Two days to Spring Break. I can’t wait.
For anyone dreaming of becoming a teacher for the cushy hours and summers off, I’d like to suggest you reconsider. Yes, I am given weekends off, but don’t think that means I don’t work. It just means I don’t get paid. Deadlines are deadlines. Yes, I am given national holidays off, but that doesn’t mean I don’t work. It just means I don’t get paid. Deadlines are deadlines.
And that summer I get off? It takes the first several weeks to quit drooling and trembling. I snap awake in the mioddle of the night in panic over some imaginary un-met deadline. Then I relax for a week, maybe two, and suddenly it is time to start gearing up to go back. On average, teachers start the school year about a week and a half before the time clock actually starts ticking.
Teachers are expected to teach while they are in the classroom. We are actively engaged with the students. Btw, that’s one teacher to 30 or so students — and we are expected to have them all doing the same thing, at the same time, while behaving like saints, despite the fact that their parents can’t get one or perhaps two of them to sit still for 5 minutes and do their homework each evening.
Paper grading and lesson planning is done pretty much on our own time. And all that time we give for free — and the fact that we work very closely all day with the one thing that parents should value most in all the world — for the most part earns us only contempt.
I need a vacation, but I have report cards due right after Spring Break. Sigh.