Bashed teachers

Teachers are treated like scum, says the author of Schoolyard Blog. I think there’s a lot to what she says about creating an environment that allows creative teachers to teach. Bad administrators and impossible work conditions tend to drive out or drag down teachers who’d be doing good work in a better school.

The post was inspired by the “teacher bashing” in this post’s comments, which have run amok.

About Joanne


  1. Mike Roemer says:

    Joanne, I read your blog almost daily. I seldom read the other comments but, this one made me take a look. Yes, teachers are bashed in it. Welcome to the club. All walks of life have been bashed at one time or another. Some more than others. Would you like to be a car salesman, a polititian, a lawyer, a mechanic??
    Teachers tend to be a self-satisfied, self aggrandizing, lot who will not hesitate to look down their collective noses at the rest of the populace based solely on their “education”. Not all of course, just enough to be stereotypical for the rest.
    Instead of the constant whining and complaining that teachers do, why not put your “education” to use to fix the problem. It’s really not hard to define—-Standards, discipline, goals. I can guarantee that should some kind of choice ever become available for the mass of parents, there will be a lot of so-called teachers pounding the pavement. Teachers are part of the problem and they can be a large part of the solution if they really want to. If not, just more of the same.
    Years ago, my illiterate hill-billy granpappy loved to quote a saying from his childhood about the “college-boys” who couldn’t “fix” a sandwhich at his company. “them that can does, them that can’t teach”. Hmmmm, maybe a lot of truth in that.

  2. Steve LaBonne says:

    From what I have read, one of the notable things about the Japanese system is that teachers have time _during the school day_ to sit down with colleagues and compare notes, as well as for class preparation. Seems like one of the things we need to do in the US. The best way would be to extend the school day, providing more break time for both students and teachers (which again is, as I understand, the way it’s done in Japan) together with active encouragement (maybe even incentives) for cooperation and idea-sharing among teachers.

  3. Steve, you’re exactly right. Start the school day a bit later, say 8:30 or 9, finish at 4:30 or so, and give teachers time to collaborate, plan, teach an extra class if so inclined and necessary (for extra pay, of course), observe one another, and go to the toilet without having to rush.

  4. I’ve been teaching for 30 years and by far, the worst thing about this job is how we are treated by administrators.

    It’s not just my school, it’s not just in California. You’ll hear this from teachers all over the country.

  5. Teachers are treated like scum. These days, so is everyone else.

    Teachers seem to complain about their treatment a great deal. This causes the backlash from everyone else, who is treated as just as badly or even worse.

    I have been married to a teacher for decades. She has a very tough job. It is not, however, worse than the other non-teachers with whom I am acquainted. Teaching also has a lot of advantages that other jobs do not enjoy.

    Teachers do not seem to have a good grasp of the conditions that the rest of the working world deals with. This makes their whining look trivial, petty or even delusional to the rest of us (my wife seems to have a pretty good grasp of how bad it is out there in the ‘real world’ and does not complain as if everyone else has it made, this has gone a long way towards making those decades good and lends a lot of credibility to those instances when she does voice a complaint about something).

  6. Mike. You say “Welcome to the club,” then go on to stereotype teachers how you see fit. At least try to be consistent, eh?

    I hardly know any teachers that are “self-satisfied” to the point of being arrogant about their supposed superior knowledge. As noted in the post that brought about the many heated responses, teachers — compared to many other professions that require college educations — are usually less educated overall. Not all, but on average.

    You may be correct, however, that many teachers fear competition in the form of vouchers or other type of school choice. I’m not one of them. Indeed, I strongly favor extra pay for superior performance, and for teachers who teach the “tested” subjects, usually math and English. They feel most of the “heat,” after all. At least in my state.

    Lastly, you’re “those that do…” line is tiresome. Save it for college professors who really live in another world, not public school teachers. Many teachers have already worked outside of education — either prior to teaching or after. I heard John Kerry say yesterday that he’d love to see GW Bush and/or Dick Cheney teach in a public school. (I’d like to see Kerry do it too, but that’s another story.) I’d like to see MANY critics try it who know nothing or little of what it’s all about.

