'm coming across as bitter, and I can't figure out a way to type out exactly why teachers feel the way they do.  The only thing I can think of to say is don't think you understand our job until you do it.

  • image daisy662:

    I expected to get flamed and find it refreshing that some of the teachers agree with me - I would love to have those people teach my kids. I am sorry pp would not want to teach my kids - don't worry - I woud prefer the bitter teachers not teach my kids either!  I am sure your pissy attitude is part of the reason the parents don't "trust you to do your job". My thought process is the majority not the minority. You may want to at least take it into consideration and lose the chip on your shoulder - it may make you a better teacher and more able to relate to the parents. I am still trying to figure out what I said that was offensive.

    Again, I will reiterate - every job has it's issues. Teachers think they are the only ones that work long hours and have challenging careers. I never said you don't - I said I am tired of hearing the complaints. Every job is challenging in it's own way. I think if teachers spent a few days in the private sector they would start to realize that every job has it's issue.

     I know many teachers in my personal life - and the bulk of them complain about the pay and the hours. And, they are making way more than $28K a year. My MIL makes $60K a year and all she does is complain about pay and her hours. She works a lot of hours, but chooses to because she teaches extra adult ed classes, etc. And, btw - she gets paid extra for it. When I work extra hours at my job, I do not get paid extra - I am expected to do what it takes to get the job done.

    Teachers need to learn that they are dealing with people's most important thing in their life - their children. So, you will continue to hear their opinions as you should.

    Teaching has some SERIOUS issues right now. Our state is in the middle of a huge budget crisis for teachers, new testing without new guidelines, etc. Everyone is stressed. I wouldn't complain as much if the state wasn't in the middle of a crisis as they continue to cut funding-meaning my class size has increased by 9 students this year. 

    And, no--I do not get paid extra for anything I do at work. Not for student council, not for UIL, and not for showing up to the mandatory parent events at night.  

    And I'm glad you have never had a complaint about your job, good for you.

  • Interesting article!  I love what I do. Put me in the classroom, shut the door and leave all the other stuff outside and my job would be much less stressful. Unfortunately, I teach an integrated preschool classroom and in 5 years, my numbers have gone from 6-7 kids on Ed plans (other half children not on ed plans) to 12-13 kids. The administration is also coming up with new ways to assess kids and want that to be a big part of our curriculum.  These kids are 3!

    My paperwork has tripled, our budget is slashed and staffing has decreased even with our crazy numbers. I stopped by the office the other day to ask about staples and was told we are out. We are also out of paint, construction paper and pretty much any other supply. If you want these items, you buy them. I also buy paper towels, tissues and extra snacks for kids who don't have them.  I deal with difficult parents who call before school and after and go to the superintendent if you don't get back to them that day. But, I still love the kids, love the planned days off to spend with my DD and knowing that I do make a difference in helping kids to love school even from an early age. 

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  • Thanks for posting a very interesting article! I have been teaching elementary school for the past 14 years. I agree the article is dead on. Each year, we as teachers get more added on to us. This includes more testing of our students, I.E.P.'s, assessments, and demanding parents. Over the years I've had to teach manners, respect, and honesty as well as all areas of the curriculum. The problem with teaching today is the parents want us to do everything and they won't have the same consistency at home.

    If you came to my class you would understand what teachers are dealing with. I've taught in 3 states and it's all the same. At the time, I couldn't imagine having another job and working 9-5. My job is rewarding and I feel I do make a difference in the lives of the children I teach.

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  • image daisy662:

    I am so proud of the teachers that indicated they are happy that the tenure system is going away. There should absolutely not be tenure or contracts or anything of the sort. I have heard many teachers indicate they are upset that they are not paid at the level of the private sector. Well, in the private sector, there are no guarantees, no pensions, and none of many of the other perks listed by pp's above. Another reason things are so horrific in the schools are the unions - they should be completely abolished. It would solve so many issues in our schools and create much better working conditions for the teachers.

    Many of the teachers above are awesome - I love your attitudes about the situation. You got into teaching because you want to make a difference. That is what it is all about. I have nothing but the utmost respect for you all! :)

    For those that think they got the raw deal - teachers have been complaining about the same things for decades - you should have done more research before getting into the field. I recall my high school teachers saying all the things you guys have indicated above and I graduated 16 years ago. 

    Oh, lord.

    What percentage of teachers do you think are "bad"? No one is allowed to talk about the inequities in public education and teaching, ever? How long have you been a teacher, again? (Oh, wait...)

    Why should unionized public sector workers have just as crappy benefits (or lack thereof) as private workers?

    There has been a concerted effort by billionaires and "ed reformers" (Bill Gates, the Waltons, Michele Rhee) to de-professionalize public teachers and privatize public education.

    Most charter schools don't have unionized teachers, and they are required to work insane hours. They also have incredibly high turnover and not many seasoned teachers working for them. Countries that pay teachers well and have a culture of respect for them do better (S. Korea and Finland), but they *also* have much lower rates of poverty than the US does. Massachusetts is one of the best states for education right now, and guess what? 100% of their teachers are unionized.

    I currently work in a school where the average class size is 30+ students (and that is including kids as young as first grade). I teach elementary art to 300+ kids a week, and that's as a part-time teacher (though I am actually in the building 25+ hours a week). Our school is so overcrowded that not only do I not have a room, but one of my classes meets in a different room every day of the week.

