Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Lil' Dabb'll Do Ya: Teaching: It's a Love/Hate Relationship

A Lil' Dabb'll Do Ya: Teaching: It's a Love/Hate Relationship: "Currently in my eighth year of teaching high school English, I have come to realize that the teaching profession is a bipolar career. If yo..."

Teaching: It's a Love/Hate Relationship

Currently in my eighth year of teaching high school English, I have come to realize that the teaching profession is a bipolar career.  If you love it one day, week, or month your attitude will rapidly change on a moment's notice.  So I decided to write about the things I love and hate about teaching....

Things that I love about teaching, lately:
  1. The opportunity to influence our future - this is a recent revelation of mine.
  2. The reward of past students - the ones who come back and tell you that you were their favorite, and not because you were easy, but because you taught them something.
  3. Laughter - even though I do not teach elementary school, it still warms my heart to hear students laugh and snicker about little jokes or comments that are "school appropriate".
  4.  Aha Moments - the moment when a student, students, or an entire class FINALLY "Get it"
  5.  Literature - I love reading classics over and over again: Romeo & Juliet, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Great Gatsby, Slaughterhouse-Five, The Crucible, etc.
  6. A fresh start every 18 weeks - every teacher has a student and sometimes class who contributes to the demise of the LOVE part of this relationship.  But, the good news is that in 18 weeks you get a fresh new set of students and can start all over again!  Yippy!

Things I don't love about teaching, lately:
 1. Helicopter Parents - Parents who hover over their children so much that there is not a chance for us to impress upon them the importance of responsibility, respect, reliability, etc.  (the list goes on and on).
 2. Trouble students - these students who constantly test our ability to not drop an f-bomb in front of the class because of callus remarks, disrespect, laziness, etc. (this list also goes on and on).
 3. Duh Moments - the moments when students "just don't get it" even though you've taught your butt off for by explaining topics, definitions, questions, and sections severally.
 4. Repeating the past - teaching the literature that you know is important, but it bores you to death: Various short stories and poems, Night, Huckleberry Finn, etc.
 5. An Entire Semester - although we are rid of our classes after 18 weeks, it is a LONG 18 weeks when your class load is in the 90s. 
 6.  Grading - See the above regarding class size.  When you teach 90+ students and have to grade their work, it is a job in itself and we don't get paid overtime.

I understand after reading this you may be thinking, "What is she really trying to say?"  Simply, it is this:
Teachers are underestimated and underpaid regardless of the demands placed on them, because of the "reward" we receive of being an educator.  However, doctors are not paid based on the "reward" they feel when they save a life,  so why treat teachers any differently - aren't we teaching the future doctors who will be saving lives?