There are over four million teachers in the United States which means chances are you know at least one personally. However, teaching is still one of the most misunderstood professions. Many people are still unaware of the dedication and work that goes into being a good and effective teacher. There are stigmas associated with teaching that have been around for a long time and, unfortunately, show no signs of going away anytime soon. These stigmas have even made the job much more difficult than it already is. It is important that we recognize these misconceptions and bring to light the truth of what teachers really do. Here are some of the most common misconceptions about teachers.
Teachers Work From 8am – 3pm
Many people believe that teachers only work from 8-3, Monday through Friday which is completely false. A majority of teachers come in early, stay after school, and sometimes spend hours during their weekend to work on their classrooms. They are also sacrificing time at home to complete certain tasks like grading papers and preparing the next day’s lesson plan. In other words, teachers are almost always on the job. BBC News in England recently published an article that featured a survey asking teachers how many hours they spend on the job. While it was based in the UK, it compares favorably to the amount of time teachers in the US spend working during the week. The results of the survey revealed that teachers work between 55-63 hours per week (both in the classroom and at home) depending on the level they teach.
Teachers Have The Entire Summer Off
Typical yearly teaching contracts range from 175-190 days depending on the amount of professional development days the state requires. From that, a teacher also receives about two and a half months for the summer vacation. However, they are not always on vacation. Many teachers still attend at least one or more professional development workshop during the summer. Teachers are also using the time during the summer to plan for the following school year as they read up on recent educational literature. Most teachers even show up to school weeks before the required reporting time in order to prepare for the upcoming school year. So while they are not teaching, they are still spending their break looking for ways to improve for the new year.
Teachers Teach Because They Cannot Do Anything Else
This is one of the more frustrating misconceptions about teaching. There are people who believe that teaching is an easy profession that includes people who cannot do anything. Once again, this is far from accurate. In fact, teachers are some of the smartest people in the workplace. There is so much that goes into the training and preparation to be an effective teacher. On top of that, many people become teachers simply because they love working with young people and are seeking to make an impact. It would be quite the shock for many people if they were to shadow a teacher, even for a few days and see the amount of work and effort that goes into their day-to-day lives. Most teachers could pursue other professions that would provide double the money and half the stress, but they stick with their current career path because they have the potential to change lives and that is the most important part of the job.