  7. krm: Public school teachers are NOT in the “real world”? What world do you live in, pray tell?

  8. Mike Roemer says:

    Dave, I know your not trying to do so, but, you are driving home the point without trying! The point of my post was that the situation will never be resolved until the teachers themselves decide to quit whining about the situation and start doing something about it. Teachers lately (last 10 years or so) tend to come across as whining crybabies who just want “George” to fix it for them. I know that individually most if not all are really upset at the current state of affairs. Trouble is, when you listen to the folks who speak for you as a group, the message is “WE WANT MORE MONEY”!! Well, my friend, we all do! But, in the “real” world, this is in most cases tied to the actual results that are expected to be obtained. In government and education there appears to be a disconnect between the two. Case in point. In todays paper, buried on page B3 is the results of a two year study with educators and government “officials” that concluded that a High School Diploma is basically worthless! And what is the proposed solution? Uhhhh let me guess……oh, I know, spend more money!! Sheesh.
    Oh yeah, that “tired old line” about “those that do”, well, “if the shoe fits”.

  9. Mike: Exactly how am I making your point? Does your imbedded dogma make you unable to comprehend what I said here:

    You may be correct, however, that many teachers fear competition in the form of vouchers or other type of school choice. I’m not one of them. Indeed, I strongly favor extra pay for superior performance, and for teachers who teach the “tested” subjects, usually math and English. They feel most of the “heat,” after all. At least in my state.

    Note “many” does not mean “all” or even necessarily “most.” And please be advised that the NEA speaks for possibly HALF of enrolled teachers. They speak for me hardly at all. Probably their best stance is for better discipline measures in the schools. The other half are enrolled either b/c they’re required to be (which I am against), or b/c enrollment brings w/it legal backing up to $1 million if you’re (God forbid) falsely accused of some heinous act.

    You’ll NEVER hear from me or many other teachers, for that matter, that more money is required to make things better. Indeed, I’ve posted just the contrary in here and elsewhere. MANY teachers recognize the many flaws in public ed. and are working to change ’em.

    Maybe taking off your blinders might enable to see this. Or, maybe posting tired old clichés is more your style.

  10. I beg to differ.

    Teachers are treated with less respect than the typical office worker.

  11. Mike Roemer says:

    Dave, you protest too much. Read both of my previous posts again. Slowly this time. If you need help please get it. All the qualifiers you request are there. (Not all of course, just enough to be sterotypical)(teachers are part of the problem, they can be a large part of the solution) ect. See, even us “blindered” folk can be demeaning to others.
    Dave, I work with teachers on a daily basis as consumers. I hear all of the complaints. I agree with most of them. What I disagree with is the constant statements by teachers that everyone else is to blame. EVERYONE shares a portion of the problem here. Not just teachers, but parents, “officials”, unions, and yes, students also. Teachers will blame “administrators”, other teachers, parents, government, students and the pay scale before they just simply look into the collective mirror. Teachers have no control over parents or the rest. They DO have control over themselves, and, if like minded teachers get together, their unions, and even the NEA. If you disagree with your union or the NEA that’s great, but, yours is NOT the message that is getting out there. The message the public gets over and over again is, “we need more money”. I can’t change that message. You and teachers who think as you must do that. Three of the most influential people in my life were teachers. Three of the most boring/inane were the same profession.
    Most were pretty good tradesmen/women just doing their job to the best of their ability.

  12. Jack Tanner says:

    ‘I heard John Kerry say yesterday that he’d love to see GW Bush and/or Dick Cheney teach in a public school.’

    Did he think that up all by himself? Boy he sure is clever. I guess that means there really aren’t any problems with education after all. It’s like he’s a hand puppet and the NEA is throwing it’s voice.

