Teacher Myths Exposed

This is why I teach...I love the kids and their smiles!
This is why I teach...I love the kids and their smiles!

Teacher Bashing!

Hello friends, followers, and visitors. This hub will be different from my others...kind of a rant, as they say. I have been an educator for over 20 years and have listened to a lot of criticism and downright insults aimed at me personally, and at my profession. Even my own family has participated in this 'bashing' from time to time, which prompted me to write this hub. I cannot believe the stuff people will believe, but as P.T. Barnum once said..."There is a sucker born every minute." Most of the bashing comes from misinformation. I find that unacceptable. If you are going to criticize someone or something, get the facts, Jack! It is so easy just to listen and read things and accept them as truth, but do your research! It isn't that hard and getting the TRUE story may save you from looking like a complete ass. I have broken this topic down into several areas that I hear often when people just plain dump on me.

Myth 1 - Teachers only work 9 months a year, but get paid for 12 months.

Man, is that a load of you know what! No teacher I ever knew received pay for 3 months for doing nothing! Before, I address this, did you know teachers are among the lowest paid professionals of all? I am not talking overpaid administrators, I am talking about the regular classroom teacher that is in the war zone every single day, sometimes even putting their life at risk from dangerous students.

As for pay, we are paid for 9 months of work...NOT 12 like the uninformed believe. Many of us just select those 9 months of pay be spread over an entire year for budgeting purposes. So, our salaries are spread out over the entire year, but are only paid for the 9 months.

And did you know, that teaching is one of the few careers that REQUIRE an advanced degree? Yes, new teachers have to have their Master's Degree within 5 years of receiving their Bachelor's. Most of us don't mind getting a Master's though it is hard to do when you are working full-time and spend a lot of hours of our OWN time on school works...grading papers, planning lessons, etc. not even mentioning having a family to care for also.

Like I said, I have taught for over 20 years. It took me 10 years just to have my GROSS pay break the 30K mark....10 years!! That is being overpaid? I think not! I know of college graduates that make at least 40k with NO experience whatsoever.

So, all those that think teachers are overpaid...well, go stuff your head in a bucket.

Myth number 1 - Exposed!

Typicel workshop that MOST teachers attend during the summer months.
Typicel workshop that MOST teachers attend during the summer months.
Yes, we do relax and have fun, but not for an entire 2 months!
Yes, we do relax and have fun, but not for an entire 2 months!

Myth 2 - Teachers have 2 months off for summer!

Well, I will admit, this one is true...to some small extent. But we are not OFF all summer sitting around a pool relaxing. It is true that most teachers work a 9 month school year, that is they TEACH in the classroom for those months. But being on vacation all that time? No way! I sure never did that!

If I wasn't taking classes at the local university, and sometimes this came out of my own pocket, I attended workshops and other activities to learn the latest teaching strategies and cool activities to share with my students! Even during our so called vacation, here we are again, putting our careers first. I like these workshops, myself, since I am single and have no family, but many are married and have children of their own. The sacrifices these dedicated teachers make just thrills me! I admire and respect them deeply and without them, our children would suffer.

I love meeting new people and sharing things with other teachers. I learn so much from them and it comforts me to know I am not the only teacher out there that has a lot of these frustrations.

So all that crap about playing all summer is just that...crap.

Unfortunately, this happens more often that you think.
Unfortunately, this happens more often that you think.
When your school board or administration promises something...never take that at face value.
When your school board or administration promises something...never take that at face value.

Myth 3 - We are all one big happy family!

When I wrote this caption, I about barfed. Now, I am not saying this is true everywhere, but it is more common than you think. Teachers have very little or no support from their administrators...and not much respect either. When things go wrong, guess who gets the blame? The teacher, of course. The scapegoats of the educational system. If a student attacks a teacher, guess whose fault it is?...the teacher's. Don't believe me? Well, I am living proof.

I had a 5th grade student, yes, an 11 year old student attack me for no reason. He just got mad and went Rambo on me. I had to physically restrain the little madman in order to protect some vital organs I couldn't live with out. To make this short, I was the one that got reprimanded for touching a student and it was a huge legal nightmare. It didn't matter that this delinquent child attacked an adult on school grounds, I got nailed for just protecting myself. He was never punished, suspended, expelled...nothing. So, I was hung out to dry because of a principal that had no guts and was afraid the school district would be sued if we pressed the issue.

