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There Is More to Being a Teacher Than You Think

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 12:16 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 42.2 
  • Words: 1452
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  Teachers are supposed to be dedicated individuals, devoted to giving more than they receive.   Teaching is an unsung “profession.”   “Public servants” are expected to go the extra yard, tutor “students” after school to prep them to pass standardized tests, and “voluntarily” agree to do other activities like chaperone a school dance, organize a school assembly, give an in-school workshop or plan and moderate a spelling bee for gratis.

  Twenty-eight times during my teaching career I accompanied eighth grade classes to Washington DC, to Williamsburg and to Luray Caverns, Virginia working two eighteen hour days without receiving any additional remuneration.   These “professional” extras come with the territory.

  Teachers are expected to go above and beyond the call of duty. That means beyond the “unprofessional” responsibilities of cafeteria duty, early morning duty, office detention duty and monitoring the halls and bathrooms between classes duty. In education, “duty” means teacher exploitation by administrations and boards of education. “Duties” have little or nothing to do with education, and they are things that aides or parent’ volunteers could easily perform with little on-the-job training. Duties require little professional ability, and they are a major factor in keeping today’s teachers unprofessional and subordinate to administrative fiat.

  Faculty members must set good examples for the students by demonstrating the spirit of self-sacrifice for the good of the school and the betterment of the community. Administrators always emphasize to teachers, “Doing extra is part of your professional responsibility,” they lecture at faculty meetings. “Now we still need three more teachers to volunteer for the Six-Flags’ Great Adventure’ trip. You’ll be getting back at eight p.m.   Friday night. That’s not too bad. And we need another volunteer for the after school volleyball program and two more chaperones for the Halloween Dance.”

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