Changes in Education

Have you noticed that the field of education is rapidly changing? I started teaching 13 years ago and have noticed major changes. Teacher responsibilities are becoming more and more. We drive our instruction for data and how do data analysis and data dives. We have content, interdisciplinary, team, and collaborative meetings. We are to maintain continual communication with students and parents. We are to develop rigorous, meaningful, engaging, technological, and diverse daily plans. We are to keep grades updated and have assignment grades in within 48 hours.

I have noticed so many teachers feeling burnt out or on anti-anxiety medication due to the amount of stress that this profession places upon people. In talks with those who have taught for 20+ years it was not always this way. When we student taught we were informed it was not always this way. I work with and know people who go beyond our 40 hour work week and spend more like 80-100 hours on preparations  for teaching. Plus they have to work a second job in order to survive.

We never went into this profession for the money. But we expected to at least be able to live comfortably and not be overly stressed. However this seems to be the norm. Now I know what I will hear: "You chose this job. You could quit. Or you get summers off."

1. Yes, I chose this job. But the job is ever evolving. Most professions do not have to develop sick plans when you are out, have to wear so many hats as teachers, or being home as much extra work in order to be prepared for just the next day.

2. Sure I could quit. But then who would be there for the kids? A sub? I went into this career because I was passionate about my field of study and wanted to share my knowledge. The part of the job I like is being WITH the kids and teaching them. The other parts, well, they definitely are what cause the chaos.

3. This is the most cliche answer I have heard; even from friends. Do you know what teachers do over summer? Let me tell you about summer 2018. I did curriculum development as our curriculum has totally changed. I wrote assessments for this curriculum. I took a professional development course on teaching primary resources. I began laying out the ground work for History Day 2019 and establishing connections for my students. I began developing lesson plans for the new school year. I took my family on a vacation to a historic site so that I could gather information, pictures and resources for my class. I spent time developing videos to incorporate into my classroom made by me. Finally, I went into my classroom on my own time to set up the room to ensure that teacher week back I had everything prepared for Back to School night that occurred before school started.

Sure teachers have "off" of school for 2 months. But we are far from off. We are still working. I wish that those people would actually realize the amount of hours we put in, see the minimal amount of pay we get, and then factor in the hours we actually work. The breakdown is staggering. Your average teacher is getting paid, roughly $0.80 an hour. That is 80 cents. People with master degrees, highly qualified, or National Board Certidied teachers. There is more educated people in a school than most other places.

So when I hear people are leaving education; can you blame them? They have families to care for, their own health to care for, and a major discrepancy in the amount that teachers make and do. If you want to keep teachers you need to make them feel valued by paying then a wage that they do not need a second of third job to live. They do not need roommates in their 30s or 40s. And for those in the Midwest, should not be almost living on food stamps. Teachers are the basis of every career and idea. We motivate, coach, and lead the clubs that bring on future careers in acting, politicians, sports, musicians, etc. Perhaps it is time to pay back the teachers. But the again, who am I?

I get summers off, my work day "ends" at 3pm, and I get snow days. What do I know?

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