I also served as an officer of my teacher's union for 4 years. Since I knew how to negotiate, I was on the negotiating team during contract talks. Our salaries had been frozen for 3 years...3 YEARS. While the administrators were getting raises that would make your hair stand on end. So, I went in with my team and asked why they were getting HUGE raises while the teachers got zip. You know what they did? They looked us straight in the eye and said, "If your team is here to cause trouble, we are going to leave." And they did. They just got up and left the talks without one word further. They knew they were wrong in getting those huge sums of money while we working stiffs got nothing for 3 years already and it was going to be 4 years now.

So, myth number 3 goes up in smoke.

Bringing stuff from home or purchasing materials on our own supplements the little we get from our employers.
Bringing stuff from home or purchasing materials on our own supplements the little we get from our employers.

Myth #4 - Teachers are well supplied!

This has got to be the biggest joke I have ever heard. Adequate? What do you consider adequate? Just having necessary, and I mean NECESSARY supplies to teach should not be an option, but it is in many schools. I literally have spent thousands, yes THOUSANDS of dollars out of my own pocket for NEEDED supplies, not some fluff. Would you work for a company that didn't provide you with necessary office supplies? I doubt it, but teachers are supposed to accept that without any thought. It is for the children, they say. That term is so misused..all it is used for is to lay guilt on people that love kids...that is all!

If I took all the things I have purchased over the years out of my classroom, I would not even have the bare minimum to teach. Mostly, I would have just textbooks and not much more. Certainly not enough to stimulate and encourage young minds to learn and grow!

Every teacher I have worked with has spent tons of their own money, taking away from their own families, in order to meet the needs of their students. We get no thanks..we don't want it anyway, but at least give us credit for caring enough to provide what these kids need!

No, we are not superheroes, but just average men and women that love kids and have a rare gift!
No, we are not superheroes, but just average men and women that love kids and have a rare gift!

Myth 5 - Teachers only work 6 hours a day!

Boy, is that a load of you know what! Six hours a day? Try 10 on an average day. It is true, we are in the CLASSROOM for 6 hours, but we don't sit around on our butts before or after that. My classroom day starts at 8:15 AM, but I have already been at school for 2 hours. No, I wasn't sucking down coffee in the lounge. I was preparing for that day's activities. Running copies, getting necessary materials together since I cannot leave the classroom when there are students in the room.

Even going to the bathroom when you want is a luxury teachers don't have! Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

Then class begins and you have 6 hours to cram in everything your district or school requires. Think that is easy...I will let you walk in my shoes for a week! By the end of the day, when the kids head home, I have put in my 8 hours. Am I done? Not a chance.

Now comes the other part of teaching...grading the papers, going to meetings, calling parents, being the sponsor for one of the clubs, etc. I usually stay 1 to 2 hours everyday after school doing things that are school related, or if I do go home, take that work home and do it there.

So, I am putting in around 50 hours a week and getting paid for only 30-35. Overpaid? Not a chance! If we collected overtime for all of this, perhaps we would be. All teachers are dedicated and this is routinely done. We sacrifice a lot for our students and most of the time nobody even appreciates that! No wonder teachers are a tightly knit, very bonded group of professionals!

Myth 5 - Parents are your ally!

You think so, huh? Well, I will say that MOST parents do support you and will make a good effort to assist, but that isn't always the case. I have had parents threaten me, badmouth me in public, you name it. But those I can handle. You know the ones that irritate me the most? The ones that you never hear from, no matter how often you try to contact them. Case in point.

I had one 3rd grade student that was really having problems academically. She was a nice little girl, but just couldn't keep up. I wanted to see if she had a possible learning disability, but had to have the parents' permission to request testing. I must have called that home 2 dozen times...sent letters home with the girl, even mailed them by registered mail. Nothing...not a blasted word! I even tried to go over to the home, but was denied by the administrators to do it. Know what I did? I said the hell with them...I was going to help this sweet little girl and if I got fired...so what. Yep, this is me...the turkey chaser, apple snitching, pool hopping little boy that you all know. ROFLOL I learned well from my past!

