Last night I overheard a conversation from a couple of college students regarding teaching. It seems that the young lady is an education major. Her friend was loudly proclaiming how teachers were really over paid. He thought that teachers had a very easy job because they only work 8 to 3 with a lunch break and an hour off period. Further teachers get two months off a year. The young man had obviously never been on the other side of the desk.
There are many who think because they have been students that they must know about teaching. Further there are still many misconceptions about teaching. First teaching is not an 8 to 3 job; those are just the hours that students are there. For me teaching was more like 7:30-5:00 and then I took several hours of work home each night. While teachers are supposed to get a half hour lunch and conference period each day there is often so much to do during those time that it is rarely free time. I was always doing good to get fifteen minutes to inhale my lunch. It is ironic that the gentleman thought teachers were being over paid was in the one of the, if not lowest paying counties in Florida. Florida’s teachers are some of the lowest paid teachers in the country.
One of the things that has always frustrated about teaching was that those who made the policies (ie politicians) had for the most part never taught. In our society grown men are paid millions of dollars to play with a ball but teachers barely make a decent wage. In many areas education is so underfunded that teachers must spend large amounts of their own limited resources for classroom supplies. In Florida, the education funding situation is so bad that many school districts are looking at drastic measures to reduce spending including shortening the school week to 4 days and reducing electives.
If we really wanted to improve education in this country maybe we should provide better funding instead of just adding more regulations. Give teachers the respect that college educated professionals deserve rather than always blaming teachers.