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Dig this clip Rob posted. I tend to get into arguments a lot about teachers. Not for the reason you’re probably thinking. I tend to argue against the people who talk about how great teachers are and how they don’t get paid enough and they put in so much work etc. etc. etc. To be clear, I do appreciate teachers, and I agree that they deserve to get paid more money, they’re education and workload warrant it. But please … please, dear lord … shut up about how great teachers are and how much work they have to do and how hard their jobs are. Please please stop telling me that they don’t get any appreciation. I’ve been in public school in the last 10 years. Teachers are fawned upon with rewards and teacher appreciation weeks and hordes of people talking about how great and influential teachers are. Saying teachers aren’t appreciated is like saying Christians are being persecuted in America by the evil Secular left: it’s crazy.
Again, I like teachers, they do hard work and good things and should be appreciated and paid more and blah blah blah. I’m all for that. I’m just tired of everyone treating the teaching profession like it has a uniquely heavy workload and level of responsibility/frustration. All jobs at that level of skill are hard. They’re just hard in different ways. People make the points that:

  1. Teachers work long hours (well beyond school day hours) and bring work home.
  2. Teachers have high stress jobs.
  3. Teachers inspire our children and are helping them learn and achieve and find themselves.

My response:

  1. So does everyone else in a job requiring a similar level of education.  I’ve worked 12 hour days in several jobs I’ve had. I’ve had weeks and months where I was consistently working well beyond my normal hours. In fact, and I wish I could find the article to reference here, but I was reading an article about a year ago which stated that American Professional work longer hours and are more productive today than ever before because of access to email and devices like Blackberries. In fact, many American professionals work remotely during their vacations. I can personally vouch for having received emails and phone calls from superiors and clients who were supposed to be on vacation. So, working long hours beyond your regularly scheduled workday is nothing unique.
    Now, on the same point let’s talk briefly about vacation time. I am aware and acknowledge the work that teachers do during their designated vacation times in the winter, spring and summer. Still, Teachers don’t end up having consistent work days for at least 2 weeks in the winter, 1 week in the spring, and approximately 3 months for the summer. Some of that time is spent in extended education classes, some is spent doing prep work, some is spent finishing up grading, and so on. Some teachers get second jobs in the summer. None of this changes that if we went and counted up the time spent doing work during these vacation periods and calculated the free time Teachers end up having during these periods that it wouldn’t turn out to be quite a bit more than the average American professional.
    Not that I’m using this as an argument that Teachers should get paid less or have less vacation time. Not saying that at all. What I’m saying is their workload and the time they spend working is not unique many professionals work at least as much.
  2. I’m not going to just dismiss this one because Teachers decided to be Teachers, though damn that’s tempting. Many a job is stressful. Just different stressors. Being a prison guard is stressful. Being an air traffic controller is stressful. Being a small business owner is stressful. Hell my job as tech support/project assistant is stressful. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve had to sit across the table or on the phone with someone, whose business my company needs to stay afloat, who changes his mind 9 times in a week about what he wants, doesn’t understand why it’s taking so long to get what he wants, blames me for just being incompetent and not telling him something he should’ve known, and wants our product to jerk him off while frying him bacon, doesn’t understand why it doesn’t already do that and thinks he shouldn’t have to pay for those features to be added while I just smile, look thoughtful, say “you know I can see where you’re coming from about that” and try to stop myself from getting my boot lodged up his ass. Happens all the goddamn time. Work is stressful for most folks. What causes the stress is different. That Teachers have a stressful job isn’t remotely unique.
  3. No … no not all Teachers are doing that. No, some Teachers are doing that. Like any profession you have 1% that are the top people who go well above and beyond the call of duty. An additional 9% that are truly great and try to do their best and really throw themselves into it. Another 10% who are innovative and inspiring. Then, then you have the other 80% who range from good to mediocre to total shit. Not all Teachers are great. It’s just not the case. Sorry. I had plenty of good teachers, plenty of mediocre teachers, and a handful of really good ones, but no change my life incredible human beings.

There … I have said my piece. Yes, Teachers are great but could the people who dismiss them as worthless shut up and the people who insist they are the finest example of human beings also shut up? You’re both wrong, and by the way if you’re looking for a profession to defend from persecution try Defense Attorneys. Specifically, people who work as a public defender. Those guys don’t get paid much and have a heavy caseload. Defense Attorneys are generally seen as slimy horrible human being who defend society’s trash. Is that at all fair? Really? These people put themselves out there to argue against the resources of the government that a person or persons did not commit the crime of which they have been accused. Even if they feel like the person should be locked away forever it’s their job to argue for the person anyway and do the best job they are able. You want to talk about a hard job argue and try to be convincing that a man who raped an 11 year old girl shouldn’t go to jail. Try it and then shut up about Defense Attorney’s too.

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