Written by Laura Washington, TE Instructional Coach
There is a quote floating around out there that some may find funny, but that I feel the need to debate whenever I hear it. It goes something like this, “Those who can’t do…teach.” To add insult to injury, the quote continues, “Those who can’t teach…teach P.E.” While many people, even P.E. teachers, are able to laugh this off as “just a joke”, it got me thinking about how teaching is viewed by those who are not, and who never have been teachers.
When I first began teaching as a TFA corps member in Houston, I would proudly announce to anyone who asked that I was a 4th grade teacher! The most common responses from people outside of the teaching world were…
- “Oh.” (As the person made the “yikes” face)
- “That sounds nice.”
- “Man! It must be nice to have so many holidays and summers off!”
- “What are you going to do after you finish teaching?”
While there was nothing technically wrong with these statements and questions, they do tend to wear a person down after they hear them OVER and OVER again. My friends who were in law school or medical school were questioned far more often than I was about what their classes were like, how hard it was to get in, and what they were going to specialize in. As these conversations were happening, I would smile and nod along with everyone while wanting to jump in and talk about how I was teaching kids to make inferences in young adult fiction. Fast forward a few years, and I now have the honor of coaching first year teachers at YES and KIPP as an instructional coach. Being in their classrooms on a daily basis continually makes me realize how much hard work and dedication it takes to be a great teacher.
When asked what I do, I still get the SAME types of responses from people outside of the education field. This got me thinking about how the teaching profession should be just as respected (if not more!) as other “highly regarded” professions. In this series of blog posts, I hope to show that those who teach…do everything!
Why Teachers are Just as (if not more) Important as Doctors!
What job do you want to see compared to teaching?