    Teachers, like most unionized employees, have little incentive to please the parents of the students. If you think they’re treated with less respect than other professions it’s probably because they’re seen as less responsive, which isn’t solely their fault because they’re dealing with unreal expectations, union rules and regs and administration that only wants to avoid conflict and save their jobs. But the funny thing is whenever you hear people complain about how crappy their job is they seldom leave.

  13. Jack: “Little incentive to please the parents”??

    I’d argue just the opposite. Too much homework, or a bad grade, or too “harsh” a reprimand, etc. ad nauseum frequently bring [frivolous] parental complaints. And guess what teachers often try to do? Please the parents! Sometimes they are just fed up w/the hassle.

    Another point: Teachers are ultimately under the control of the public. They pay the salaries, after all. Don’t they have much power in enacting change in a fractured system?

  14. Jack Tanner says:

    Dave – ‘And guess what teachers often try to do? Please the parents! Sometimes they are just fed up w/the hassle.’

    I think that’s what I was implying. They certainly have little professional incentive to go make any special efforts. Since both my parents are retired teachers, my brother is a middle school principal, my sister-in-law is a teacher, my sister and other sister-in-law are both former teachers now full time moms I can pretty much tell you that they all complained of not being able to make any special accomodations that would violate union or get them in trouble with any of the union hardliners.

    I can also tell you from personal experience with my own kids that the teachers are often unresponsive to the parents. My son has in class special ed and has an IEP where he is supposed to be given frequent redirection and to be seated in the front of the classroom. My wife’s going to a meeting with the teacher today to discuss why the teacher hasn’t been following the IEP. We had requested to meet with her before the start of the school year and the teacher refused. When we called to ask her why she hadn’t been following the IEP she said she forgot he had one.

    Boston doesn’t have neighborhood schools it has a school assignment plan where kids are assigned by a lottery to different schools in the different zones. The BTU forbid the teachers to go to any of the school assignment open houses to represent their schools so the parents could meet them. They said it was because they didn’t want the parents to make impressions of the schools and base their assignment choices on the teachers. The BTU has also refused to give up the teacher assignment rule in their contract that allows any opening city wide to go to the applicant with the longest tenure and prevents any intervention from the the administration. Basically all first year teachers are assigned to the worst schools in the city.

    You’re wrong about the public paying the teachers. While they’re certainly public employees the union negotiates the contract with the city and the public has 0 input into the ratification. While I know in many smaller communities the public gets to vote on the school budget Boston has an appointed school committee and their is no public input to contract negotiations.

  15. Jack: I guess much of it depends on the strength of the union where one is. Delaware’s is notoriously weak, while Boston’s is much more influential based on your comments. I know next door Pennsylvania’s is much more powerful than ours.

    Your Boston anecdotes are, frankly, horrifying to me! I cannot imagine having our union forbid teachers to meet parents, etc. Yikes! In addition, in Del. we have local referenda for property tax hikes and the public is very much in control of the school boards.

    Regarding your IEP story, I have several students with IEPs; however, the people whose job it is to disseminate the paperwork to the teachers and meet w/them, frequently do so weeks after school has started! I’ve even encountered situations where another teacher has asked me about a student’s IEP, and I’m like, “He has an IEP? Since when?”

  16. Nick Blesch says:

    The best way would be to extend the school day, providing more break time for both students and teachers (which again is, as I understand, the way it’s done in Japan)

    Not sure about how it’s done in Japan, but I know how they take care of that problem in Germany (and most of the rest of Europe):

    No sports/gym classes – that’s all after-school stuff and class six days a week (Mon-Sat).

  17. Well, I feel like adding here that I love my job.

    Even though the administrators treat us like children, I have contact with them only a fraction of the day.

  18. DaveHuber

    The real world is a place where your employer can tell you, out of the blue, “we had a poor quarter clean out desk, we’ll pay you until the end of the week” (which happened to me after a dozen years of working 50 to 52 weeks/year of 60 to 80 hour/week.

