In the grand scheme of things, we all know that teaching is a stressful profession. We know that teachers are underpaid. The value of our educators is minimal at best. We’re very aware that our teachers are spending their own money to fund their classrooms. Unfortunately, it seems to be an issue en mass, and not just in particular districts or states.
As a classroom teacher, I know the stressors first hand. Yes, there are so many awesome things about being a teacher, but the things that keep you worried, frazzled, frustrated and stressed weigh much heavier than the things that make you happy you chose to be a teacher. I’ve taught both middle and elementary school, public and charter school, and I must admit that anyone who chooses a career in public education needs to have the patience of a saint and the budgeting skills of stay at home parent.
Teachers are stressed out about 99 things…and here are some.
No brainer right? Many teachers don’t make enough money to support themselves let alone a family. America, this is not logical at all! Teachers are singlehandedly responsible for all other professions. So tell me “how sway” teachers are literally scraping the bottom of the barrel to get by.
Most of my teacher friends have at least one other job or side hustle. My real disbelief is that teachers have to have a degree (code for being in debt), and can’t make enough to pay off their student loans, car note, and eat a cheeseburger in the same month. What’s the deal? So yes, teachers are stressed out about money.
All professions have some sort of state or national board they must pay in order to remain professionally licensed in that state. Teachers have to continuously renew their license (every 2-5 years in my state), and all of this costs money (see #1….they don’t have it!). Personally, my teaching certificate still doats my maiden name as I saw it illogical to pay $75 to get my name changed on a digital certificate.
I have a Master’s degree in education yet I haven’t added it to my license because….you guessed it! I have to take (another) test for $220 and once I pass, I must pay $75 to get the 3-word credential added to my professional certificate. All the while I am calculating how many hours I have to work to pay for this. Being professionally licensed is absolutely necessary to ensure you have well-educated professionals in the field. But with the prices of renewal so expensive in comparison to teacher salary, there is no wonder so many wait until the last minute to renew.
With the introduction of common core came the need to throw around the word data like confetti, albeit really gross confetti. Is your instruction driven by data? What data points have you collected? What does the data say? Let me tell you, hearing the word data stresses teachers out! Data is a cute code word for tests and it requires lots of extra time moving numbers from chart to chart. Can you tell I am not at all excited about “data chats” and analyzing data? Don’t get me wrong, data is very useful and helps teachers make informed decisions on the direction of their instruction. But when anything is shoved down your throat with the fever that the world of “data” is in education, you too would simultaneously eye-roll and exhale whenever you hear a sentence with the word.
Honestly, we could discuss so many things that teachers are stressed out about, but the real conversation is how do we help our educators overcome and appropriately deal with these issues? So many of us love our jobs and love our students, but at what costs? Teachers are stressed out and it is having a negative impact on them in their personal and professional lives. Teachers are stressed out and it is affecting our children’s’ education. Teachers are stressed out and feel as if no one cares.
What can you we do to help our teachers? Leave your thought below.
Keep doing (the best) you boo!