Compared to many around the world, teachers generally have long vacations. Educators have extended winter holidays and often a lengthy summer holiday, but they are very necessary. Teachers need these longer than the average person holidays because the work they do is not that of average people.
By no means am I suggesting that people out there in other fields of work don't work hard. What I am saying is that, while teachers (most of us anyway), work hard, our day-to-day work life can be very taxing mentally. Simply put, teaching can be stressful.
How can this career so many of us have chosen be stress inducing? Well, there are many ways:
1. Kids. For some reason they seem to be everywhere when you are a teacher. Kids are wonderful little creatures, but they can also be little munchkins from the dark side as well. They will challenge you and push boundaries at every opportunity, play when they aren't supposed to and they can have a tendency to put a wide variety of things in their noses and ears!
2. Coworkers. Sometimes they are good and sometimes they aren't. Sometimes they can be an inspiration and sometimes they can be a nightmare. You can pick your friends, but you can't pick your coworkers!
3. The work itself. It's the end of the school year and I have to worry about writing report cards, compiling student portfolios, parent-teacher meetings, assessment, assessment and more assessment. Oh yeah, I also have to plan and prepare lessons!
4. Parents. Like your coworkers, you can't pick them. Sometimes they are amazing and appreciate the hard work you put in as a teacher to help their child. Other times, there is nothing you can do that is good enough (the later tend to be the kind of parents who would never win any sort of parenting award!). I suppose they are the monster moms or the new catch phrase "tiger moms."
There are other reasons of course, but those are just a few I wanted to touch on in this post.
So, at the end of the day, most teachers work really hard. Of course there are some lazy ones and we of course can think back to our own childhoods and remember some of those chaps, but most do work very hard!
These days there seem to be more and more detractors of teachers. More people with a “teacher” chip on their shoulder. So many people think teachers don’t deserve the pay they get (in many parts of Canada a teachers salary is a decent wage), nor do they deserve the vacation time they have. The folks with this “teacher” chip on their shoulder tend to be the people who are the most ignorant to what a teacher really does! They are the folks who I assume always blame others when things aren’t going their way.
That being said, teachers do need a nice long vacation every once in a while to unwind from the stress they may face at work. They also need to recharge their batteries and start the next school year off with a bang! Wouldn’t you want your child’s teacher to be energetic and full of creativity and passion? I know I certainly would.
I think that just about does it for this post. You know what? Teaching is great, but vacation is even better! I am really looking forward to my vacation next month.
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