How many times has a teacher heard the claim – ‘teachers have it so easy, shorter working hours plus you get all the holidays!’ But anyone who believes this is the case, isn't aware of exactly what the role now demands of our primary and secondary school teachers. Campus Travel has mad a few notes on what the most common misconceptions of teachers are.
Teachers work from 8am to 3pm
If only! The majority of teachers arrive by 7am and don’t leave until 5pm – or often much later. If they are not staying back to prepare lessons, they are taking on other responsibilities such as administration, tutoring, coaching a sports team or even cleaning up. Then when they do leave they often take work home to complete in their own time.
Teachers just have to focus on teaching
While face-to-face teaching is one of the most rewarding parts of the job, there are dozens of other things a teacher needs to accomplish each day. Multitasking includes preparing lessons, marking, scheduling, personal development, managing budgets, correspondence with parents, answering emails, conferring with colleagues and industry organisations, technology training, playground duty, participating in school and community events and managing student issues. So in reality only about 40% of what a teacher does is actually in the classroom!
Teaching is easy because you only have to deal with children
Children are often more complex than many adults. Teachers take on different roles in a student’s life – teacher, counsellor, parent-figure, coach, confidant and all-round emotional confidence builder. Wearing multiple hats is all part of being a teacher, but it often eats up valuable time each day – meaning more work ends up getting taken home.
Teachers’ lessons are prepared for them
The idea that a standardised curriculum means that lessons are preplanned and straightforward to deliver - is a myth. Teachers plan a lot of lessons from scratch to take into account the different academic, social and emotional needs of up to 30 students in the one classroom. Teachers have to design lessons to connect with students on different levels, while ensuring they are delivered in the context of a well-thought-out unit that builds up certain skills and content knowledge.
The bottom line is that teaching today is increasingly demanding requiring knowledge in educational psychology, interpersonal communications, advanced technology and classroom management. Plus teachers themselves are constantly learning too – with ongoing education and up skilling continuing throughout their entire career.