Teaching is Not What One Does, It’s What One is.

That’s what Jill Biden said. The only wife of Vice President to not quit her job.

After 3rd day of teaching, teaching elementary kids, unruly, wild forces of nature, I realized no one does this for fun, no one does this for pay. Most people can barely handle one child, a teacher will handle 30–40 kids, teach them to pay attention to boring math or English or Social Studies which I never understood what that word even meant. They would do that and then have to face the anger of parents of bratty kids, face the anger of society for failure to fund education and face the anger of administration for poor scores.

Of course, there are so many teachers that teach because they have no alternative in life. I see kids who can’t measure, who can’t add, subtract or multiply. The teachers do nothing to help the kids to catch up but steam roll to get through the material without paying attention if that material is actually going anywhere except into the air. They teach for teaching sake. But what’s the point? If the child didn’t grasp it, who are they doing it for?

But back to the teaching, after three days of instructing middle school, high school and elementary kids, where I teach a third of a class for half a day without tests or homework or curriculum or parents or administration, just fun and games, I see the difficulty that teachers face. I see how they are put into a position that is impossible. I see that so many are there because it is who they are and they could never not do it.

I wish more teachers would understand the content they teach from outside the class. I remember being taught and not seeing the connection to the world, I see the need to make it stick, to make the information be relevant to the kids and make it such that they can use it and therefore learn it. However to do that, I have to get their attention, to do that when they want to talk, when they are hungry or tired, when they were under taught and some want to stream ahead while others feel embarrassed for not being able to understand what it is they are asked of, when that happens I see the crisis in our schools, in our kids, and in our teachers.

We would never asked thirty of our friends to bring over their kids and force us to teach them for a day, that would be horrible and torture. But we ask that of our teachers. If our friends did that we would want a lot more than barely a poverty wage, and yet, we say they are overpaid. We say they get vacation but the mental toll that an 8 hour day teaching where you can barely take a bathroom break, where you have to be on at all times, where you can’t check Facebook or get on a phone, that is far more difficult than any office job and it is there for the benefit of all parents: doctors, engineers, janitors and security guards.

So try to put yourself into the skin of another person, imagine you had to teach four or five classes of forty ten year olds, had to teach them math, had to make them do math problems, had to make them take tests while they are surrounded by friends and kids who might be fun friends or mean enemies, imagine dealing with that. And then ask yourself: how much would you want to be paid for that work? Ask yourself, how much should we pay people for that work?

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