So, I did go over to her house one day. After months of trying to contact this parent, I finally got my foot in the door. The child was absolutely ecstatic that I was trying to help her...whoever says kids don't know, is full of it! Anyway, the little girl's joy quickly evaporated. I didn't even get started and was told, "I do not know why you are here and don't care.! Well right there that told me volumes about this loser. The parent then continued, "When my child is at school, she is your PROBLEM, not mine. I don't want to hear ANYTHING from you or the school!" Then the parent just shut the door in my face. I was speechless. I cared more about the little girl than her own parents! I wanted to just ring that person' neck! I felt so bad for that child and she witnessed all of it. Luckily I restrained myself instead of kicking that parent's fat butt all over the house!

Well, of course, the next day I got reprimanded for going against a direct 'order' from my principal. What is this..the military? Seems the parent called the Central Office and complained. So, the little girl got nothing and I was mad. I had an official reprimand placed in my teaching file, which is not good. So, I did what a teacher should do, live up to my promise to help my students. The parents and my own school officials hang me out to dry and reprimand me for doing the right thing. The reprimand...no big deal, but it sure gave me an eyeful of who I was working for. Just disgusting!

Whenever I see school leaders or board members on TV and the say, "It is for the children." Don't believe it! I don't like to say this, but it is true. There are so many corrupt, greedy, and selfish school officials it makes the Mafia look tame. What they are doing is nothing short of criminal! I have seen this with my own eyes over and over. I have contacts in many school districts in my state and it is the same thing. Want to know why there is a teacher shortage? I think reading this hub will give you a good idea! I think we should dump them all and let the teachers run the show. That would turn this country's educational system around and get things where they should be. Most administrators haven't set foot in a real classroom in years...they have no clue. Little sweet Johnny and Suzie, Dick and Jane, have been replaced with Bart Simpson and the South Park darlings. Not many June Cleavers around.

Many teachers go the extra mile like I do, and this is what they face. Really makes you want to show you care, doesn't it? Talk about having your dream destroyed. Teachers love children and are very caring people. That is why we put up with all of this crap...for the kids! We truly do care about the children, not just give lip service when on TV when trying to get a tax levy or bond issue passed.

The next time you see a teacher, maybe you will remember that behind that smiling caring face your children see, lies a very disillusioned public servant, but we swallow that and move on..because we LOVE kids!


Conclusions and Thoughts

Thank you for letting me vent a little. I worked for one school district for most of my career and was just recently laid off due to budget cutting at a community college. It has upset me greatly since it came with no warning at all. They didn't even have the courage to call or meet with me, they just sent a cold letter stating my contract for the next school year had been cancelled due to district financial problems, and that I needed to clear out my belongings at the school.

Well, what can you do? Trying to get another teaching job in this area is probably very unlikely since there are several colleges that have education students graduating plus this huge number of unemployed teachers saturating the market.

The entire area in which I live has been experiencing this huge teacher elimination trend. One district in particular, a very highly respected one until recently, has really been exposed to some very unethical behavior. This district hired 2 totally unnecessary administrators which was bad enough, but each was given an almost $30,000 a year INCREASE in salary... that is more than many teachers earn, but that was an increase to their already high salaries. So, what do they do? They fire the teachers and again, we pay for the mismanagement and misuse of money by our 'leadership' Then, to top it off, that district is asking for a bond issue to be passed in the fall!

Total disregard for anyone but those greedy SOBs running our schools. The newspapers here have been having a field day with this...and what is sad is the this district got caught, but many more things like this are happening even now that nobody knows about. Also it makes the teachers look bad too, and they had nothing to do with it, but will be held accountable.

CONCLUSION! Don't misunderstand me...I love teaching and always will. It is a rare gift that God has given me, and I am grateful. Not everyone can teach...that is a fact. Anyone that says that has never stepped foot in a classroom, or doesn't know what teaching really is. I can think of no other profession I would rather do...even with all the crap I have mentioned above. I am sure any teacher will say the same...they put up with much of this garbage, but will not leave a career that truly is rewarding in many ways. The children are what keep me going and always have. Without them, I wouldn't even do it. They are my reward and know that in some way, I gave them each a part of myself that I hope they will carry the rest of their lives. One of my greatest pleasures is to see a student that I had 20 years ago come up and chat with me. It is an incredible experience...it makes it all worth while. To see what that man or woman is now is just priceless when I remember them as a second or third grade kid...now they are adults with children of their own. THAT is why we teach....our love of people, especially children...who really are our future! And we had a part in that!

GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU TEACHERS OUT THERE! I LOVE YOU ALL!!!

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Comments 15 comments

Edwin Clark profile image

Edwin Clark 5 years ago from Thailand by way of New York

Good teachers are definitely under appreciated.


Knightheart profile image

Knightheart 5 years ago from MIssouri, USA Author

Edwin...thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Unfortunately, many great teachers leave because of the things I mentioned above. I really do think the teachers should be running the schools.


dianetrotter profile image

dianetrotter 3 years ago from Fontana

Dave, I saw my situation in everything you wrote. I teach music. For some reason administrators think it's a matter of listening to the music from a CD and then singing it. So.......they want me to spend the first 30 minutes of my class tutoring English. I was told "You can teach music but you can't teach. You can't teach English." The 30 something administrators feel that the problem is the "old" teachers so they harrass the older teachers and try to get them to retire. I have been on an assistance plan for 3 years and they keep moving the cheese. Whatever they want me to do is what I am not doing. The real dilemma is responding in a way that is pleasing to the Lord.


Knightheart profile image

Knightheart 3 years ago from MIssouri, USA Author

Hi Diane,

Thank for stopping by and leaving a comment. I love teaching and I love kids, but after decades of dealing with 'inept' and the political BS of school boards and administrators...well, I had enough. Most don't have a clue as to what it is like to teach...sure they stick their noses in our classes a couple of times a year, but in reality, they don't know a blasted thing. In my opinion, it is the administration that hinders education and learning. ..in my district, they were our most fiercest adversaries. Of course, to the public they say, "It is for the children." But in reality and actions, that was a downright lie. I served for 4 years TRYING to work with an anti-teacher school board and administration...so I saw first hand the political manuevering and posturing to gain public support. Many good teachers left in disgust while the school board rewarded and praised the abusive tactics of the administration. In my opinion, the teachers should run the schools and get rid of the bulk, huge monetary waste, and inept direction our so called administrators shove down teachers' throats. Oh well, that God I left that situation with my sanity and love of learning intact. Shame on any school official that harasses or belittles their teachers! They need a good dose of public relations and people management skills! So many are just dictators on a power trip...lording their authority over the teachers who sacrifice ever day for their students! Just once I would love to see a school official really sacrifice something for their teachers, like supporting them when it is NOT policically affect instead of throwing them under the bus because it wouldn't be popular to support us. Sounds a lot like politicians who step on those to get to the top. Some role models! LOL

Thanks again for writing and remember, God knows what teachers are going through and justice will be served when we face Him....just hope I get to see some of my past administrators account for the terrible things they did and get their due! LOL


dianetrotter profile image

dianetrotter 3 years ago from Fontana

Knight, I have to pray continuously and get counsel from growing Christians as I proceed. They don't come to my room 3 times a year. They walk in every week - sheer harrassment. I show my students the emails they send me and evaluations they write. The principal attempted to turn the students against me saying I just do old music , do the same songs over again and "Don't" do any gospel. When my students ask to do those songs, I tell them to please let the principal know that they requested the songs. My kids have supported me 100% and often go to the principal to call him on what he says or does.

Our common enemy is poverty and no vision for the future among our kids. We can do more working together than against each other. BTW, I'm enjoying your comments on the other Hubs!


Knightheart profile image

Knightheart 3 years ago from MIssouri, USA Author

Diane,

I certainly feel for you and completely understand. My principal was a tyrant and finally had to file a harassment suit against her after 4 years of literal 'hell on earth'. How these people remain leaders in a school is beyond me. Many, like my principal, were manipulators and schemers, using children to do their dirty work....just criminal! How an educator can deliberately try to ruin a good teacher is beyond my comprehension...it just makes me sick!

