If I Were A Teacher I'd Be...

I've always wanted to be a public school teacher. Sadly, due to circumstances beyond my control I have never been one, but the dream lives on. Recently however, I was hired by a local school district as a Para Professional. I was assigned to an elementary school classroom. My two months working there opened my eyes to some of the pressures a teacher has to go through in the performance of their duties. I found out if I were a teacher I'd be...

Harried and Haggard
Most of the teachers I observed had a larger then normal classroom size. Extra students meant extra work for the teachers. Add in the students who because of IEP's required more one on one attention and you have one frazzled teacher by the end of each day. Since I worked the last two months of the school year the teachers were really at the end of their proverbial ropes.

Burdened by Testing
Another aspect of the being a teacher I learned about was state testing. Each year the state requires the schools to give their students state assessment tests. The results of the tests are used by the state to assess where the schools are at academically. While the tests are necessary, they cause a lot of stress for the teachers who must alter their teaching methods in order to prepare students for the tests. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the teachers are still required to teach their normal lessons.

Stressed Out Over Paperwork
I have a lot of friends who are teachers. The one things they always complain about is paperwork. I didn't really understand what they meant until I worked in an actual classroom. Not only do teachers have to grade the homework, make lesson plans they also have other paperwork they must do such as IEP's (Individual Education Plans). One thing I've discovered is the more a paperwork a teacher does the more it takes away from time which would normally be allotted for teaching.

Fearful of Furloughs
Another aspect of teaching are the budget cuts and furloughs. Most school districts today have budget gaps they need to breach. The result is more and more layoffs of school personnel, including teachers. So there are some districts where teachers not only have to work under the everyday pressures of the classroom but also have the fear they will not be there at the end of the year.

In the end all I can say is before you complain about a teacher do what I did and take some time to find out how a teacher's day is going first.

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Comments 5 comments

donnah75 profile image

donnah75 4 years ago from Upstate New York

Thank you for this. So many people beat up teachers as if we don't do much and then take our summers off. It is a busy, difficult job. I appreciate your observations above.


Ronna Pennington profile image

Ronna Pennington 4 years ago from Arkansas

Amen! Thank you, teachers!


writer20 profile image

writer20 4 years ago from Southern Nevada

It's a great shame they could all do with an assistant to help with the load. Now they to worry about being layed off.

Here in Las Vegas 40 teachers received their pink slips when school broke for the summer.

Voted up useful and interesting, Joyce.


sadie423 profile image

sadie423 4 years ago from North Carolina

So very true. Teachers are some of the hardest working and under recognized workers in America.


whittwrites profile image

whittwrites 4 years ago from the Philly area Author

I learned a lot in the two months as an assistant. I hope people read this hub and understand more about how a typical teacher's day goes.

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