There are a lot of tough jobs out there in the world, but some professions are also misunderstood, which only compounds the difficulty. Teaching is definitely a tough, misunderstood …
Teaching, especially these days, is hard work. From long hours, to low pay, to lack of proper resources, and so much more – the challenges of the teaching profession are endless. Teachers take on this tough work day after day, year after year. Until, sometimes, they decide not to anymore.
Whether you're new to the profession, or a master veteran to the science/art, you probably know that teaching is a very difficult job. The curriculum, rules and regulations, and "best practices" are ever-changing so you can never get too comfortable. The money isn't great – to say the least. Not to mention that, on any given day, the work itself is seemingly endless, very difficult, and largely underappreciated (and/or misunderstood) by society at large.
If you don't work in education, you might not be aware that this week, May 1st through 7th, is Teacher Appreciation Week and Tuesday, May 3rd, is Teacher Appreciation Day. But, as much as teachers love coffee mugs and chocolate, there are a few other things that they might appreciate being given even more.
Despite all of the evidence to the contrary, there are still folks out there who think that teachers are fairly well paid. The truth is, they aren't. At least not when compared with other professionals who receive equivalent education and training. Despite the extremely important nature of the work, teachers often need to take on second or even third jobs to make ends meet, which impacts both their students' learning and their own experience within the profession. So, for the sake of gaining some valuable perspective, let's take a look at a few workers that are paid better than teachers.
You might think that teachers have a pretty good deal, getting the summer off and 12 months of pay to boot, but teachers' compensation is pretty low, especially when it's compared with other professions that require similar levels of education and training. Other public servants, like police officers and firefighters, also opt into a career that, despite its importance, leaves something to be desired in the salary department. But, shouldn't teachers and all public servants who work tirelessly and selflessly to better communities be able to afford to live in the area where they work? Here are a few things to think about.
Whether we're talking about elementary school teachers or professors at the university level, many educators are struggling to find work-life balance. There are some specific ways in which these jobs lend themselves to a kind of all-in approach that leaves one's personal life in the dust. Let's take a look at a few of the reasons why so many educators aren't finding their way to better work-life balance and think about potential solutions.