    Public school teaching (where my wife works, and works hard) is a place where after 5 years it is virtually impossible to be fired, and one’s coworkers refuse to come in 20 minutes early for a staff meeting because it isn’t in the union contrat and they won’t get paid extra for it.

  19. krm: As I mentioned in another post, it surely must depend on what part of the country you live in. It sure ain’t virtually impossible to get axed after 5 yrs. where I am. (And, of course, you can be let go after 1-3 yrs. despite exemplary teaching — for no reason at all! That ain’t the real world?)

    In addition, teaching isn’t the only unionized profession where the examples you state abound. Are plumbers in the “real world?” Teamsters? The AAW? I decry many aspects of unions, and in my own profession the hoops one has to jump through (in various areas of the country) to get rid of dead wood is definitely one of ’em. Every profession has its down sides. But I deal w/the real world every day. Ever get greeted by numerous “F*** yous” by those you’re responsible for? In most other professions, those are underling workers. They say something like that, they’re gone. Not so in public ed. Kids malnourished in your classroom and you’re trying to teach ’em? That ain’t the real world? Kids coming from broken homes where dad beats the hell out of them and you think they’re interested in doing fractions in your class? That ain’t the real world?

    Gimme a royal break.

  20. Dave,
    You’re not up a telephone pole in 40 below wind chill. You’re not in church when your beeper goes off and you have to leave. Teachers aren’t on the “most likely to have a body part amputated on the job” list. It’s not that we “antis” think you have no problems, it’s that you’re so convinced yours are *worse* than anyone else’s. My husband spent last Thanksgiving lying flat on his back in 6 inches of water, in a freezing rain, fixing a combine.

    And on another point, in the 60’s American cars would fall apart in you looked at them wrong. Car makers gave all sorts of reasons why that *had* to be so. Then along came a little, ugly Japenese car that ran forever and never saw a shop. Today American cars are as good as any. While educators all pass the hat and say why *their* part of the industry isn’t the problem, another cram school opened last week in my area. Keep on arguing and getting nothing done – the alternatives are increasing every day, and people are voting with their feet.

  21. Maybe if I keep saying it enough I’ll convince someone. The problem with education is not the teachers, anymore than the problem with cars in the 60’s was that the UAW was full of idiots. The problem is the management of our schools (state mandrinates and school districts). Fix management, and the “bad” teachers will magically disappear.


  22. DaveHuber — they won’t believe you. They’d prefer to criticize you (without knowing the first thing about what kind of teacher you really are, I might add). I love my job, I work hard, I’m not unhappy with pay (1/3 of what my husband makes with 3x his education), I don’t belong to a union, I have a wonderfully supportive administration, and produce students with great test scores (and many of these students have IEP’s — maybe 50/year). But they tell me that I need to change the union (I’m not sure which one), that I whine, that all I want is more money, that I blame my administration and students, and that I’m unfit to teach. Which is fine. I’m not reading this blog for constructive criticism about my teaching (I get plenty of that from my colleagues and my student teachers, bless their hearts). I’m reading to figure a few things out.

    I look at every child in my classroom, and I treat that hyperactive hormonal teenager as I would want a teacher to treat *my* child. I never forget these are somebody’s children put in my care. And, honestly, I work in a terrific building with lots of intellectually engaged teachers. We have a few duds, but not a building full. Over the years, we’ve had more than our fair share of national media attention — attention that has put glaring spotlights on our weak areas. Maybe that keeps us more or less honest.

    Too bad Dante isn’t still around. He’d love the contrapasso of being nasty to a writing teacher through cliches. Lordy lordy. Where *is* my red pen?

  23. Dave Huber

    You seem to be deliberately missing the point. There are a lot of aspects of teaching that are difficult (and it appears it vary a great deal by locality). Teachers do not, however, have it worse than the rest of us. Working sucks for everyone. Just about any other occupation or profession can rattle off a pretty fair list of rotten parts to what they do, which rivals the list that teachers have (some even have a list that exceeds what most teachers deal with).

