if you have never been a teacher

This year I have an intern teacher in my classroom throughout the year. It is similar to a medical residency, where he shadows me and then begins to take over more and more of the teaching work. I thoroughly enjoy talking about teaching, but the real benefits are more tangible.

1. I can go to the bathroom when I need to. You can never leave a classroom full of students unsupervised, thus bathroom breaks are rare.

2. I can manage my grading duties. With almost 140 students, and the goal of preparing students as true critical thinkers, I assign writing assignments. I then have to grade those pieces of writing. 4/5 of the my classes are the same, thus I have 105 identical essays to grade. Have you ever tried to read the same news item, written by different journalists, 100+ times – it is draining in an unimaginable way.

3. I can have adult conversations. I adore the time of adolescence. But after a while, a teacher can feel like a cattle wrangler. And being able to chat about news events or even just feelings of being tired, is a quick relief.

4. There is an extra set of eyes observing the quirky, odd, strange behavior of the adolescence. A teacher never really knows what strange ideas will come to fruition in the mind of a 14 year old. Knowing that you are the not the only one who will have to address the farting, texting, gossiping, or just plain oddities, is a relief.

I adore teaching, but there are some parts of the job that would be seen as unbearable or even inhumane to most other adults.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Kari says:

    I completely agree with #1! People do not understand the conditions of our job. (Hm although maybe I’m not allowed to say “our” any longer, still having an identity crisis about that…) And at my school we shared the bathrooms with the kids, there was never soap so many of us teachers had our own soap dispenser that both we and our students brought to the bathroom each time we went…the working conditions of NYC public school teachers and students. =/ However, given all that I still love love love teaching, I miss my kids terribly, and want to go back to the classroom asap!

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