Since the day I’ve become a teacher, I’ve realised that the meanest thing that we do is to take teaching for granted. We often get to hear these words, “Oh, teaching is such an easy job, you come back home early, and get so many vacations!” which, my friends, is far from being true. The job of a teacher is way more exhausting than you can imagine. Teachers have to be on their toes, on the forefront always. Having to wake up early, preparing for classes, being around children all day is not an easy job. Preparing lesson plans, grading, getting ready for the next day and managing and being around children is not a child’s play after all. Let us give you an insight into the life of a teacher, by revealing some points that only teachers know to be true.
10. Teaching requires commitment
We’ve always taken our teachers for granted. But teaching is one job that requires commitment and hard work. You cannot go to the class unprepared, with half a century of kids looking up to you with hopeful eyes (or maybe not). Teachers are people who lose sleep over other peoples’ children. Your weekends will be spent preparing lesson plans for the coming week. Forget all notions of partying and commit yourself to your job completely if you have to be a teacher. You cannot afford to be laid back and a teacher at the same time. Keep that coffee handy though.
9. The one thing that teachers need the most – Patience
The one thing that teachers need the most is the virtue of patience. When students crowd around you for stupid excuses, for toilet breaks, for not having brought notebooks or textbooks and create a fish market out of the class- the only thing you need is patience. There are times when you want to burst out and shout your lungs out, or maybe even cry. But hey there, hold on. Changing lives needs courage and a hell lot of patience. To bring out the best in students, you need to practice being patient, for students look up to you.
8. Preparation – The Key to teaching well
Failing to plan leads the plan to fail. When you go to your class unprepared, students know. Preparation is the key to good teaching, especially when you’ve just started your teaching career. As the class proceeds as per the plan, things evolve and develop and the students are able to inculcate the learning objectives in a better way. Planning and preparation helps the teacher conduct the class in an orderly fashion. Being able to plan and deliver a prepared lesson well also helps to boost the confidence of the teacher. It also helps to avoid problems in the class.
7. That teachers don’t work for long hours is a myth!
Contrary to the perception that teachers don’t work for long hours, and are back home by afternoon, they do put in longer hours of work. Teachers stay back in school after the dispersal of students. Teachers have a lot of paperwork, correction work, entering data, odd detention, planning lessons besides classroom teaching. A lot of work is carried home by teachers even after stay back. The fact is that besides classroom teaching, teachers do a lot of other work- school magazine editing, data entries, odd detentions and stuff that is not related to classroom teaching. They’re expected to be non-tiring and multi tasking.
6. You look forward to weekends more than anything else.
Even though you’re not completely free, you look forward to weekends to rest, rejuvenate, catching up on sleep and socialising. And nothing goes by as quickly as weekends. Once you begin working as a teacher, weekends are a blink and miss moment for you. You still strive to work to meet deadlines and catch up on all the rest that you need. A school holiday is as important to you as the students in the school. Nothing is as tempting as moving out of the school on a Friday afternoon knowing that you have a weekend off!
5. Long vacations are the best part.
Something that teachers countdown to is summer vacations. Teaching can be physically, mentally and emotionally draining. No matter how much we love our job, we do not need a good break to rejuvenate from it, to go back better and prepared well for the year to come. For the students, the teacher’s presence, the classroom space has always been a place of refuge, even when the teachers were in need of a refuge of their own; because teachers deserve a break. Teaching is a profession filled with paradoxes- it can drain every bit of energy in you and yet inspire you to go to the point of collapse for your students. Teachers are the superheroes that need recharge too- and long vacations are just what we need.
4. You wait for the dispersal bell as much as the kids
After a long hard day at work, running here and there for classes and talking at the loudest of your voices, all that we want is a good nap when we get back home. The sound of the dispersal bell at school is like the sweetest music to the ears. You finally get to go home, unwind and catch up on sleep (sometimes), before you start preparing for the next day at work. Like the students, teachers have plenty of homework too. And teachers cannot afford to be anything lesser than perfection in the classroom space; you got to be the role model.
3. You hardly get to sleep
Teachers only get a six hours’ sleep at night, on an average. If you’re a sleep deprived teacher, you’ll have one bad day after another, when you barely can keep your eyes open but force them to stay awake. Your mind is always sleeping and it becomes a struggle to present your best self in the classroom. It is important for teachers to get adequate sleep and it is not a revelation that teachers hardly get to sleep. Early school hours require teachers to get up early in the morning, and even if they reach back home early, they have enough homework to keep them up till wee hours of the night.
2. There’s no such thing as a ‘free period’
Yes, that’s true. And it is because every minute in a teacher’s day is carefully planned out and preciously used, even down to the point when a teacher can afford a bathroom break. Endless meetings, heaped on responsibilities and interactions with the students make sure that every single minute of a teacher’s day is valued and packed. Even if the teachers look forward to ‘free’ or non-teaching periods in their day, it is primarily because they will get the time to complete the loads of work that they already have at hand.
1. Invigilating is the most boring part.
Invigilating means having to be there in a classroom where students are writing their exams for 3 hours, and you’re busy doing nothing except providing them answer sheets, questions papers and extra sheets. In other words, you’re busy doing nothing. You look at students, those trying to cheat will try to hide from you, and there will be a few others who would be busy writing their papers. You daydream, gaze out of the window, stare at walls and wait for the exam to get over. That’s why invigilating is boring; you’re doing nothing productive.
All said and done, teaching is still one of the most underrated jobs in the world; when it’s actually teaching that makes all the other jobs in the world possible. It’s teachers who make doctors, engineers, actors, architects out of students.