Have you ever sat among your friends or group of people where someone says something about a teacher and suddenly, everyone around you starts talking about teachers?
It can be a mom complaining about her child’s education and the teacher’s teaching attitude towards her child, or one of the ladies around you mentions that she is planning to apply for a teaching job and everyone starts sharing some misconceptions about being a teacher.
Being a teacher myself, I have heard a lot of these comments along the years I spent as a teacher, and some of them are just too absurd to believe.
The funny part is that all these comments come out of people who are not teachers and know nothing about teaching. They have no experience or even a slight idea of what teaching is about.
Teaching is the most misunderstood line of work. Unfortunately, people don’t realize the dedication and hard work a teacher puts in her profession. They don’t receive the respect they deserve from their students and even from the parents.
Teaching in this generation may seem easy because of the high technology and number of resources provided online, but it is the opposite. Dealing with students and parents in this generation is very challenging.
We, teachers, know the truth about the misconceptions spread around us about teaching or even about us as teachers. We know the struggles we face during our careers as teachers.
I have gathered some of the most common myths believed by most non-teachers (because teachers definitely know that these myths are not true). Those myths are based on my personal experience with teaching.
Myth#1 – Teachers only work from 8 am to 3 pm with off summer vacations and holidays.
Most people think that teachers are like most other employees and work only during their working hours. Above that, they enjoy their weekends and not work at all.
This is so not true. Teachers have to plan on how to get the most out of their classes. The only time they can do this is while not teaching. They spend the rest of their day planning out or preparing materials for their sessions the next day.
As for their weekends, they spend it on preparing lesson plans, assessments, class activities, presentations, etc.
I am not saying they don’t enjoy their weekends. They do, but they also make hours for preparations as well. It can be related to their classes or admin required paperwork.
A qualified teacher needs to develop skills in educational psychology, communication skills, classroom management skills, assessment and curriculum instructions, and many more.
So during the summer vacations, teachers don’t just sit around and have fun all the time. They work on themselves by taking teaching classes and attending workshops to become better teachers.
Teachers look for new approaches to use technology in their classrooms. They also work on developing interesting activities for the lessons to be taught in the coming semester that can help their students enjoying learning.
Myth#2 – Teaching is the easiest job
Before I talk about this myth, let me share an incident that happened with me last year with one of my student’s mother.
It was home time and a mother came to pick up her son who was one of my students. As she arrived at our classroom, she took a peek at the classroom through the small window at the door looking around at what was happening in her son’s classroom.
I was too busy conducting a class activity with the boys and didn’t notice her at the door. She took the opportunity to watch me with the kids.
It was not until one of my students notice her and informed me that I turned to her. I walked to the door and opened it with a greeting and a smile on my face. She smiled back with a reply to my greeting and said, “May God be with you. I wonder how you can handle all these boys at one time when I could hardly handle my son at home.”
To be honest, I was too frustrated at that minute to give a sweet reply any parent would want to hear, like “It’s ok. They’re just kids”, or “I genuinely love the kids so I don’t really see it as hard”…blah blah blah.
Yes, those facts are real but I wasn’t feeling it at that minute. So instead, I just replied, “It’s my job!”
The physical and mental drainage a teacher feels by the end of her day is just the start of her struggles.
Think about managing around 20 students all in one time. You can’t leave your students for five minutes unsupervised because they are your responsibility.
You can’t even go to the bathroom or eat/drink unless it is their break-time too. The 20 minutes break is when you get to breathe or sit down to relax. That too, sometimes, it is your turn on the duty to watch the kids during their lunchtime.
During your own break-time, you get to spend your free time with corrections (homework/classwork/worksheets/assessments).
Do you still think it is the “easiest” job?
In addition, I want you to think about this: Do you have any idea how responsible a teacher feels for the future of the children she teaches?
Teachers have a huge role in being part of a child’s motivation. This makes us work on developing different skills on different topics.
Being experts in what we teach is just the beginning of what we need to learn before teaching.
Myth#3 – Teachers teach students
I know this doesn’t really sound like a myth because the way we see it teachers do teach students.
However, what I want to say is that teachers don’t really “teach” students. No one can teach anything to anyone. What we teachers do is just create a learning process and motivate the students to learn.
In today’s generation, most of the students in the classroom already have the knowledge or at least an idea about the topic to be discussed in class. It can be online or maybe their parents did share some tips on the lesson.
This shows that learning is an internal activity. The teacher’s job is to solely focus on motivating the students by creating the environment they need to learn.
Google, YouTube, and other online teaching aids covered our “teaching” position. We are here to set the right path for them to continue learning in the right way.
‘The true teacher defends his pupils against his own personal influence.’ –Amos Bronson AlcottTweet
Myth#4 – There is no need to plan the lesson if she is a qualified teacher
With all the online resources available for teachers nowadays, I have come to hear this myth a lot. People believe that with everything available, there is no planning needed. On average, teachers spend around 2-3 hours planning their lessons.
The thing is, a single classroom contains diversified students with different intellectual levels. There are talented, hardworking, and clueless students that need different approaches to learn something.
Lesson planning is the key to an effective class. Without planning, teachers can not teach well with full confidence that all types of learners grasped the most out of her lesson.
