Saturday, January 16, 2010

The life of a teacher Day 2

Today I graded papers for 3 hours and then entered grades into our school's online grading system. Some people seem to believe that a teacher's job is easy and they say things like, "Oh, you get to leave every day at 3:30pm," or "You are off for the entire summer, how easier can your job be?" or "You are off for winter break, Spring break, and many other major holidays, that must be nice." Well, let me inform all of those people who believe a teacher's job is easy.

I work about 60 hours or more a week (Five-day week). Then, when I come home for the weekend I spend another 3 to 10 hours working depending upon how much preparation work I have to do and how many papers I have to grade. This weekend happened to be a light one. I try to make my lessons creative and fun, but creativity and fun comes with a price, that price is my time. For example, my advanced algebra students are currently working on a murder mystery group project. The students' job is to determine who killed the victim given a set of parameters. They must use trigonometry and other mathematical concepts to determine the height of the murderer. Then, they select the killer from the list of suspects that I provide. They love it! And I love that they love it! It makes me feel as if the total preparation time was time well spent.

Besides the numerous hours of work that most teachers have, we also have to deal with attitudes and behavioral problems. Do you think your teenagers are bad at home and give you attitude? Well, try three thousand teenagers!! In my classes I have a total of about 120 students.....try that on for size! What I wouldn't give to have smaller classes!

Now, I could be a lazy teacher. I could have a no homework policy. I could give worksheets every day and only have to prepare copies and never create any fun activities for my students. I could give shortened versions of tests and quizzes so that I have less to grade. I could leave every day at 3:30p.m. and not care about my students needing help after school or care about preparing for classes. I could come in every morning right before the bell rings and never be available for morning help. I could quit my after school tutoring hours. Then, my job would be much easier and I could see why people would say it was easy. But, I am not like that. Neither are most of my colleagues. So, let me just inform you non-believers.....a teacher's job is NOT easy! I would like you to try my job for three months, I guarantee you will not think that it is easy!


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