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Educator Insight: Why Teachers Can't Have 'Normal Lives'

Educator Insight: Why Teachers Can't Have 'Normal Lives'

What is a normal job? Apparently, teaching isn't one.

So says Alice Trosclair, who has been teaching for eight years. Trosclair currently teaches American Literature, AP English Language and Composition, and AP English Literature and Composition, and shares her sentiments in a post featured on WashintonPost.com.

"'Oh you are a teacher? It must be so nice to have two months off. I just have a normal job with only two weeks’ vacation.' We have all heard it — and to be honest, we are sick of it," she writes. "Sure, we get summers 'off.' I should not need to mention that during that time we attend workshops, plan lessons and rewrite curriculum we rework to meet changing standards, but, apparently, I do."

Trosclair then lists things that "people may not realize about the lives of teachers." The first thing she lists is "free time."

"Our free time is spent grading papers, planning lessons, and researching new ways to teach concepts," she wrote. "The majority of us are more than teachers; we are tutors, coaches, and sponsors. We spend time after school helping develop talents and skills, for no extra pay. We give up time with our families to help mold your child."

Another thing she listed was "emotional distress."

Being a teacher is an emotional roller coaster. We cannot 'leave it at work or leave it at home. We deal with children, and we care about all of them. In many cases, teachers spend more time with students than their parents do. That may be brutal, but it’s honest. I have a son, and I know his teacher sees him more than I do. We carry your child’s emotions with us. I hear about heartbreaks, failing classes, and even trouble at home. How could I listen to a student say, 'My girlfriend gave our baby up for adoption without telling me,' or 'My mother keeps selling my shoes to get money for drugs?' and push it out of my mind after reporting it to school authorities. How can I teach Macbeth and expect the boy in the back, who is near tears, to pay attention? It is hard to balance work and home with just one or two kids to worry about. Imagine having to worry about 30 or 75.

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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