It’s been a long time since I had a few minutes to share my thoughts. Not that I have not been writing every day. My new job requires me to write reflections of my classroom observations along with writing reactions to professional readings. It’s been a huge change going from a classroom teacher to an educational consultant, but I absolutely love it! I cannot believe how much has changed in the year and three months I was out of the classroom from new standards to evaluations systems to standardized tests to all of the wonderful technology available!
I decided to write a few Top Five Lists to kind of sum up what I’ve seen in the past four weeks…
Top Five Things About Being Back to Work
1. Getting back into a routine.
2. Being intellectually stimulated again from collaborating with others in the education field.
3. Getting a steady paycheck!
4. Having something more to share in conversations.
5. Being back in the world of education.
Top Five Things in the Corporate World that Differ from Teaching:
1. People can go to the bathroom whenever they need to in the office world, but certainly not in teaching!
2. If a person is thirsty or hungry, they are permitted to eat while working. Or take a break to sip some tea.
3. The day is not run by a strict schedule. While there are scheduled meetings and such, the day is not written minute by minute like it is in a school.
4. Most people get an hour for lunch. And you can leave the building to run errands at that time…
5. When you leave the office, there is some work, but not nearly as much as teachers have – especially fellow language arts teachers who are always grading some sort of writing piece…
Top Five Things I Feel Badly About…
1. Neglecting my cooking, cleaning, shopping and writing.
2. Not talking to or seeing my friends as much.
3. Not being able to go to my niece’s softball games because I get out too late and live too far away.
4. Not having started a regular workout routine (my hours vary depending on whether or not I am in the office or going to a school). This is not an excuse, but it seems to me that I will have to shift from my morning workouts to afternoon ones. Thankfully, the weather has been nice to do this!
5. Not reading for pleasure as much as I used to since I am always reading educational books (which is fine, but since summer is quickly approaching, I like my cheesy and smutty beach books!)
Top Five Reasons I Admire Teachers (even more so now that I am the one looking into classrooms)
1. They have thick skins. Teachers are blamed for everything that goes wrong in a child’s education. Are all teachers great? Of course not, but the vast majority are dedicated professionals who continuously questioned, verbally abused and criticized by those who have no background in educational strategies and structures and simply want their children to get A’s, even if it means that they did not earn (or learn) it.
2. They are not acknowledged or appreciated nearly enough. Most societies, including those who score the highest worldwide, value and admire their teachers, who are considered to be pillars of society. Teachers are amazing people educating, shaping and forming the next leaders of the world.
3. Teachers do not get paid overtime, yet end up spending numerous hours a week outside of the classroom.
4. Teachers are dealing with more external factors than ever before. They have always had to play the role of a parent to some students along with being a counselor to many and disciplinarians to all, but they are now having to deal with bullying, drugs and alcohol, texting, sexting, sexual assault issues, large numbers of non-English speaking students, parents who think they know more (or better than) the teacher, terrorism, safety, etc. No one should make the mistake of thinking that all teachers do is teach. It is so much more and people need to realize this.
5. In addition to planning lessons, making phone calls, helping students, attending professional development classes, etc, they are responsible for keeping up with all of of the new technology that is coming out, often times without being trained. It’s more of a…”we got these iPads. Figure out how to use them or what apps are free). Or, they do not have technology and have to figure out a way to incorporate it into their lessons since it’s part of the Common Core State Standards(CCSS). How can they accomplish this with computers that do not work??
It has been a very eye-opening experience to observe teachers and make recommendations to make learning better for their students and help them meet the new evaluation guidelines that many states have required. I have always been proud to be a teacher and admired my colleagues. That admiration is now deeper than ever and I will do my best to help the teachers help their students and prepare them for the real world. I just wish other people would realize how important teachers are to our children, communities, society and our entire world.