By Mr Nero
I write this today with every teacher in mind, but with the evidence of my own experiences and research. As a relatively new teacher I speak of my experience but also the shared viewpoints of the many staff I have spent time with.
Today I would like to examine the statement “teaching is easy”.
Somewhere along the way society judged teaching as an undervalued and easy profession where “those who can’t, teach”. A seemingly fall back career option for people have who have failed their first career and found teaching as the next easy step in life.
But honestly, teaching is a tough sometimes even ruthless companion, hours taken away from your personal life whilst being unpaid for your efforts. Expectations can be so far above your experience or pay grade with no compensation for achieving these sometimes miraculous feats.
The teaching job title seems simple in its description such as a simple step by step, follow this recipe. But to those of us in the trenches we understand that the “ingredients” of the classroom, and even the school, rarely allow for the perfect outcomes. For example, to name just a few of the many daily complex situations in many classrooms; high needs students, learning difficulties, behaviour management issues, overcrowded classrooms and limited or varying resources in all schools make this task almost a far-fetched dream for many teachers.
From these thoughts and constant media, often a demonising portrayal, the question arises from both teachers and the public is ‘how do we fix it’?
Not all students are as the general population believe. These technological driven citizens have innovative mindsets, skill sets and behaviours that may astonish or even appal you. Students arrive at school as they always have but also very different than you may think. 21st century parenting is difficult and with the ever-increasing demands on parents, those pressures can easily be transferred to the next major influence in their lives, the teacher. Seemingly the classroom learning then progresses into a new area of teaching basic manners, responsibility, social skills and so many life skills rather than the expected lesson plan outcomes. With so many expectations of teachers, when did etiquette and social skills become part of the job description whilst being insulted, treated poorly and disrespected on a sometimes daily basis?
I close this article today with a thought for the world, everyday teachers walk into classrooms with the weight of the world on their shoulders, from the job and from parents and even our own high standards.
I am human, I will make mistakes, but I try my best to open a new world of possibilities to each student under my care. I am responsible for a pivotal step in students lives through my teaching and for many teachers, even letting one student down can be soul crushing.
Instil this thought before you leave, every person needs to be passionate about learning.
“There is no greater education than one that is self-driven.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson
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About the Author:
Mr Nero is a secondary science teacher in Australia, and one of our guest teacher-bloggers. We are welcoming articles about life as a teacher from those on the front line, so if you are interested in being featured on Actual Teaching and reaching a large and diverse global audience, please get in touch!