    The whining contingent amongst you seem to be more strident than is seen in many other occupations and professions, and seems to have less ability to see that the grass is not greener everywhere else.

    I will freely acknowledge that I have never been greeted by a chorus of profanity, but I had regular death threats and my coworkers and I have been physically attacked and shot at. As I say, every occupation and profession has some significant downsides, and usually a few upsides to somewhat balance things out. The whiners loudly focus on their negatives and refuse to acknowledge their positives. This generates the backlash against teachers.

  24. DaveHuber says:
    Another point: Teachers are ultimately under the control of the public. They pay the salaries, after all. Don’t they have much power in enacting change in a fractured system?”

    Joe says:
    No, we ‘parents of school-age children’ have no power at all to change any aspect of public schooling, not even the most trivial things. Why do you think so many of us haven given up on any meanigful school reform, and teach our children ourselves?
    It saddens me to see such anger and frustration among all the disparate parties in edu-land. Even sadder, I can’t see any realistic solution coming from any quarter. Well, maybe the charter-school experimentation helps a bit, but it is miniscule.
    My solution in my own family was to just do all of school prep and delivery myself. It has worked out surprisingly well … but it is a costly way to go.

  25. I have never seen a teacher say he/she had it tougher on the job than other people. I have seen people attack teachers for having it easy, seen teachers respond by saying they have it tough too, and then seen those teachers castigated for saying that their jobs are tougher than anyone else’s. If you think Dave is saying he has it tougher, then you need to learn to read.

    “While they’re certainly public employees the union negotiates the contract with the city and the public has 0 input into the ratification.” Jack, that’s called representative democracy, and in most places (outside large cities) the negotiation is done with a publicly elected school board. It may be different where you live, but if it is then your experience is not typical.

  26. jeff wright says:

    You know, the real problem with the schools is not specifically with the teachers. It’s a systemic problem. Despite what Dave Huber says about the public setting salaries, I believe most people would disagree. IMO, most people feel that they have absolutely no control over the schools—what they cost, what they teach, what type of cultural values they inculcate in our youth, etc., etc.

    I also believe people feel similarly about local, state and federal government. I for one am really upset that I am contributing part of the some $400 million for a new city hall in San Jose when all I hear is how broke governmental entities in California are. They got fifty-percent plus one of the people voting to go for it back when we were flush with dotcom cash. Now we’re broke, but does any government type step up and say, “hey, maybe we should cut costs?” On the contrary, we just got an unexpected bill for $40 million to buy new furniture and computers and the like. And now our somnabulent city council is finally acting as if they actually have some fiscal prudence. This is government and this is what the schools are.

    The anger over lack of control is seemingly a symptom of the times. Everything has gotten too big and unwieldy and we’ve certainly seen that so-called representative government works only some of the time. The real problem with the schools—and I wish they would get off their bureaucratic highhorses and acknowledge it—is that people don’t view them through the same prism as other governmental entities. They have an enormous influence on our children, the nearest and dearest things we have.

    So, teachers, understand that when people get frustrated with you and your school, they’re not going to just shrug and say, “oh, well, just another bureaucrat.” They’re going to attack. That’s where “teacher bashing” comes from. And a lot isn’t really aimed at you. You’re just the most visible and accessible part of those unwieldy bureaucracies for which you work.

    Your unions? The view from here is that they’re just another bureaucracy, interested primarily in the first law of bureaucracies: self-perpetuation. And when they continually cry for more money while performance declines, they just confirm peoples’ worst expectations. Then you teachers are viewed as one of them rather than one of us. And it doesn’t whether you are a member or not, or whether you personally support the unions’ agendas. You’re tarred with the same self-interested brush. Then the “bashing” comes in: show any weakness in areas of professional competency—individually or as a group—and you’re raw meat. Defend the indefensible, e.g., incompetent teachers, trendy theories that don’t work, etc., and the wolves really begin to howl.

    Life’s a bitch.

