Recently, Indiana teacher Chasten Buttigieg reached out to fellow educators on Twitter to see what they wished other people understood about the teaching profession. The tweet resonated with our WeAreTeachers readers and followers as they shared the truth about teaching in 2019.
Here’s what they had to say:
1. Building relationships is the top priority sometimes.
Some days you don’t get any work finished because the relationships are more important. If you can’t take the time to cultivate those connections, you won’t ever make progress. Kids need breaks, too.
— Brittany Moore (@_LoveFaithTrust) April 10, 2019
And learning has to come second.
2. We DON’T have summers off.
I totally wish people knew that we don’t “have summers off.” In fact, our summers are typically spent taking classes, researching new strategies, buying supplies, and envisioning the best room setup for learning. #teacherlife #teachgoals
— Cee-Hicks (@ceeonandon) April 10, 2019
Just because we’re not in the classroom doesn’t mean we’re not working.
3. We are emotionally invested in each and every student.
We emotionally support over 100 kids each day and have nowhere to put that emotional baggage. I worry about my students at night and on the weekends just as much as in the classroom. We need a healthy way to carry the emotional burden that comes with teaching.
— Mimi (@aMealTime) April 10, 2019
The emotional weight of teaching can be heavy.
4. Teaching is nonstop.
Teaching is 24/7. We never stop. At the store, at home, during holidays, family time, weekends—it doesn’t matter. Our kids are always on our minds. We are always thinking, planning, worrying, hoping, adjusting. It never ends. #teacherlife
— Christine Moore (@MrsCYMoore) April 10, 2019
Here’s what just one morning looks like for a school teacher.
5. Testing takes a toll on teachers and students alike.
High-stakes state testing has made it hard to teach my students to mastery. Nor could the grade levels before me. We are trying to build their knowledge on shifting sands. District pacing guides due to state testing make it impossible to teach the students AS THEY need it! 😢
— Cynthia Daniel (@nerdherdteacher) April 10, 2019
In fact, testing-related anxiety is on the rise.
6. We’re ALWAYS thinking about our students.
It’s 9:30 pm, and I’ve been tweeting, messaging, talking with my colleagues on how to best reach my most difficult class since they left my classroom today. After crying on the way home because I am just so defeated. They are on my mind all. The. Time.
— Señora Robertson (@SenoraRobertson) April 10, 2019
7. Teaching is NOT babysitting.
Getting people outside the profession to recognize how crucial and important the responsibility we’ve been given is.
Teaching isn’t babysitting. It is a mentally and emotionally taxing vocation that is worth every minute.
— Early Adopters (@Early_Adopter1) April 10, 2019
And people who think that need to spend some time in a classroom.
8. We deserve to be treated as trained professionals.
Just because you were in a classroom as a student doesn’t make you an expert on teaching, just like being a patient in a doctor’s office doesn’t make you an MD. Respect and trust us to make professional decisions!
— Erica Wilmer (@WilmersWombats) April 10, 2019
Here are a few other things teachers need if we want to fix our education system.
9. We LITERALLY lose sleep worrying over students.
Teacher: someone who loses sleep worrying about other people’s children.
— Nicholas A. Ferroni (@NicholasFerroni) April 9, 2019
Teacher anxiety and depression are also on the rise.
10. We don’t teach for the money or the praise.
It’s a very hard but thankless job and has a low salary. Those who still do it, do it because they want to help others. Because we love the students we work with.
— Jennifer Penzenik (@jenpenzenik) April 10, 2019
But there’s no question it’s worth it.
11. We hardly even get any chance to use the bathroom during the day.
That I have to ask permission to use the bathroom so I can get someone to cover my class while I’m away.
— Merisha Leak (@MerishaLeak) April 9, 2019
Teachers joke about it on social media, but it’s true.
12. We put endless hours into our work.
There’s no “off.” We work nights, weekends, and despite popular belief, summers. We’re consumed by how to best help our kids, if we’re doing enough, and if our outreach is up to par. It’s all necessary and important bc it’s for our kids, but it’s also what makes it challenging.
— Marie Libassi-Behr (@marielib08) April 9, 2019
Here’s a look at how many hours teachers really work.
13. We are under pressure from EVERYONE to do our jobs.
We live under a microscope of admin, parent, and student judgement. It is exhausting.
— mama24 (@mama2eg) April 9, 2019
SO. MANY. STAKEHOLDERS.
14. Teaching requires a enormous range of skills.
We’re performers (“FRACTIONS TIME!”), confidants (“Tell me more.”), coaches (“Let’s try it together.”), nurses (“When did you last throw up?”), lawyers (“Lemme go cross-examine the other kid.”), artists (“More glitter?” Note: never more glitter.) all at once. #TeacherTalkTuesday
— Maggie McDowell (@maggiemcmath) April 9, 2019
Here are 13 other jobs teachers hold, but don’t get paid for.
15. There is SO MUCH paperwork.
I love teaching, but I wish people knew how much reflection, planning, and strategy goes into every lesson. Plus, you know, all the paperwork. 😉
— James McMordie (@JamesMcMordie) April 9, 2019
Like, our desks are literally drowning in paperwork.
16. Life at home plays a huge part in student success.
The hardest part is that students that are loved at home come to school to learn, and students that are not come to school to be loved. Home lives play such a tremendous role in student achievement.
— Moriah Walker (@WalkerWizardsLJ) April 9, 2019
And so many of our students are dealing with childhood trauma, too.
17. Once you’re our student, you’re always our student.
Once your student always your student. I have students who were 8 years old 17 years ago and are now 25, and I still worry about them, celebrate their successes, and pray for their futures. Always my kids, always. #TeacherTalkTuesday.
— Dr. Adam D. Drummond (@adamddrummond) April 9, 2019
The teacher-student bond lasts way beyond graduation.
What do you wish more people knew about teaching? Come share in our WeAreTeachers Chat group on Facebook.
Plus, things only veteran teachers understand.