I had documented proof against my 'thorn in the flesh' and without it I would have had nothing to stand on...the school officials would have never done a thing if I hadn't dotted all my 'i's and crossed all my 't's. Even with solid evidence against her, it was a no win situation. Finally decided it wasn't worth my health and resigned, but at least my charges were on file and official. I am a fighter by nature, and opposed my nemesis at every turn, but I paid a high price for it. But looking back, I wouldn't change at thing I did. I was there for the kids and the heck with all the other garbage. I know I am a good teacher and so did my colleagues, parents, and my students. If not for them I would have gone nuts! Anyway, I am doing things my way now...since I am in charge, not some school board puppet abusing their power and criticizing their teachers. I saw the worst way to run a school, and with God's help, will hopefully be able to run my own daycare the way it should be done...for the kids!! God bless you!

Oh, and the comments on that other hub about the rapture...think CJS is really off base about his statements that the Rapture has already occurred. Oh well, not going to fight with his nonsense there. I know the Truth and believe we are going to see the real Rapture soon...so all this will be moot then! We will have proof and be gone from this world! LOL

Take care now! KH


skye2day profile image

skye2day 3 years ago from Rocky Mountains

KH Well my bro. May the love of God shine on you today and always. Missed seeing you around thought to stop in for a read and check on you.

Teachers are overworked underpaid. I know many of them that make a huge difference in the life of a child. I have a feeling that one of them was you KH.. Just to think one thing you said or did could have saved his whole week from despair. God Bless our teachers brother.

So sad God is taken from the schools. It certainly shows in our education system. When we drift from God the hedge of protection starts to fall away and .. blessings with it..

You my dear Friend keep on keep going.. TRUST TRUST TRUST. God has you in his very large hands. Thank you for putting it on the line about teachers in the work place. Thank God we serve a just God and he promises to meet all our needs

Praying for you Love n Hugs. Your sista in Christ. So i will be looking for another hub soon?? Hope so kh. Later gator.


Knightheart profile image

Knightheart 3 years ago from MIssouri, USA Author

Skye!

Hello, my friend! Thanks for stopping by. I know this article was written pretty long ago, but it sure is the same! Now elementary schools aren't safe from the nuts out there shooting everyone in sight...so literally, teachers put their lives on the line everyday, not only from violent, out of control high school and middle school students, but now from any adult that has an axe to grind and can find a lot of innocent victims in one place.

You are correct...this country has taken God out of almost everything and no wonder this land is in such a mess. But do they learn...no! Our Congress does nothing but bicker among themselves and nothing gets done, but whenever there is a financial mess, they never have to worry about their income being stopped due to government defaults...no, the average guy and girl have to bite the bullet and sacrifice every single time. I think Congress and other official should have to join us! Anyway, my hub on "Which Way America" somes my views up nicely. This president, leaders, all those we elected are so anti-God it just makes me sick, and then when the Oath of Office is taken and that hypocrit says, So help me God, well, I just want to smack him! Hello! Lies and deceit are this administration's agenda, and it trickles down to state and local government too, and even the schools. God help us!

Thanks for your prayers, sis! I have a hub I am about ready to publish about Innocent Until Proven Guilty? Another rant of mine about our glorious justice system...another broken gear in the wheels of government! Sheesh..I wish Jesus would come back and end this lunacy! Bye now!

I am glad to know there are people like you, Dave Matthews, Peggy and so many 0thers that know that God's way is the ONLY way that works!

KH (((((((hugs))))))


Knightheart profile image

Knightheart 3 years ago from MIssouri, USA Author

For Bob:

What planet are you from?


skye2day profile image

skye2day 3 years ago from Rocky Mountains

knightheart I saw your comment on notifications. I was excited to see you are still on planet earth. Love you brother. Thought I would stop in and let you know. I think of you at times and send a prayer your way. I miss your writing and miss seeing you at my hubs as well. Although I have not written a whole lot this past few months.

You are my bro and I just love ya knightheart. In Christ, Love Skye


dianetrotter profile image

dianetrotter 3 years ago from Fontana

I had to arrange a meeting with a superintendent last week. Admin started up with the same crap before school was started well. It was a wonderful meeting. The super was attempting to balance but admin was so far in left field. The principal took revenge on me by giving me an impossible schedule. I had just received a diagnosis of 2 bulging discs in my lower back right before school started. That added to my hip replacement that didn't turn out well and my two knees that need replacement have put me under a very stressful situation. I've lost 7 lbs in the last two weeks because my schedule is so demanding and I'm on my feet for 6 hours straight. I filed harassment and discrimination charges with EEOC for age and ADA. I'm sure I will come out on disability retirement next year. I have fallen in love with my 9th graders like I do every year. I can't imagine not being there for them until they graduate.


