5 Things You Should Know Before Being A Teacher
Once in a while, somebody will suggest teaching as a fulfilling way to spend your life. About 99.9% of the planet already doesn’t want to do this job, but maybe you’re one of those folks who’s still got some optimism. In that case, spend five minutes here so you know exactly what you’re getting into by reading 5 Things you should know before being A teacher .
1 – The College Classes Suck Even More Than Math 101 (“Math Is Hard”)
Pretend that there’s a job out there where you literally do nothing. Pretend that Clock-Watcher is an actual career title as opposed to a hilarious term for a slacker (and it gets us everytime!). You would think that there’s no real way to prepare for being a Clock-Watcher, but if there was ever a degree for it, it’s a teaching certificate.
Teaching certification is what you get when you go through hundreds of hours of insane lessons that cover such mind-blowing topics as, “Raping Students: Is it okay?” and “Should we make fun of the handicapped?”
But if the completely redundant lessons don’t get you (don’t forget about “Are Minorities Important?”), you classmates will. Most teaching courses have the same composition of students: twenty-five percent confused individuals (that would be you), ten percent actual teachers trying to update their certifications, twenty percent highly-motivated youngsters who plan to Make a Difference (and who are better people than you), and probably something like a billion percent people who like to complain.
On the upside, you can pass pretty easily as long as you keep saying words like “meta-cognition” and “socio-economic” and “diverse.” Diversity rocks.
But even if you can survive the asininity of college, it won’t matter because…
2 – Your Education is Essentially Meaningless
After you spend countless hours beating things away with your Bullshit stick, you finally get into a classroom. Your department chair and your principal give you the county curriculum and some materials, and then they set you loose – time to teach!
You’ll plan a wonderful introductory lesson and think about all the things you want to say. You’ll imagine all the great, inspirational ideas that you want to pass along to the kiddies. You’ll decorate you room with amusing posters featuring kittens and monkeys, or, if you’re not gay, home-made posters featuring pictures you downloaded from freeclipart.com.
3 – You Will Not Be Supported
Your administration has been set up to do everything in its power to make life difficult for you. Whether they’re caving in to parents’ demands to move their son with Downs syndrome into your AP Literature class or slashing the funding for your break room, the administration will appear to be a force of Pure Hate designed to stop you from ever being a successful teacher.
It’s not necessarily their fault; administrators are nothing more than teachers who moved up the pay scale and decided to handle an even more insane job. But, still, they will schedule performance reviews and do walk-throughs of your classroom in which they come up with wonderful suggestions about formatting your daily objectives and positioning your flag correctly. But when the time comes for you to get some help dealing with a problematic student, get ready to be ignored more than a third-rate comic book hero in an Anti-Nerd Convention.
Since the administration usually takes a long time – and isn’t very effective, anyway – you often have to contact bad students’ parents directly. It almost never works because they won’t answer their phones or respond to your e-mails. Unfortunately, if you do succeed in leaving them a voicemail about how Billy peed on your hibiscus, you’ll still have to deal with the fact that..
4 – Everybody Says They’re Proud of You, But Really They Hate You
Parents and professors and people running for public offices like to talk about how important teaching is, but really, they don’t give a shit. It’s just a nice thing to say, like “Say ‘no’ to drugs” or “Of course you don’t look fat in that dress” or “I would never purposefully run over your puppy.”
The truth is, as a teacher, you’re a part of The Government, which means you’re fair game for anybody who has a beef about anything. If somebody gets a shitty job, they’ll blame their teacher for not preparing them for life better.
If somebody doesn’t understand a current political issue, they’ll blame their social studies teacher for not going into the topic in more depth. If somebody can’t find success in their sex life, they’ll blame their gym teacher for raping them in the locker room.
5 – Teaching Is Actually Not That Fulfilling or Important
When you get down to it, teaching public school is basically just a fancy term for being a baby-sitter. Good students are the ones who will study and read books and do all the work; they would be doing that with or without you, which is why they’re good students.
If you can handle all of this and still want to be a teacher, then by all means, please do. You’ll be one of those rare Good Teachers that we really need. If, however, you’re in a teaching program right now and are having seconds thoughts, act on them. No joke here; this is just good advice, especially if you don’t want to appear on a smarmy Internet list of scary teachers.