a little bit of everything

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Teachers Have it Easy

We've all heard the saying before, "Those who can do, those who can't teach." It's one of the biggest loads of BS I've ever heard. I recently saw a rephrasing that is much more accurate, "Those who can do, those who can do more teach."

With the school year fast approaching I'm reminded of how much more we teachers do. Going into school well before the start of the year to prepare rooms and curriculum, continuing to work on curriculum for several hours at home, contacting students and parents, dealing with silly paperwork and inservice materials, and spending hundreds of dollars of our own money for student supplies and teaching materials. And this is all before the school year starts. Once the year starts we're spending countless hours outside of the teaching day working on lesson plans and grading, contacting parents, having our planning periods replaced by meetings, and still spending our own money on more supplies and materials.

For those of you who still think we "have it easy," you should read Teachers Have it Easy: The Big Sacrifices and Small Salaries of America's Teachers by Daniel Moulthrop, Ninive Clements Calegari, and Dave Eggers. If you can't put the time and effort into reading an entire book about teaching then at least read the Chicago Tribune's review of this book. Both the book and article, written by a former teacher, clearly describe what exactly teaching entails. It's much more than you can imagine. Marvin Hoffman, author of the Tribune's review puts it best:
Done right, teaching is one of the most intellectually challenging professions in the world, more challenging than many careers with much higher status and salaries. The kids in front of you really need you in ways that run infinitely deeper than most of my office-based friends ever feel needed at work. Every day is another page in a novel with a cast of 25-plus diverse and interesting characters.


  • At 4:22 PM, Anonymous Amanda Sylvers said…

    Thanks for this, Noel.


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