  27. Oh boy…I teach at a charter school. I’m master’s plus in biochemistry (yes, with honors!). I have a supportive administration and mostly fairly bright kids. Those of you who are so upset with your experiences or impressions of “normal” public schools and the teachers therein do have a choice. Vote with your feet, or with your wallets! I always have, and always will. Bashing the front line “providers” and then refusing to change where you are receiving services seems bizarre at best. Your kid’s on an IEP and supposed to sit at the front of the class? Show up at the beginning of the day and ask the teacher to make that change…in a civil fashion, please. You must be the polite, professional champion for your child. I know it may seem heartless, but we have demands from every child in the classroom. It does become completely overwhelming, and a lot can fall through the cracks. A wonderful student’s father grew up in Hong Kong. He told us that the secondary teachers in Hong Kong teach only 3 class sections a day so they can have work hours to focus on so many of the issues that we in the US have to try to remember after hours. Most charter and private school teachers make far less money than public school teachers, and we frequently have much fewer resources in terms of books and other supplies, but I have yet to hear one of us complain about our salaries. Rude parents who push us for grade inflation, yes; low paychecks, never!

  28. Students in the parts of Europe I’ve lived in (Germany, Netherlands, and Spain) don’t go to school on weekends, and in Germany at least they only have class till about one in the afternoon, to get home for lunch. One day a week they get home even earlier. So it’s obviously not schoolday length. Plus the kids stay in one place and the teachers move from room to room, which has got to be hard on them- no “math room” or “French room.”

  29. jeff wright says:

    According to the American Diploma Project:

    1. A review of college students’ transcripts nationwide revealed that 53% took a remedial English or math class at some point during their college careers. In California, 58% of the entering freshmen at California State University campuses in 2003 had to take remedial English or math, or both.

    2. 60% of employers nationwide rate high school graduates’ skills in grammar, spelling, writing and basic math as only fair or poor.

    3. One study estimated the costs of remedial training to one state’s employers as nearly $40 million per year.

    4. Most high school exit exams—which test at 8th or 9th grade levels—don’t measure what matters to colleges or employers.

    WRT 4, above, I suspect that this is why colleges refuse to give in on the SAT, despite all of the moaning and groaning about how it’s unfair and culturally biased, yadda, yadda, yadda. They can’t trust the high school diploma or the vaunted exit exams, which are going to fix all ills.

    But everything’s O.K., right?

  30. Yeesh. As I mentioned before, it seems some people here are just pre-determined to “know” what [all] teachers believe and do. An utter fallacy.

    Hopefully, when someone reads this, they’ll comprehend it at last:

    1. Teachers do NOT have it tougher than everyone else.

    2. Unions vary in strength and influence from state to state, locality to locality. Basing a judgment about the union on your own local experience doesn’t necessarily = what everyone sees across the country.

    3. Many teachers (myself included) fear NOT competition, merit pay, choice, streamlined procedures to axe lousy teachers…and many other things not “usually” associated w/”standard” NEA positions. As I mentioned before, approx. half of NEA members disagree w/the union philosophically. Indeed, often, letter writers to their monthly newsletter remark that the only balanced part of the mag is the letters page! I agree with that.

    4. Saying [public] school teachers do not exist in the “real world” is delusional at best. Individual anecdotes that “prove” how someone’s world is “more real” doesn’t prove a teacher’s world is any less real. I noticed no one, in addition, adequately addressed my point about other unions across the US, either. Hell, if I get RIF’d, do I collect 90% of my salary and bennies like a UAW member? No. But hey, who knows — maybe at a UAW blog non-members are bitching about precisely that, and how that makes cars more costly than they ought to be. Alas.

  31. Dave: UAW members weren’t living in the real world, either. That’s why you see so many foreign cars on the roads now, and southeastern Michigan is full of UAW members that were laid off in ’73 and never called back.

  32. And many, according to the criteria some have set up here, still aren’t living in the “real world” based on my previous post.

