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Things Teachers Wish We ALL Knew

December 27, 2021 by Janessa Fletcher




There are a lot of misconceptions said about teachers these days. Most of the time when we hear things like “teachers are so lucky to get summers off” or “that must have been so nice to just sit at home and teach during distance learning”, we bite our tongues and smile. But today, we would like to take the time to set the record straight on some of those things. Our teacher colleagues had lots to say when it came to things they would like to tell parents, friends, and anyone else who is willing to listen. There are many things teachers wish we all knew, but we will start with this list.

 

Teachers Wish We ALL Knew that they 👉 Deserve to be Treated Like Other Professions

Compensation has always been a “no-no” topic when it comes to teachers. Even though we have college degrees (many of us advanced degrees), our pay scale is drastically lower than other professions that require similar degrees and levels of education. On top of college, teachers also have to continue taking courses to earn professional development hours for certificate renewal.

With all that said, teachers deserve to be treated and compensated the way other professionals are. We’ve been fighting this topic for decades and need others outside of education to join us. Support teachers when they go to the legislature. Vote “yes” on propositions that increase salaries and stipends for teachers. Every little bit helps.

Still Love Teaching No Matter What

Even with the lack of acknowledgment from higher-ups, we love what we do. Teaching is a passion that drives us to show up for our students every day. Those magical “aha” moments, the funny things kids say, and the daily student growth we get to experience are OUR WHY. This job is definitely not an easy one, but there is one thing all teachers have in common… we pour our hearts into helping children succeed. Teaching is full of new adventures and we can’t wait to see what each day brings.

Teachers Wish We ALL Knew that they 👉 Work Way More Than 8 Hours a Day

Our jobs don’t end when the last student gets on the bus to go home. We bring home papers to grade, activities to laminate and cut apart, and lessons to plan. There is so much behind-the-scenes work that teachers do daily to ensure your children are successful in their classrooms. We are constantly thinking about our students – the best ways to reach the one who is struggling with a certain skill, how to keep everyone engaged in lessons to maximize learning, and many other things.

Many times our home lives suffer due to the amount of time we invest in our jobs. There never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done at school and be there for our families. At Education to the Core, it is our mission to help teachers get their time at home back on track. Let us make planning easier for you. We have a variety of no-prep resources that will keep your students learning all year long without breaking your pocketbook, or taking up hours of “at home” time. The favorite among primary teachers right now is our Monthly Packets Printables for Kindergarten, First Grade, and Second Grade. With over 50 pages of ELA and Math activities per packet, your lessons will be much easier to plan and prep. 💙💛🧡

A Parent Meeting Does NOT Mean we are Picking on Your Child

This is a HUGE thing that teachers wish we all knew! When we call you to discuss a behavior or academic concern, or if we want you to come in and have a parent-teacher conference about your child, it is because we care and want them to be successful. It is NOT because we have it out for your child. Teachers want to work with parents as a team to make sure their child has the best educational experience possible, so please trust our judgment in trying to help your child.

Please know that most often, a parent meeting is the last item on a list of interventions we have tried in the classroom. You know your child best and can help us create a classroom environment that will promote learning for them. We need your help to get the behavior under control. We need your help to reach their academic goals. Just know that your kids will always be “our kids”. We don’t forget them once the school year is over. They will forever be a part of our teaching memories.

Teachers Wish We ALL Knew that they 👉 Spend So Much of Their Own Money for Students

We wish we could tell you that the school provides us with everything we need to teach. Unfortunately, that is not true… Teachers are constantly purchasing items for our classrooms. We scour store aisles for games, supplemental activities, centers, manipulatives, classroom decor, organization items, prizes, student gifts, snacks, and the list goes on and on.

ETTC can’t provide you with most of these things, but we can ease your pocketbooks when it comes to purchasing supplemental resources for your classrooms. Don’t wait anymore for TPT sales, or gift card season. Instead, purchase a Premium Membership and have unlimited access to printable resources any time you need them. Mix and match worksheets for the perfect homework packet. Differentiate independent work for reading and math lessons. The options are endless!

We Do NOT Get Paid Over the Summer!!!

If you really want to make a teacher heated, mention something about getting paid to have their summers off. This is NOT TRUE!!! I repeat this is NOT TRUE! Summer is not a paid vacation for us. We are 9 or 10-month contract employees. That means we get our last paycheck on the last day of school and it is up to us to budget that paycheck through the summer until school starts again. For most of us, this means we take on a summer job to help make ends meet.

