Why Teaching Is The Best Job In The World
And, also, why it is not
It’s the most wonderful job in the world
Being a teacher is the most wonderful job in the world. You earn good pay and get the summer off. You teach for the love of your students. Each one of them is a miracle fulfilled. They will appreciate you for everything you bring to them, and you will love them unconditionally.
There is nothing more important than a well-rounded education; so, as a crucial part of any community, teachers are welcomed and respected everywhere
Did you believe any of that?
None of these things is true, although some aspects of some of these things are true.
Teachers are the most underpaid and overworked of all people in the professional work force, except perhaps, for those in nursing careers. By professional, we mean not the most important workers — that’s probably those who farm the food you eat and conserve ecosystems — but it is true of those workers who typically go to college for four years.
Being a teacher, especially at first, is difficult. Depending upon which age group you work with you may find they can be unruly, rude, disrespectful, even hostile. …And, that’s just the parents.
Seriously, though, kids can be terribly difficult, and teaching requires an enormous amount of patience.
This challenging age of Critical Race Theory, CRT, is not the first time that teachers have come under fire. Teaching science, and keeping a healthy separation of church and state has always been an issue in education. And given the troubled history of race, gender, and class division, social justice will always be an ongoing challenge for educators.
Active shooter drills are a more recent development in education that make everything that much more difficult as a sign or the times.
Lazy days of summer
Teachers usually take on side jobs, educational classes, workshops, or long-term assignments during the so-called “vacation” months. That is, summer vacation can be a break, of sorts, but it is the rare teacher who actually takes the time off for leisure.
Maybe we should have more leisure breaks. The research is showing that all work and no play is not a good thing, and we want teachers who are refreshed, healthy, and ready to cope with every brand-new year and its fresh crop of new faces.
Income and the cost of living
Teachers teach to earn a living. Although, yes, there is tremendous love of education and for the love of their students, too, teaching is a job. Teachers are people who need to make a living.
The age of global pandemics, with more to come, ensures that the world is waking up to the fact that teachers fulfill a role as a place for the kids to be while parents earn an income as well. This really hit home in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, before vaccines were widely available.
That people are having fewer kids is not surprising. There is an ongoing debate as to whether parents should be having kids if they cannot afford full time daycare, and whether there should be subsidized affordability for day care, or even whether stay at home parents (both genders) are as entitled to compensation as wage earners.
These issues are more critical than ever before. And, there are so many factors as to why education is crucial as an ongoing part of all of this.
For example, knowing the challenges of the 21st century, climate heating, extinction, pandemics, economic disparity, food shortages, and much more will become more and more important as society moves forward.
Remember your best teacher?
When people reach a certain age, they are usually finally able to remember a special teacher who gave them the boost they needed to apply themselves, gain self-esteem, learn their passions, and take on the world.
Many people especially remember kindness above all else, and that is something teachers have to work hard at remembering to give in these challenging times.
Stop and remember your best teacher, and then think about how incredibly important it is that we support teachers because they support everyone, especially those in public schools.
Because all of these issues need to be decided according to the best available data, information, and evidence, education is more important than ever before.