I’m reading Teachers Have it Easy, which I picked up in a round about sort of way. I sometimes wander at bookstores or at the library, picking up things that I’m not necessarily looking for. The main reason for the odd assortment of books I’ve read and collected so far in my life. This I found at the library when I was looking for something completely different.
This particular book is maybe not the best one for me to read at this point in my life, or maybe it is. In truth I haven’t really thought about what teaching pays in terms of income. I have yet to make anything close to a steady salary, so for me a teaching salary will be a step in the right direction. But then I’m reading this book and thinking wow!, really?, I may not be able to afford a house someday? Or maybe I’ll have to work two jobs to support myself? I still have college loans to pay off and these are things I don’t really want to think for fear of risking my own sanity. Of course I’ve heard that many many teachers don’t stay in the profession very long. And I know plenty of other reasons why that is, not even taking into account the money issue, so this is just another fabulous worry to add to my growing collection of worries.
There are so many myths about teaching. The main one that I’ve heard so often in the past two years is the unfortunate myth that teachers work fewer hours and have summers off. It’s as if the majority of people imagine that planning, reading, organizing, grading, etc. all sort of get done by someone other than the teacher. News flash: teachers don’t get secretary’s or assistants. And all of those things I’ve listed take hours and hours on top of the hours spent in the classroom. The amount of time given during the school day to do those things: maybe an hour if you’re lucky.
Of course there are teachers that over the years stop being creative and just basically teach the same things the same way over and over again. I hope I don’t become one of those teachers, but I’m starting to get the sense for why so many head in that direction, especially if they’re working more than one job or have a family. I think I would leave if it came to that, not the having two jobs part, but the falling into a rut part. I think that would be even worse than working in a cubicle all day.