What’s the first thought you get when you hear this?
We know everyone has different experiences with teaching but we’re sure you can agree with some of these points as a fellow teacher.
For reference: Our background = working in a low-income school.
After asking the person why they want to become a teacher, our conversation usually goes something like this…..
1) Teaching is not for the faint of heart
There’s always something more you can be doing. We do our best, but due to the constant flow of pressure, it seems like what we’re doing is never enough.
2) Being a teacher is more than just teaching
We wish it were as simple as just teaching! As teachers, we are constantly
– Trying to meet the emotional needs of 20+ different students
– Creating a safe learning environment
– Planning lessons and activities in a way that meets 20+ different needs
– Trying to close the educational gaps
– Racking our brains to teach the standards
– Trying to challenge those who need it
– Pleasing parents
– Scrambling to try to keep records for documentation purposes…and it goes on!
The major constants: Classroom management, Planning, Assessing, Communicating with parents and admin, Differentiating, Incorporating tech, and Working with other teammates
We are juggling all of these things, all the while, trying to have our own life outside of school.
3) Your heart will break at one point
Our students are people too – many have real problems outside of school. Sometimes the problems are much deeper than ‘I don’t know how to multiply’. You will encounter students going through sexual abuse, CPS complications, family deaths or incarcerations, real life poverty…
And if you’re a teacher who wants to fix everything – you quickly learn that you simply can’t – and it makes our jobs even that much difficult.
4) There is no ‘instant gratification’
As people who live in a society thriving on instant gratification, teaching is usually not a place where our thirst will be satisfied all of the time. It is a much slower process; sometimes at the end of the year or end of many years – when students come back and sincerely thank us.
5) You will work long hours
Yes, a normal school day is about 6 hours but those hours are spent with students, teaching, and everything else we can squeeze in. However, our job does not end when the bell rings. You will most likely work more. Papers don’t grade themselves and lesson plans don’t come out of thin air. We also can’t forget all of those after school meetings, seemingly endless paperwork (which was due the week before), and all the other non-teaching responsibilities, which we didn’t accomplish during the normal work day hours.
6) Learn to hold your pee
You will not be able to go to the bathroom whenever you feel the urge to (unless you have amazing team members who can cover your class and their class at the same time). You could potentially develop a urinary tract infection (it’s true!)
7) What lunch break?
Learn to scarf down your lunch while trying to get ‘one more thing’ done. Or learn to let go of getting ‘one more thing’ done and enjoy a few rare minutes of peace to yourself.
8) It is worth it
Teaching is about 70% relationship building! Once you’re able to build a relationship of respect and trust – learning comes through.
Even through all of the craziness, it is well worth it, if you love it.
9) Give yourself grace
It’s easy to lack confidence about your performance. However, showing up to work every day with the desire to serve and love your students is always enough.
10) What you do actually makes a difference.
For those in teaching: What’s YOUR response to people who want to jump into the teaching field?