No, Teachers Don’t Work Harder Than Every Other Profession

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TeacherI bet right now you’re one of dozens of teachers angrily clicking on this link to see what ridiculous argument I am going to make about why teaching is easy. Well, sorry to disappoint, but you’ve got a fellow teacher here and that isn’t what this article is about.

In recent months, I have seen a huge increase in articles, posts, statuses, etc. about how teaching is an incredibly difficult job. How teachers give their all every day to ensure student success. How teachers spend hundreds of dollars of their own money on their classroom and make very little in pay. All of these articles and posts have been detailing the amazing things teachers do every single day. Unfortunately, something else I see on almost every one of these posts is comments about how teachers don’t have it that hard. “I work on salary too I don’t get paid overtime.” “My job gives me only five vacation days per year. Teachers have it EASY!” We all know the types.

What gets me most about these comments is that nowhere in the original posts do people usually claim “Teaching is the hardest of all professions!” Nowhere have we said other jobs aren’t important. Nowhere have we said that being a doctor or an architect or a mechanic is easy. Nowhere have we tried to put down anybody else’s job. The thing these commenters often don’t realize is that these posts aren’t meant to detail how much harder teaching is than other jobs. They are meant to detail how hard teaching is because it is almost NEVER acknowledged. How many people have you heard say “I don’t like my job so maybe I’ll quit and just become a lawyer.” Nobody says that. Because nobody would ever put down the amount of work that goes into becoming a lawyer, or the difficulty of the job. Teachers, on the other hand, aren’t afforded the same courtesy. Everybody thinks they can be a teacher. Everybody has some suggestion for what I should be doing when they’ve never been inside a classroom.

Teachers don't work harder than others

Teachers simply want people to understand that what we do in our classrooms every day is nothing short of an act of love. We give all of ourselves every day to ensure the students leave our rooms better prepared for the world. What we do in our classrooms every day is draining. I think my brother can tell it to you best. He came to my classroom to visit for 30 minutes one day and, in his words, “was exhausted for the next week.” What we do in our classrooms every day is HARD.  In order to acknowledge this reality, we write articles about the difficulties we face.

I would never presume to write an article about the difficulties an architect faces because I am not an architect. I can’t speak on how tiring it is to be an accountant because I don’t know anything about accounting. What I can speak on is my own job. Teaching. And teaching is as difficult as anything and requires you to be 100% present all day. So to those regular commenters on our teacher posts; No, teaching is not the only profession in which you have to work hard. But make no mistake, it does have its own challenges and difficulties you will never understand. So next time you see a teacher post and feel offended that we think we work hard; sorry, we’re not sorry. Because we do. Every day. To those people I would say to go ahead and write an article about your own profession; I would love to learn about the hardships people in other jobs face. But please, keep your negative comments about our job to yourself.


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SarahJammal

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