Monday, September 9, 2013

Teaching is only half the job

    Another Education/Teacher Post.  Had this one on my education blog a few years ago.  I think it still holds true today.  

    This has been a big debate recently. Basically, teachers are saying that we are not teaching as much anymore. We are spending less and less time in the classroom and more and more time at meetings and in-services.

    This got me to thinking about the teaching profession. I never really thought about all the things I do in a school day. But now that I'm a mentor working with a new teacher and going to mentor meetings, etc. I have really been looking at my profession in a new light. I'm realizing how much there is to do that doesn't involve being in front of the class delivering instruction.

    I utilize my "prep time" at school. I don't relax, work on a puzzle in the staff lounge, read the newspaper, work on this blog (Wouldn't risk it since the school probably tracks every website we visit). etc. No, I'm getting work done. I'm grading papers, in-putting grades into the computer, communicating or meeting with parents, filling out administrative paperwork, writing tests or quizzes, planning lessons, making accommodations for my  students, taking roll, completing Diversity paperwork, checking up on students who need some extra help, making copies, meeting with administrators, and myriad other tasks that don't directly involve my being in front of students.

    Now, add to this list of "Things that need to be done" items such as in-services, learning team meetings, Curriculum meetings, faculty meetings, workshops, etc. What I've determined is that less than half of the job of being a teacher is actually teaching. Keep this in mind all wannabe teachers. It is important to know how to teach, but these days, there is a lot more involved in the profession than just teaching. You have to be able to multi-task and be multi-dimensional.

    In Iowa, one out of every three new teachers get out of the profession within their first 5 years of teaching (According to the DOE). The main reason -- They complain "teaching isn't teaching." And unfortunately, it is true. As one of my esteemed colleagues said in the Teacher Lounge recently "Teaching is no longer part of the service industry, it is a business." I couldn't have said it better!!

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