Life as a teacher is a pretty good life. You have the opportunity to have summers off and you have almost every federal holiday off. Not to mention two weeks in the winter and a week off in the spring. What a life right? The life of a teacher involves so much more than that. Did you know that teachers don't get paid for that time off? Oh sure, we get paid throughout the year but our pay is based on the days that we work and it is divided in such a way that we can get a paycheck year round. During that time off we are often planning for the next round of teaching. We are worried about our students, have they eaten, are they with their mom or dad, are they being watched, are they reading, practicing math facts, just to name a few of our worries. In the summer we are busy planning the theme for our classroom, getting up-to-date on all the new changes to education. We are working on our websites, blogs, and professional portfolios. We are evaluating our teacher licenses ensuring we are still "highly qualified" and lining up professional development opportunities so that we can earn CPDUs to ensure we can renew our license when it is time. I just finished teaching summer school. I now have three days to rest before I need to go in and set-up my classroom. This usually takes the average teacher two to three days to complete (often more) so that it is ready for our students on the first day of school. This is time spent that we do not get paid for. I will be going to the teacher store and Target and Walmart to get supplies for my classroom, spending hundreds of dollars. My children will give up their time to come and help me with my bulletin boards and all the small details that go into setting up my classroom. Next week, Thursday, I will begin all the back-to-school meetings and learning of the new changes and expectations in my district this year, which will inevitably entail a great deal of additional work in addition to all of last year's expectations. Teaching, it is perceived as an easy gig, working 6.5 hour days and having summers off. In reality teachers have one of the most difficult jobs, we have responsibilities that go above and beyond that of a normal human being. To be a teacher you must be willing to dedicate your life to the educational process. When I dreamt of being a teacher I could never imagine all the work that would go into teaching, yet with all that teaching entails, I could never imagine myself doing anything else. Teaching is my calling and I wear my title proudly. The life of a teacher may not be as easy as one perceives it to be but, the life of a teacher is the life for me.
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A bit about me:
I am who I am thanks to God, my parents, my family, and my friends. My life is driven by faith. Oh, and I am a cancer survivor.