  33. You know, the real problem with the schools is not specifically with the teachers. It’s a systemic problem.

    I agree with this statement. Growing up, I had good teachers and some bad ones, and a couple of psychotic ones. Even the good ones were restricted in what they could do. You could pad the system with excellent teachers, and have at best a mediocre system.

    On the other hand, teachers who defend the system as it stands deserve whatever bashing they get.

  34. teachers who defend the system as it stands deserve whatever bashing they get.

    Maybe I should put it differently, so that I don’t sound like Falwell putting his foot in his mouth over AIDS. How about, “Teachers who defend the current system’s flaws are setting themselves up for a bashing.”

  35. And an addition to the IEP compliance — you can, of course, demand compliance. That’s the law, and you should. But keep in mind some of us get classes with upwards of 15 kids with “preferential seating” checked on their IEP form. I have managed to arrange my room so that I have 14 front seats, but there’s only so much I can do sometimes. I love it when my parents send me emails when there is a problem. Sometimes the kid will talk at home, but never tell *me* there’s an issue. I have two kids this year who are partially deaf and need to sit near the front. I had NO idea until PT conferences.

  36. Rita,

    Where do you teach? In California, I don’t think it’s possible to not belong to a union (if you teach in a public school, of course).

  37. I teach in a public school in Missouri. Union membership is optional.

  38. Wow, I’m shocked at the attitude presented in this forum. I am a new teacher, and have seen the “other” jobs in the real world as I worked there for quite sometime before coming into teaching. I take offense to the “those who can’t teach” attitude. Quite frankly, if we didn’t teach, where would your children be when they’re adults? Maybe we’re all too “smart” to bother with your children, and we should let them raise and teach themselves so that we can “do” what we supposedly “can’t do.” Please! This conversation is just immature and petty.

    I am new to California, and new to teaching, so my opinion is not one of a tenured teacher “whining” about the system, etc. I have taken on a very large program. My class sizes range from 40-76 students per class period. I have over 320 students per day that I teach. I do not have a full-time assistant – the school district can’t afford to give me one. So I am alone with these children. I have parents yell at me and treat me poorly because their child gets into trouble. I have administrators trying to “fix” me all the time no matter how many of their ideas I implement. I am paid less than half of what I owe in student loans. Please tell me the name of a doctor who makes less than he owes in student loans? I don’t wish to complain, but there are a lot of politics involved in the school districts that most outsiders know nothing about. I have to play patsy to the administration in order to hold my job. I have to take abuse from parents and smile saying “thank you for letting me know you’re frustrated.” Most waitresses get to kick the obnoxious clients out the door. I have to cater to the administrators for fear they’ll annihilate my job – and being in music makes it even easier since they are looking for ways to save money.

    I have worked in offices, I have been an insurance agent, I have done sales, I have done administrative office manament. I have never had the level of stress I currently have as a teacher. Why do I do it? I do it because I know that no matter how much “crap” I take from the idiots with constant complaints without any praise – I will in the long run influence a life and hopefully raise their abilities to function in society as a good and productive citizen. My job is just as important as that of a doctor who saves lives. I too save lives. I help them become capable adults with knowledge and dreams to fulfill. Without having such, our society would be even more filled with homeless and criminals. Please tell me why it’s ok to treat me less than you would treat your doctor? Please tell me why you would treat me less than you treat the waitress who has the right to refuse service? Why does the superintendant’s secretary make as much money as I do – yet goes home without extra work to keep her up until midnight – at least she has time to spend with her family. My son hates my job. He hardly gets time with me. Sure I could quit – but someone has to teach – where would society go if all the teachers quit?

    On a side note – on my “holidays” and time off – I work. I haven’t had one single evening, weekend, or holiday off from doing work for my classroom. I work more than 100 hours a week and I’m only paid for 7 hours a day. I have to work in the summer to keep paying my bills. So, I have to find other jobs who are ok with hiring someone for 2-3 months. When do I get a vacation? Business persons get more vacation time and are much less stressed.

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