    I would love for you to have my job for a few weeks and then tell me all about how any complaining, wanting to be unionized and get a pension at retirement (which *teachers pay into*, btw) is unnecessary. 

    Cheers!

    DS1 - Feb 2008

    DS2 - Oct 2010 (my VBAC baby!)

  • I, too, am a teacher with complaints that do NOT have anything to do with pay or hours. I think I'm fairly paid and while I do put in a lot more hours than my friends and family who are non-teachers, I recognize that my summers and vacations make up for that.

    I get into work by 7:10 (prefer earlier, but DC drop off is what it is) and leave at 3:30 with a bag full of work and having taken only an 18 minute lunch. Even before the extra work, that's actually more than the typical 9-5, it's just earlier. I do, however, love that it's flexible extra work. If I have a crazy might at home, the kids can wait an extra day to get those essays back occasionally.

    Anyway, my complaints are more about the insane amount of paperwork they are adding to our plate all the time. The latest new evaluation system in my state requires a ridiculous amount of evidence. I agree we should be doing those things, but how is making me take hours putting this thing together going to help me be a better teacher? When I was younger, I would have just put in more time. Now with a young family, I have a finite amount of time for school - if I'm doing that, I'm not doing something else.

    My 2nd biggest complaint is one that may surprise you. I hate that my administration is too easy on everyone, teachers and students. I find it incredibly difficult to maintain high standards when others around me let kids get away with such lame amounts of work. They need to fire the bad teachers! And for as the suggestion to leave if I'm unhappy, the administration changed after I came into the district and I've seen standards fall dramatically. I have 8 years in and 2 graduate degrees. No other district would hire me. And whatever the issues, working with kids is what I want to do, what I think I'm good at. If every good teacher with complaints left the profession, who would be left teaching our kids?

    Finally, I want to address the complaint about having to parent. Whether or not you as parents want us teaching morals, it's often mandated. Guidance departments have to teach classes, which means they pull them from real classes. Also, there are, unfortunately, parents who want us to deal with stuff. I have parents who say, "Why are you calling me?" when I call about missing homework. Others who say, "Can you just deal with that at school? I don't want to be the bad guy right now." Sure, I can give detentions, etc. but really most kids realize pretty quickly that spending 20 minutes with me (or whatever) isn't that bad if there are no further consequences at home.

    I love my job, I'm not planning on going anywhere, and I will always do my best for my students. But, I do have complaints. I try not to go on about them, but these are often issues that come up in political discussions. And of course my husband hears about it all frequently :)

  • I am a teacher and I am proud of my profession and love what I do.  Do I ever complain about it?  Of course, but so do most people in other professions.  I think the job of a teacher takes great talent and patience that few people have.  People are highly critical of our profession and it's really annoying when people assume things about all teachers based on what a few of their teacher friends say like some pp have.  Most of the parents of my students rave about me and are forever grateful for what I have done for their children.  And yes I do teach morality every day and do not think that my only job is to teach the content of math, science, etc. to my students.  People who say this have no clue how many challenges arise on a typical day and how much our students do look up to us and seek advice since many of their parents aren't there for them and I work in a high cost of living area too.  Teachers are passionate people and work many different roles every day.  I used to work in a corporate office and although I found it incredibly unfulfilling and boring, it was so much easier than teaching.  All of that said, I am proud of myself and the work that I do.  :)
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  • image daisy662:

    I didn't read the article in whole, but I have to say I am really exhausted of teachers complaining. While I understand the profession is challenging, all jobs are difficult in their own way. Most of the teachers I know have been doing it for many many years. So, my question is - if it soooo horrible, why do you continue to do it? If I hated my job so much, I would do something different.

    Teachers complain non stop about the hours. Guess what? Myself and all my friends who are professionals put in as many and in most cases more hours than my teacher friends.

    And the pay - I am tired of teachers complaining about the pay. All of my teacher friends make anywhere from $50,000 to $90,000 a year. While no one is getting rich on that, it is a good living. And, didn't you know what salaries were when you got into the profession??? I know when I started thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up, salary was a part of that decision.

    I think that teachers put too much pressure on themselves. I believe that the majority of parents do not expect nor desire teachers to "raise" their children. I personally do not want anyone but my husband and myself developing the morals, values, and ethics of our children. For some reason, teachers believe that this is part of their job descriptions. It is not. They are there to teach specific subject matter. 

    Please don't take this post the wrong way - teachers are extremely important and good teachers can't be paid enough. I understand the conditions of schools have changed over the years and not for the better. I get exhausted of anyone complaining about their profession - not just teachers, but teachers seem to complain more than most.

     

     

    Teacher here too. While I agree with some of what you've said, I have to admit this part really shows how clueless people are about teaching if they've haven't been a teacher before. It's not about whether or not we feel compelled to teach those kids morals; but if your kid is sitting in a class trying to listen to a lesson on, say, topic sentences, and the kid next to him is throwing paper airplanes, another one is going off on the kid next to him about looking at him the wrong way, another one is out of her seat wandering around and not paying attention, 2 others are writing and passing notes, and some other kid turns around and thinks its funny to snatch your kid's pencil off his desk, what do you want the teacher to do? Ignore it all and say, "hey, it's just my job to teach English, not manners?"

     

    I don't enforce discipline because I feel like kids need to be raised to be respectful. ( I do, but that's not the #1 reason) I do it because there's no effing way any content can get taught unless teachers enforce an environment of respect & safety in their classroom.  

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