Teachers need to look into the objectives of the lesson, teaching strategies for the content taught, type of media to be used during class, interactive activities, and many more details to organize their teaching process according to the curriculum.
When I first started teaching, I spent around 4 hours preparing for a simple lesson. It made me doubt my skills as a teacher. Even though I knew the topic very well, I found it hard to plan a lesson and convey it to second graders.
I started googling for learning strategies that can work with children. With those, I was able to create a plan for my lesson that my girls enjoyed so much and learned a lot from.
No matter how experts teachers are in a subject, they need to plan their lessons for valuable teaching and learning process.
Myth#5 – Teachers are the only ones responsible for the child’s learning
I have some hardworking students in my class that are enjoying my classes and seem to grasp the concepts, but I don’t see them improving their grades. Even when I try to influence their moral values, it just doesn’t really work.
The problem with such students is that their parents just throw them in school and expect them to learn everything from their classes with me and that’s it! Even things related to life and knowledge.
This is the biggest mistake any parent can do to their child. Teachers are here to help your children with learning, but they can never do it alone. It takes two hands to clap.
No teacher can replace a parent. Parents need to have an active part in the child’s learning process.
Teachers educate their students on how to think critically and use their minds. They can’t dedicate 100% of their time to the students. It is the parent’s job to look after the child’s study skills, moral values, etc. It is true that the teacher has a part in this too, but it is just a “part”. The parent should cover the other part of the child’s well being and learning skills.
If a child needs extra attention in improving, the teacher’s job is to inform the parent and guide them on how to help the child. This is how any child can nourish to become an amazing individual.
Myth#6 – Grading is a very easy task for teachers.
Having to grade your students for their assignments and assessments is not as easy as it seems. It takes up so much of your time and concentration.
Let alone the ones who were absent for their assessment and need a retest. Man the struggle to keep up with a student’s grading is real.
When I was a student, I loved watching my teacher use a red pen and correct our assignments or assessments. I always thought that the easiest thing a teacher does. She just had to put a tick or cross on our answers and assign the marks we earned.
When it was time for me to hold the red pen and start marking my student’s grades, I realized it is not as easy as I thought. In fact, it blew my mind off!
If you are a teacher, I wanna ask you this…did you ever feel bad grading a good student with marks he/she didn’t deserve? I am sure you did.
There are times when we want to be lenient with a student’s grading because the mistakes in front of us are too silly to be made by them. Especially if they are elementary kids, you feel like their mistake is an innocent one. But then we tell ourselves that we need to be fair and grade each student equitably.
A teacher truly feels bad when one of her students doesn’t get good grades. Not because she feels unqualified, but because she is seeing her student not improving up to his true potential.
Myth#7 – Teachers have no problem with classroom management
Especially if you are an elementary teacher, classroom management is one of your toughest tasks. How can you make a child behave throughout the session?
When a new teacher plans to get ready to start her journey as a teacher, she thinks her strong personality will make the students respect her and listen to her. She believes that if she sets some ground rules, everything will be so perfect.
Let me break your bubble. Class management is the toughest part of your session. No matter what you read in books or learn in your classroom management classes, classroom management can only be accomplished by practice. Or, you can ask an experienced teacher to share some practical tips on how she managed her class.
Students may fear you the first couple of days because they don’t really know you well, but with time, when they start to feel comfortable with you, they will start misbehaving.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that it is impossible to manage a classroom. All I am saying is it is not easy to perfect it. You need a lot of practices and strategies that will help students behave in your class.
Managing a classroom with 20 students is not an easy task. The same way that students misbehave in their homes, they misbehave in the classrooms too. Even, worse, here they have the support for misbehavior from their classmates.
Even the best teacher can sometimes have problems managing her classroom. It is natural.
Myth#8 – Teachers never invest financially on their students
Being a teacher myself I can tell you that this is a complete lie. Whether you are teaching elementary, secondary, or even high school students, you always invest in your students.
There are schools that has limited class resources to be used during class activities. These include insufficient activity resources like papers, pencils, glue, etc. What do you think a teacher does in this case? Does she tell her students that she is sorry that she won’t be conducting the activity because of limited resources?
Never! A teacher always finds a way to make sure all the strategies for getting the concept of a lesson clear is conveyed. This means even if she has to buy things for her students, she will.
At the start of every semester, I make sure that I purchase basic resources like extra color papers, pencils, erasers, scissors, glue stick etc. to make sure that we have supplies even if the school ran out of resources.
Apart from the necessary resources, teachers pay for the rewards given to each student when they accomplish something. We buy gifts for the students when they become ‘Star of the Week’, ‘Top 3 Ranks’, and many more rewards.
So teachers do invest financially in their students.
Teachers are underrated in many countries around the world. People think that teaching is the easiest job any graduate can do.
You may think that teaching (especially elementary students) is all about having fun and playing with them, but you will be surprised how much discipline and dedication it requires.
We all need to respect and support teachers for their hard work.
‘Teaching is the one profession that creates all other professions.’ —UnknownTweet
Thank you for reading till the end 🙂
If you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to like it and share it with whoever believes in any of these myths.
If you think I missed some other myths on teaching, feel free to share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.