This post is dedicated to all the wonderful teachers out there who are counting down the days until the end of school...you guys are soo close!
First, I was one of those many young people who said I would never ever be a school teacher. I started college as a business major but quickly knew I was in the wrong place when I took a couple of accounting classes.
I taught high school for fourteen years in a wide variety of school settings. I started in a rural school in Louisiana teaching math and science (I was a social studies major), next went to an alternative art based curriculum school for at risk students, then spent the next 6 years teaching at a lower socioeconomic schools and finally ended my teaching career with my dream job teaching AP Macroeconomics at Stratford High School (higher socioeconomic school). It wasn’t wonderful because of the socioeconomic status, but the kids, colleagues, and leadership. LEADERSHIP is SO important!!!
The Good: I was blessed to work with amazing teachers and kids. I got to teach for 5 years next to my twin sister!!! Talk about a wonderful gig. We would sometimes show up in the same outfit (see above picture). Having summers off (every teacher knows this is the best perk…you always see an end). You also get 10 days throughout the year and numerous holidays. The schedule is perfect for having a family. Most people respect teachers and appreciate the effort.
The Bad: Sometimes you teach with other teachers who aren’t as ambitious as you, but get paid more than you because they have been teaching longer. We all know these teachers. These are the last ones to arrive, first ones to leave, and basically assign book work so they can surf the internet. Sometimes teachers are good people, but just not good teachers…boring…bland. There are way too many stories in the news about teachers and inappropriate relationships…so sick and sad. Teaching pay is like communism…you get paid based on years, not effort. Christa and I once had a department chair that sent out an end of year invite for lunch and told one of the teachers to purposely leave us off the email. Why? I have no idea. Apparently this was her leadership style. I remember having one planning period while everyone had two and she had three. She made me cover a class and then I found out she spent the entire period on facebook. Great leadership!!!!
Before I get to the Ugly (don’t want this post to be all negative)….I was blessed with great coworkers! Many of the schools we were like family. We still get together and keep in touch. I had parents send me the nicest emails and I reciprocated because I had so many wonderful kids. My last year I taught privileged kids who spent their summers working with special needs kids, not because they were resume building, but because they enjoyed it. I worked with so many good teachers who spent hours and hours trying to find good lessons, trying to engage the kids. I worked with some very wonderful administrators that got to know me and appreciated hard work.
The good news about teaching is that lots of karma is involved. If you have a wonderful, low key, hard working person, chances are, they will be ok. If you have someone who doesn’t have the best morals or motivation, it seems life catches up with themJ
Ok, finally to my Ugly (or funny) : These are the trench stories. My first year teaching I always had a water bottle. Apparently one of the kids spit a huge loogie in it and the others watched as I drank it. One kid got upset and reported it to the principal…talk about gross. I taught an older boy who would always pull out hid kids umbilical cord out of his wallet because he was so proud to be a dad. This same kid always had his hands in his pants and nobody wanted to work in groups with him. I was stalked by a student when I was single living in the Galleria area. I was cursed out by a mother with a “grill” in front of a police officer and assistant principal. She was mad I wrote her son up for cursing me out. I will never forget her telling the police officer that she wanted me to go to jail. My response (in my head of course). Send me to jail, I need a break from all of this craziness (this was before I had my own kids). I envisioned being in a jail cell being able to sleep, relax and maybe read a book. I saw so many girl fights, way more than boy fights. I actually helped break up a girl fight two days before my wedding.
All in all, teachers are wonderful. They are dedicated, hard working, and love your kids. If you have a strong willed kid, I recommend lots of nice treats. The best thing you can do for an end of the year is have your child write a personal note to the teacher (and of course they always like gift cards). Teacher appreciation week was late this year so my kids are only doing nice notesJ I can honestly say the handwritten notes at the end of the year were the things I cherished the most, and those are free! If your child had a great teacher, let the principal know!!!!