As a full-time high school teacher, I think I can officially speak for my colleagues everywhere and say that once the calendar flips to May, we've officially rounded the corner and are headed towards the finish line.
The end is in sight. Another school year is about to wrap up, and, according to both faculty and students, not a moment too soon.
But recently online I was reminded just how much these upcoming three months off appear to some people when I was told that teacher's contracts are practically "entitlement programs" and that we should be "professionals" and spend our time away from the kids in professional development so that students wouldn't have to take those days off during the year.
I called this person out of touch. And quite frankly, they are. They are out of touch with how teachers are paid, how teachers work, how students best learn and what students need. I tried to argue my points, to educate this person if you will, but he had an answer for everything (as those who are wrong usually tend to do). So I did something I usually don't do.
I dropped it.
This isn't usual for sure if you know me. I like to debate. Arguments are a pastime of sorts for me, but in this particular case I stepped back and decided it wasn't worth it. No matter what I said, what data I presented, what facts I threw at him, his mind was made up - and nothing was going to change it.
It doesn't matter that even though we "only work 180 days" I figured out my hourly wage based on the time working and it made me cry. It doesn't matter that even though I will spent time with my kids and take a few trips this summer that much of the time I will be developing new curriculum, lessons and more. And it didn't matter that even though I get "all this time off" that we are not paid for any of it. I should be happy to come in on my own time and learn if I care about my job. He had all the answers (and more)
Chris Thomas is a full-time teacher, part-time freelance writing, father of three, and most importantly, a very, very tired man.
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