6 Things Teachers Do Every Day That No One Else Would Do On a Teacher’s Salary

6 Things Teachers Do Every Day That No One Else Would Do On a Teacher's Salary

Teaching is not for the faint of heart, and it absolutely takes a particular person to love, unconditionally, little people who keep booger collections under their desks. Despite the cold, hard fact that teaching requires exceptional educators who probably are weaved from a different cloth than others, it is a paid field and one in which the people working with said booger collectors would like a substantial living wage. Whenever I hear someone not in the teaching field minimize legit concerns about fair compensation for educators by saying we knew what we were getting into, so we shouldn’t care about the money, I want to ask them where I can send my Amex bill (that I totally racked up buying student math manipulatives and an embarrassing amount of letter boards from TJ MAXX). 

Here are just a few things teachers do every day that definitely weren’t in the job description and more reasons we should be more fairly compensated.

1. Tying Wet Shoelaces

…on dry, sunny days.

If there is one thing in the world more gag-worthy than tying a little kid’s wet shoelaces, I dare someone to argue with me on the topic. Unless they had been puddle jumping at recess or they got caught in a sudden downpour, we all know their shoelaces are soaked in the pee from the bathroom floor. Did I go into the teaching profession for the distinct opportunity to tie pee-soaked laces because it is a calling and a privilege? No, ma’am. 

2. Planning day and night

…and weekends and summers, winter break, spring break, eternity!

I consider teaching a salaried career, one in which the work never ends since there is no time clock to punch in and out every day. Because teachers are salaried, it is widely accepted that their work spills over into non-contract time. Since I am using my valuable Netflix time to grade papers, you better believe I would like a decent paycheck that pays for my internet that enables the Netflix I never get to watch. 

3. Sitting through teacher meetings

…that NEVER end.

There should be an addendum to all teacher contracts that say because we are subject to cruel and unusual punishment in the form of teacher meetings that are always scheduled during planning time and could absolutely have been an email, we are entitled to just pay. Notice I said pay and not good feelings since this is my career and not just volunteer work.

4. Picking up crap off the floor 

especially unexplainably wet crap.

Now, I am a firm believer that students are the ones who should be responsible for picking up glue stick lids, wood chips, and tiny pieces of paper that just appear like spontaneous flecks of annoyance, but sometimes us teachers must pick things up off the floor. When I do this, and it is wet, my salary is 100% justified for the entire year. In fact, I better be getting a raise. 

5. Juggling a million tasks at once

…all day, every day.

Look, I know there are many other technical fields that require tons of schooling and talent to master. Teaching is not the only tough gig out there that requires many decisions being made constantly. However, what other working professional can expertly maintain four different conversations, as they answer the phone, count students who are all supposed to be in a line (but four of them are the ones talking over each other), and take attendance on the computer? Exactly. 

6. The many painful duties

…regardless of the conditions.

As much as some people would like me to admit that what really drew me into the teaching profession was the opportunity to stand out in the elements for what feels like an eternity as “Miss, watch me do this thing!” plays on a loop, that is just not the case. Let me just be real here a minute and say duty is the actual worst. Besides the fact that teachers have so many things that need to be done that do not include monitoring swing protocol, no teacher wants to stand out in the rain when they have been holding it for three hours. But because there aren’t magical duty people that appear out of thin air, teachers have to suck it up and do their duty by doing duty. 

I know I have heard educators call their career choice a calling; this is not to shame my comrades. But we need to stay woke, people. The more we refer to our career as something akin to doing volunteer work, the more we will be defunded and devalued. We are not volunteering our time, we are providing an education to our future, and that kind of important work should be paid handsomely. Call teaching enriching, demanding, tough, illuminating, but don’t call it a calling (unless we get to live in an all-expenses-paid teacher convent where instead of lesson planning, there were free-flowing wine nights on the regular). 


6 Things Teachers Do Every Day That No One Else Would Do On a Teacher's Salary

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Katie is a 3rd-grade teacher. She loves buying décor she doesn't need for her classroom, long and repeated walks to the refrigerator in search of Ben & Jerry, and collecting stacks of books she never has time to read. When she is not in the classroom, she is practicing the great art of writing procrastination. Sometimes she actually writes stuff.
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