While, based on the title of the article alone, it seems like an unnecessary jab at those of us who sometimes feel under-appreciated, I don’t think that is the point that the author is trying to make.
The Reality: In many public schools, classes are grouped at random, which means one class can include special ed students, gifted kids, and foreign-born children who speak little English. Trying to meet all their needs can be exhausting, if not impossible. Government rules often put pressure on instructors to teach all students high-level material, even if it’s over their heads. And summers aren’t sacrosanct: Increasingly, teachers are required to work, or “volunteer,” for part of the summer.
Isnt’ he restating (in very simplistic terms and not very eloquently) what I hear in my school and read in the blogosphere almost every day? Teaching is hard; differentiating instruction is hard; government policies are ineffective; and we don’t get summers off! What so wrong with that?
In some respects, teaching is overrated in its appeal. Too many people think that it would be a great job to have, that it would be easy, that anybody could do it. I was appalled when I overheard some out-of-work engineer nattering on about how he could ‘always become a teacher’ since he lost his job.
I wonder where that engineer is now? Did he ever qualify to become a teacher? I’m sure he had the academic skill, but did he have the people skills? Could he handle the long days and long nights? The seemingly endless marking of tests, quizzes, and investigations? Could he deal with the feeling that nothing is ever really complete, except for those 6 magical weeks?
Sometimes I feel like I can’t, and I love this job to its core…