Knightheart profile image

Knightheart 3 years ago from MIssouri, USA Author

Hello, Skye!

Long time no see, sis! Yes, I am still here on this planet, although you know where I long to be and it isn't here. LOL I have had a long, tough road these past couple of years...very down and just tired of fighting. Depression, that tool of the Enemy, sure is effective and it has gripped me off and on for a long time. I certainly am glad to hear from you...one of the highlights in my life recently. As for your prayers, well, you know I always welcome that, especially from a warrior like you!

As for my writing, I just haven't been motivated to do much of it...the big 'D' I guess influences that as well.

Thank you for leaving a note here...it felt good to hear from a lady I know cares about me, one of the few. LOL I hope your life is going well. Last time I heard you were having some major challenges too...oh, how I wish Jesus would take us all home!

Love you to, sis', and give your hubby a big hug...that does wonders as does prayer. I will be thinking and praying for you too...you can count on that!

Your friend forever....KH


Knightheart profile image

Knightheart 3 years ago from MIssouri, USA Author

Hello Diane,

I am so sorry to hear about all the difficulties you are having. As you know, I have had my share of difficult, to put it mildly, administrators who don't care one bit about their teachers. It just makes me sick to see so many tyrants and hateful people in charge of our schools! They all should get kicked in their arrogant butts for their mistreatment of their employees and their sneaky ways to try to get people that stand up to them out of the districts! I have been there myself, and it usually is a losing battle, unfortunately.

I was a union representative and an officer of the NEA for years and have seen so many great teachers abused, threatened, screwed over and taken advantage of if they make a stand for themselves, their fellow teachers and their students! What is wrong with the school leaders...they are so out of touch with reality it is just disgusting! They have no clue how to manage people...no wonder so many schools have severe morale problems...with tyrants like yours and the ones I slaved for, it is a miracle the kids aren't effected more by the misery these so called leaders dump on their teachers and staff!

I filed a harassment charges too, but it did little good. The good old boy mentality in the central office is difficult to fight even with good, strong evidence. They are good at twisting facts, lieing, and covering up their misdeeds...sounds a lot like the government! I do hope it all works out for you...good teachers are hard to get and more are leaving the profession because of the stuff you have mentioned here. If it weren't for the kids, nobody would want to teach!

My prayers are with you and all of the teachers in your situation. Nobody should have to endure unethical, disgusting, and illegal treatment in the workplace. These 'leaders' are role models for our kids...how dare they abuse that priviledge and treat their teachers like crap and then show such a caring, loving, face to the public. It is just sickening!

Thanks for writing and again, I pray all works out for you and these monsters you are working for get theirs good! A public humiliation should me the least amount of punishment for these animals!

KH


dianetrotter profile image

dianetrotter 3 years ago from Fontana

Thank you so much for your prayers Knightheart. Some of the administrators look at it as if they are "building their own empires" where they can rule with an iron fist. Our Affirmative Action Officer retires August 31. I filed a federal complaint after not getting satisfaction from the AAO. I'll keep you posted.


Knightheart profile image

Knightheart 3 years ago from MIssouri, USA Author

You are welcome Diane. In my opinion, the vast majority of administrators should be terminated. Most are lazy, don't do crap except collect high salaries, etc. I had one principal that spent most of her time in the teacher's lounge eating...what a waste. The schools should be run buy the teachers and get rid of low life, inept, and hateful administrators...using their salaries to buy NEEDED supplies and not carpeting for their blasted offices! LOL No wonder many teachers leave...it gets old to keep sacrificing and getting dumped on from all sides. One commenter here blasted teachers and I didn't post it. Another clueless moron that has no idea what we do. All he looks at is 9 months of teaching a year, which is a load of BS anyway. He didn't even read my article obviously....Stupidity. Take care and I hope you get good results!

KH

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