This will be my fourth year of teaching and I will not lie and say that the past three years have been easy. People think that it’s easy being a teacher because we have breaks and summers off, but what about the energy we exert the rest of the year? We teachers need those breaks. Think about most jobs, do you take work home and deal with twenty-five different personalities daily? Anyone who thinks teaching is easy should be a teacher for a couple of hours. It will not take long to see that teaching is not an easy job, we just have a nice schedule. While I get summers and holidays off, there are 10 things that some people don’t know about teaching.
When people think about teachers, they don’t think about the amount of paperwork we have to do. From grading papers, tracking students progress in different subject areas, and students behavior. We have plenty of documentation to keep track of, which brings me to the next point, organization.
It is important to be very organized as a teacher to keep track of documentation and to have the ability to get things done. When classroom materials are organized it gives the teacher and students the ability to know where things go and put things away.
Lesson planning takes a lot of time because you break down each part of the lesson. You plan how to engage students, what you want students to learn by the end of the lesson, and how you will assess them. You must take into consideration the different levels, different ways of learning, and the various interest.
4. Taking work home
A lot of time, teachers end up taking work home. Grading papers and planning are things that take time and because these have a due date, you might have to take it home and do it after school or over the weekend
5. Bulletin Boards
Creating bulletin boards is a hassle. Most parents only see the finished product and they adore the classroom theme. Most teachers are very creative, but creating bulletins is not my strong area. So, I can admit that creating bulletin boards are my least favorite thing to do as a teacher.
6. Classroom Management
Classroom management is about the procedures that are in place in your class. You literally have to explicitly teach students what you want them to do. Each of every step from how to ask for a pencil or how to walk in the class. It’s not just about telling students rules.
7. Bathroom breaks/Lunch breaks
Depending on your schedule and whether you have a teacher’s assistant or not, sometimes these breaks are non-existent.
8. Meetings and PD’s
On top of planning and paperwork, there are also staff meetings and professional development that is required.
9. Staying on your feet
Part of my classroom management is walking around the room, especially when I am addressing my students. Teachers must be on their feet for most of the day.
10. No amount of training will prepare you.
If you are worried about your first day of school then don’t. The only thing that will prepare you is having your own class.
I am not trying to be negative or dissuade you from teaching. I am just pointing out the realities of teaching. I didn’t think about these things before I became a teacher. I just thought about having the ability to work with students, be creative, and not have to sit in front of a computer all day. Even though my first three years were an uphill battle, I am still learning and growing. Each year I become a better teacher and a better person. Teaching is a rewarding career and it’s nice having summer breaks, but nothing in life is perfect.