And to put things into an even better perspective, we are still working on school stuff over the summer (FOR FREE!). We don’t get paid to come in and set up our classrooms over the summer, or to start lesson planning for the upcoming school year. But we do it anyway because we want to be prepared and ready for your children when they walk into our rooms for the new year.

Teachers Wish We ALL Knew that they 👉 Are Human Too

As hard as we try to be all the things to everyone, we will make mistakes throughout the school year. Please show us grace. We are multi-tasking to the nth degree on a daily basis, which is very challenging. With 20-25 students and only one of us, there will be some goings-on in the classroom that we miss. Thank you for bringing them to our attention in a respectful way. We have feelings too, so negative comments and accusations are very hurtful and harmful to the parent-teacher team we are working to create.

Just like you, we have families too, so please understand when we don’t respond to your emails outside of school hours. We are trying to enjoy our time at home, so messages and emails over the weekend will have to wait until Monday. Some of us have serious events going on in our lives such as deaths, sickness, etc., but we are trying to be there for your children however best we can. Again, please show us grace.

“Just Get a Sub” is Not as Easy as You Think

Teaching is probably one of the only professions where you have to spend a few hours preparing materials in order to take a day off. Try doing this while being sick, or taking care of a sick child at home and you can see why it can be frustrating. Not to mention the fact that there is a drastic substitute teacher shortage right now. 😩 Most times it is just easier to try and go into work than to call in sick, but we have something that may just change your mind…

No Prep Emergency Sub Plans for Kindergarten, First Grade, and Second Grade has made taking that sick or personal day a million times easier. Print out the lessons you need for a full or half-day and make some copies for your sub. We’ve written the detailed plans, created the whole-group activities, and added the independent follow-up worksheets for your students. Stay home when you or a family member are sick, schedule that doctor’s appointment after lunch, or just take a much-needed mental health day worry-free with these beauties!

Teachers Wish We ALL Knew that they 👉 Are Working in a Broken System

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that our educational system needs a major make-over. We have non-educators calling the shots and making decisions for teachers and students without listening to the experts (THE TEACHERS)!!! Every day we are having more responsibilities added to our plates and it is physically and mentally draining. These last two years have been the hardest most of us educators have had to teach through and we are doing the best we can with the little bit of support we have. But to be honest… we are struggling! Dear Tired Teachers, We SEE YOU!

Other Things Teachers Wish We ALL Knew

  • We promise that we don’t live at school.
  • If we happen to see you at Target, Walmart, or the grocery store, we just want to say “HI”, not have a parent-teacher conference.
  • By the end of the day Monday, we are done listening to ourselves talk.
  • We’ve mastered the skill of going 8-9 hours without a bathroom break.
  • Usually, only 5 minutes of our 35-minute lunch break is spent eating.

Teaching is only a part of our job. We also make sure that our students have food in their bellies, band-aids when they get hurt, and a shoulder to cry on when they need it. Most days, we are recess referees and friendship menders. We think about them both in school and when we go home. They may be your kids, but they are also “our kids” and apart from your family, we make up a large portion of their day. I believe that Susan M. summed up what it is like being a teacher right now perfectly…

“We are giving our all in a system that is completely broken. If it weren’t for the love and care of the individual teacher, most students would be doomed. We are like the only working piece of the puzzle. I know most of my parents are really grateful for this and see it and that means more to us than anything. We are pleasers by nature and cannot in good conscience ever stop working no matter how bad it gets. We are smart enough to know each day will be a challenge but optimistic enough to go in each day and try to make a difference anyway.”

This job is not for the faint of heart, it is not something that we do to “collect a paycheck” or “pass the time”. Instead, each of us is called into education for different reasons. We want the best for your children. Lately, the system has been very harsh when it comes to teachers, but we will continue to work for your children because they are the reason we go to work every day.

Written by – Janessa Fletcher

At Education to the Core, we exist to help our teachers build a stronger classroom as they connect with our community to find trusted, state-of-the-art resources designed by teachers for teachers. We aspire to be the world’s leading & most trusted community for educational resources for teachers. We improve the lives of every teacher and learner with the most comprehensive, reliable, and inclusive educational resources.

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