Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Teachers vs. Snow

I realize that I made this blog to talk about my life as a doc student, but I also wanted to include things that happen in my life as a doc student because those things have an impact….this is one of those instances.

In the past 8 school days the kids have now had 7 snow days.  Teachers were made to go in twice....on one of those days I had to take a sick day and on the other my husband had to come get me and take me to school so that I would not have to take a second sick day.  Amidst all of this confusion, and it is confusion (for teachers and students alike), I have had to deal with hearing complaints about teachers not being there.

While lying in bed this morning wondering if the powers that be were going to make us go in today (they have not stated as much yet and if they do I will probably end up taking another sick day), I started making a list in my head of what teachers do on snow days...

What teachers do on a snow day:

  1. Put up with whining from their own children that they are bored...even after they go play in the snow
  2. Revise lesson plans, and depending on how many snow days...revise lesson plans again....and again....and again.....
  3. Panic over how they will make sure that their students will be able to do well on state-wide testing since in many places their jobs may depend on it or at some point WILL depend on it.
  4. Try to figure out how they can post something to the internet for the children to do even when they know that it isn't really fair to all students because.....drum roll…..not all students have equal or ANY access to the internet.
  5. Try to figure out how to condense the material down into less days so that they can make sure they cover everything by the end of the year (again so that the kids do well on "the test").
  6. Babysit their own children for once.
  7. Grade papers
  8. Grade more papers
  9. Think about how they will handle the parents who complain about teachers not being there but then when their children are assigned more homework in order to catch up they STILL complain.
  10. Shovel snow
  11. Shovel a LOT of snow
  12. For those of us furthering our own education.....grab time to catch up with our own homework.

Really the list can go on....finally, sometimes I wonder if some parents actually realize exactly how much we do?  Sure...we technically work 10 months out of the year....we also only get paid for just those 10 months.  Most teachers....like myself....have that pay check split up into 12 months instead of 10, which means we are getting less per month than we normally would.  Not to mention those of us who work in one of the states ranked in the bottom 5 in teacher pay.  Many of us work second jobs during the summer to make ends meet.  Many of us go to graduate school full time in addition to teaching.  A great many of us do workshops in the summer to further our teaching (sometimes we get a stipend, sometimes not….and believe me it is never enough to account for the work we have to do after the workshops to earn said stipend).

And then there are the things we do for free:

  1. Sometimes we are the only smile a child will get all day or give the only hug they will get all week.  A few weeks ago a student told me that he talks so much at school because when he goes home his dad doesn’t talk to him…it is just him and his dad in the home.
  2. We come early in the morning or give up our lunches or stay after school to help a student with homework or give them a shoulder to cry on and someone to talk to.
  3. Chase after the kids for their makeup work over and over and over again even after we have said we won’t ever do it again because we care if they pass or fail.  And then, when they fail and we recommend that they not get passed on they go on to the high school that they will not be able to cope in.  Believe me when I tell you, teachers give the grades but they are not the ones who decide if a child is held back a grade or not.
  4. Go above and beyond what is required to ensure a child is successful and then have that child purposely NOT give the same…but we still do it…because we care.
  5. Run clubs on our own time to give students something that they can look forward to after school because a great many of them either are home alone after school or have nothing to look forward to even when their parents are there.
  6. Do the most we can to help a child succeed because we know that the only bright spot in their lives is when they are at school.  And most times we start all over again as if it is day 1 each and every day because we get no support from the home.

The list could go on but please, when we have snow days and teachers also do not have to report…think twice about what really do when you hear someone complain about us not being there.  And, hey, if that might include you sticking up for us…that would be great….but it won’t change that extra thousand miles we go to help a child succeed.