Monday, October 20, 2014

The Secret Life of a Teacher



So where do we go, all the teachers, when the bell rings at 3 o'clock?  Students don't really think we go anywhere. Except home, maybe, to grade papers and plan lessons and think up pop quizzes.

And when students find out otherwise, it's a strange experience. Many people remember it vividly: the disorienting feeling of encountering your teacher in the grocery store, or in the line at McDonald's, talking and acting just like other grownups. A jarring reminder that teachers have lives outside the classroom.

But of course teachers go off and do all sorts of things: They write books and play music and run for office and start businesses. For some, a life outside the classroom is an economic necessity. In many states, more than 1 in 5 teachers has a second job.

I currently don't have a second job.  I used to teach adjunct at a local college, but because of cutbacks and changes in administration, I no longer teach there, though I'd very much like to be in the college classroom once again.

However, one thing my students don't know is that I do actually have a social life.  I sometimes go to the movies, I go shopping (when I have the money), and I write this blog.  Through this blog, I have friends all over the world, which is something hat would shock my students to no end.  I also read a lot, which is something my students expect of me.  Many though would be surprised to know that I cook nearly every night.  I love cooking and it's one of my hobbies, so is occasionally doing arts and crafts.

To be honest though, my life is often pretty boring.  School takes up a lot of my time.  Even when I'm not home, I really am sometimes grading papers, making quizzes, and preparing lesson plans for the week.  Being a teacher is not an easy job, and we have to find our own rewards for it.  More often then not, students don't see the work that goes into balancing a life and being a teacher that does their best to provide them with the best education possible.


4 comments:

JiEL said...

So true....

When I was teaching fine arts, some knew me as an active artist and were among my most faithful admirers because they knew all the difficulties are there when you must create an artwork..

Also, as you sais, some are surprised to meet you at the grocery or at the shopping mall too....

As I was teaching in that private highschool (for 17 years) I used to take the city bus and at first, many were surprised that I was taking it...
"You must have a car, no?"
"When I'll have a job, I'll no more take a bus..."
Some sturdent said...

BUT, the most ackward situation was when I came face to face with one of my ex-student (he did his coming-out while in highschool but then was 18yo..) in a small gay sauna that was my favorite to meet men...

He was very surprised and pleased at the same time. Since then (1996) I often see him at the Sky pub in the gay village...

Now, I meet many of my ex-students that are gay or not and they're always very nice to me and like to remember our times in my art class...

Have an nice Monday.

PS. Must say that being gay here isn't a big deal..
Always was surprised with the reactions of my students.

Andrew Weiss said...

I've had many jobs over my life, but in terms of effort and hours spent, there is nothing else that can compare with teaching. After going thru 5 classes, I was exhausted. Then grading 150 assigments, lesson planning and sometimes parent teacher meetings and consultations on top of that.

The most rewarding aspect was when the kids (mainly 15-16 year olds) confided in me, sometimes about very personal matters. I sensed at times I was their best friend, that they were almost having a crush on me.

I knew I had to leave teaching when two gorgeous boys invited me to go with them on a weekend camping trip. I didn't, but obviously the notion was very tempting. Too tempting! I knew then it was time to find something else to do.

Anonymous said...

I have the greatest respect for teachers. 12 years in education does that for you. The vast majority are overworked, and way under-appreciated. They definitely aren't paid enough. Anyone who does what you do deserves to NOT HAVE to work a second job. It's good you have hobbies and a real life, too.

Thank you for what you do!!!

Peace <3
Jay

Sharon Smith said...

I read to my first graders every year "My Teacher Sleeps at School" because I practically live there so they think it.