Another school year has begun and for the first time in 7 years it started without me.  I have talked about school starting with a few former associates and talked about it with my present boss who was wondering how I would feel once school started.  I was wondering myself how I would feel when school actually started?P9050033
This summer has gone by like a blur, the new job is actually very interesting and it keeps me on my toes.  I now remember how much I actually enjoyed being a paper pusher — I know I am strange.    But my wife has also noticed that I don’t seem nearly as stressed or work as much at home as I used to and that I seem to be a lot happier since I took the new job (I seem to smile a lot more) and have more time to be with her, if I would ever get off the computer :).

The biggest things I miss (already) about being a teacher:

1.  Vacation Time – having the time off during the summer and then the added vacations during the school year are a huge benefit that working a regular 9-5 job you don’t get (I’m still in the 6 month probationary stage, so getting time off isn’t part of the equation).  Even then you don’t get the amount of time off that I got as a teacher.

But I will never gainsay a teacher getting that amount of time off…those outside of teaching do not realize the psychological pressures that teachers are under daily  –  they need the time to screw their brains back in.

2.  The camaraderie between staff (it was much like a being on a ship in the Coast Guard) that usually happens as the school year goes on.  While everyone at work gets along, it is a different feeling.

3.  Some of the students who are actually trying to improve themselves.

4. Those “aha” moments that you and students have during the year.

Things that I do not miss:

1.  Being responsible for someone else’s child (usually without a the corresponding ability  to do proactive or appropriate discipline for the child’s actions).  The possibility/probability of being verbally or physically abused by some “punk” kid just doesn’t appeal to me anymore.

2.  The multitude of external and internal requirements by administration, state and federal regulations(can we say NCLB).  Without corresponding increases in pay, training or time to truly do the new requirements correctly or even half-assed sometimes.  Then they (administration or the politicians) wonder why everyone is bitching and complaining about the new requirements.

3.  Students that don’t want to be there, are there only because they have to be, purposely act like jackasses in class, disrupt those that are on the fence and then “dare” the teacher to do something about their behavior.

4.  Parents/Legal Guardians that “enable” students to act like jackasses.  I could say a lot more about today’s society here, but it has been said so many times before, I won’t waste space re-inventing the wheel.

5.  Other teachers who don’t want to improve themselves and keep doing the same things to their students year after year, are just there to get to their retirement, who are teaching for the wrong reasons and those who think technology is just another fad.  Bad teachers are bad employees and need to move on voluntarily or be moved on.  I simply don’t have a lot of sympathy or time for those kind of teachers, they bring down the profession’s reputation and hurt students.

While I don’t missing teaching, I would not  trade the experiences that I had during the past 7 years as a teacher.  It has made me a better person, much more patient with others and given me a chance to see how difficult teaching actually is and how little respect teachers are given by the public, many businesses, politicians and others who have never walked a mile in a teacher’s shoes.

Good luck to all of you who remain teachers, I don’t envy your workload and those evening that you are up until 11-12 o’clock and the weekends during the school year that you are either preparing for your classes or correcting papers.  But you will forever have my respect and admiration for attempting to teach our next generation of leaders.

So for all  you good teachers out there, my hat is off to you,

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