Understanding the Job Responsibilities of Teachers by Eliza Kano-Bower
The first job young college graduates accept after college is a big deal. It’s an accomplishment and a first step along a prospective career path. Every year, over 300,000 graduates choose to become teachers and enter their classroom for the first time. Many of them may not yet know it, but those teachers have chosen one of the hardest jobs any twenty-something can get.
My first job out of college was at a law firm as a legal assistant. I was in the office from 8:30am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday, but I never took work home with me. I had clear responsibilities, a boss who reviewed important work before clients saw it, and if I showed up hungover, I could hide in my cubicle with headphones in and slowly recover. I made enough money to pay rent, and my family respected that I was considering law school and on a good career path.
One of my best friends became a teacher right out of college. She arrived at school by 7:00am and never left before 4:00pm. She had to create her own lesson plans, communicate with difficult parents without any support, be thoughtful and on her game with students from the moment she arrived to the minute she left. She wrote lesson plans on weekends, took student work home to grade after dinner, made no more money than I did, and people constantly dismissed or flat out disrespected her career choice.
It does not take a rocket scientist to see the differences here. Teachers work long hours at school, bring more work home for nights and weekends, face a challenging work environment, often lack consistent support, and have more responsibilities than anybody in almost any other entry level job. And yet teachers don’t get a salary which reflects any of their work, let alone receive the respect from society that someone who inspires our children to grow deserves. Many people dismiss teachers without taking the time to truly understand all that they do.
We have a lot of amazing experienced teachers in this country and a lot of young enthusiastic teachers, all of whom deserve more from us. It is time to start giving teachers the respect, compensation, and recognition they deserve. Please share this article to promote the understanding our society needs.
Eliza Kano-Bower grew up listening to her parents discuss education technology at the dinner table. Since joining the education field herself she’s created sales relationships with school administrators, driven marketing through blogs and social media, and used customer service conversations to improve product development. She brings her passion to Teachers Connect to help teachers and teacher prep programs foster successful mentorship and collaboration.