Monday, August 27, 2007

Rant coming-be warned

Ahhh-summer is certainly coming to an end around these parts. The air is a bit cooler in the morning, and those "fall winds" are certainly in evidence. Now, that said, the word is that tomorrow will be humid and hot. (I can handle a "dry heat"). But the other indicator that summer is almost over...those damn ads for school supplies ("It's the most wonderful time of the year..........") Gag me. I love my job-I really do. And this year, I will be teaching a straight grade 7 (no splits this time!) But those ads-c'mon now! They have been running them since July (along with the Halloween displays in the stores-Costco even had their Christmas decorations and wrapping paper out in the first week of August). I went in to Staples last week-and Holy Cow! It was like Christmas shopping! The parents and kids were so hyped up about getting the "right" supplies and backpacks. It's craziness! And if you have multiple kids-I don't know how some families do it. But Annie is all set up. And I have a list of things that I need(like a day book-those run about $25)(and we are required to keep an accurate day book-outlining the day's lessons, as well as long term and short term plans, and all marks/evaluation). Teachers also have to have a decent computer-the report cards are on line-only. If you have a slow, dial-up connection, then reports are going to be even more of an onerous task. At one point, earlier in my career, teachers had everything they needed in the stock room. Not so anymore. So the start of a school year can be quite expensive.
Now for the real rant. Like I said, I love my job. I really really do. I have been teaching in this county since 1981. And I have seen many changes over those 26 years. But the one thing that doesn't change, it appears, is the general belief that "teachers have it easy". I had a discussion recently with an acquaintance who informed me that teachers (every last one of them) have 1 hour of planning time (or, as he called it "free time")PER DAY, and that every teacher makes a minimum of $80,000, and that teachers have too many holidays. Hmmm, truth be told-sounds like a dream job. But it isn't so. Yes, we do get prep times-a total of 110 minutes per week (to prepare materials, to photocopy, to make phone calls, etc., etc., etc.) If you are at the top of the salary grid, and are in administration, your income would be in that $80 000 category. But somebody like me-nope. No 80 grand for me. The holidays? Yes, we get a lot of them. And that is a perk of the job. But we work 5 days a week at school. And we drag work home-to mark, to plan, and to totally screw up weekends. Yes, it's a great job, but it is in no way a "free ride" or "easy street". This guy went on with other bits of totally stupid "facts" that he knew about teachers (that just made me mad).
But like the bumper sticker says,"If you can read this, hug a teacher."
Rant over. We will return to the regular programming shortly.


Ruth said...

Funny how those urban myths about various professionals persist! I always maintained that if I could make even a quarter of what I was reputed to "rake in" as a physician, I would be thrilled. Not to mention the assumptions about our supposedly easy lives... I just tried not to think about it, or I would get terribly bitter.

As for back to school - our school puts out next year's suppply list at the end of the school year - we sign up, give them a cheque, and the box of supplies shows up in their classroom at the start of the year. No more crazy trips to Staples! I will pick up some new fall clothes for DD this week, since she has worn out/grown out of most of last year's and that's the extent of my back-to-school prep.

Peg-woolinmysoup said...

I love teachers! I always wanted to be a 'home ec' teacher. Guess that shows my age, as I think they are called something like 'family life studies' teachers now.
Teachers have the most difficult job in the world, and get very little praise or other compensation for what they do.
Be a teacher, Deb, and be proud. I wouldn't be able to do any of this without Miss Matheson - who opened up the world for me by teaching me to read!

Carrie Penny said...

Teaching in this country isn't any easier. I started out as a theater ed major and one of the best teaching schools in the South East. I made it though my first 2 teaching classes before I changed my major to theater performance. There was too much beuaracy for me. I don't believe that being a teacher should be a political job; I believe it should be about as political as a retail sales job. I still consider going back to school and teaching, but I just don't think I can deal with the idiots in admin.

DianeS said...

OK, so can Bear hug you for me?

Carol said...

I hate it when people make assumptions. Yup, that guy's description DOES sound like a dream job. Just like investments, if it sounds too good to be true, then it is! Pretty much every job has pitfalls. There is NO perfect job. Just jobs with pitfalls we can handle. So if that guy doesn't like the pitfalls inherent in his job, quit. Don't spout off about others' "wonderful" jobs.