Since I was very young, I have known that being a teacher is my passion. Although it is tough and, sometimes thankless, I would never give it up. Being able to see the empowerment and pride in my students' eyes, knowing that I have impacted their lives, are things that could not be accomplished through any other career. Loving my career doesn't mean that it's easy or without rough days.
Most of my frustrations with my choice in profession, is how others perceive it. I don't "play" with kids all day, I don't "get summers off", I don't have "zero accountability", and I am not the reason for our country's educational struggles. I work very hard every day, as each of my colleagues do. We are professionals who strive constantly to stay current with student needs, seek out new strategies, find opportunities for creative learning, and collect data like a financial planner.
Not having support tends to boil down to a lack of understanding and misconceptions of what a teacher's day looks like. Well, if you want to know what an AVERAGE day for this PART-TIME teacher looks like, here it is. *My position is not average, but this is an average day for me.
7:30-7:50- Student Safety Committee Meeting- discussing my role in case of an emergency within the school
8:00-8:59- Teaching: Reading Intervention (classes switch every other day)- Specially and specifically designed instruction for each and every student within my class and their literacy needs
9:03-10:02- Prep: Time to plan for days to come, answer parent emails, make copies. schedule and/or attend meetings, collect/anaylize data, write growth and professional goals, grade assignments, enter/post grades, and plan for the Oregon Battle of the Books program. Just to name a few.....
10:06-12:11- (two classes-one hour each) Teaching: Language Arts- Blending reading and writing skills and strategies that students will need to be successful in their educational and future professional career. Striving to meet the needs of each and every student, each and every day
12:15-12:44- Close out classroom/Travel to other middle school/transport technology/set up classroom/lunch
12:48-1:47- Teaching: Reading Intervention (classes switch every other day)- Specially and specifically designed instruction for each and every student within my class and their literacy needs
1:47-1:52- Close out classroom and return technology
*This is where my part-time status kicks in
1:52-2:10- Pick up Nolan from preschool/daycare
2:15- Pick up Liam at school
2:45- Meet Joe at home- he had to come home early, so that I could go back to work
3:00-4:00- Intervention Strategies Meeting- discussing students who need more support and brainstorm, as a team, ideas to support them
*My work day is technically done at this point, however, I spent roughly another hour and a half of my evening returning emails, adding grades into the gradebook, checking student growth scores, and preparing for a day of Professional Development the following day.
This was yesterday. Today I will be spending my day presenting writing strategies learned over the summer, as well as in training for a new literacy assessment program and strategies and activities to use after analyzing the data.
Teachers juggle professional responsibilities, student/family needs, new curriculum/assessments, student engagement programs, meetings, data, etc. every single day. All this (for me) in a 6ish hour day. Obviously, this is not possible, as I spend far more than 6 hours a day making sure that I do my best for each of my students. I have one less class than most of my teammates, 30ish less students, and an hour and a half less time in the building. Can you imagine what their days look like?!
No matter what you have heard or believe about our education system, the teachers and their drive to support your children, are NOT the problem.