Teachers’ jobs are underestimated | The Triangle

Teachers’ jobs are underestimated

Photograph courtesy of Charles Edward Miller at Flickr

President Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., addressed his father’s campaign rally in El Paso, Texas Feb. 11.

“Keep up that fight. Bring it to your schools. You don’t have to be indoctrinated by these loser teachers that are trying to sell you on socialism from birth,” he said to young conservatives.

Out of all of the things I have heard in the past few years concerning President Trump’s campaign and his family, this by far, is the statement that has upset me greatly.

The thing is, I believe a good population of the world agrees with this statement, not just his supporters. Many people have downplayed the education major and the teacher.

Concerning elementary and high school teachers, they are the most important people you will encounter in your life. I say this because it makes sense. You are in class seven hours a day, five days a week. That’s 35 hours! That’s basically the time spent at a full-time job.

Some students spend more time there outside the classroom for an additional two hours for sports or other academic activities.

Those same “loser teachers” who teach some of the most ungrateful, rude, mean children, still stay after and coach some of these sports and extracurricular activities. Here’s the breakdown of elementary and high school teachers.

Some people claim being a teacher is easy because they get summers and weekends off. This is a semi-false claim; yes, the majority of teachers technically have summers off, but what about summer school? Who do you think is teaching that? The same teachers your child is with for 10 months naturally out of the year. What about special school programs held on Saturdays or detentions? What if your teacher is the cheerleading coach as well? There goes their Sundays because of competitions.

Maybe you remember that your teacher was always at school before you and after you. Teachers are spending their evenings writing lesson plans and grading papers. There are staff meetings, presentations and continuing education classes that are required to maintain their jobs and licenses. Believe it or not, they aren’t just going home and watching Netflix.

In the state of Pennsylvania, the average salary for a teacher is $55,000 according to TeachingDegree.org. (Keep in mind in different counties it varies, and this is not at the college level.)

Depending on the type of school you went to, your teacher took their time and money to decorate your classroom for you. Teachers are paid to follow a set curriculum, teach it and make sure they are producing enough students who score high on standardized tests. Everything else comes from them simply being a nice human.

Teachers are counselors! My favorite teacher ever was my biology teacher I had sophomore year of high school. Granted I didn’t go into biology, I hate science, but she was the coolest person I ever met. Her husband was in a band and, believe it or not, she was the first woman I met who didn’t have children, willingly. She reminded me on a regular bases that I only had to live up to my own expectations and life doesn’t end after college. I dubbed her Mama O and to this day her students from the  four years I was there call her that.

Teachers play a big part in everyone’s life. Most teachers end up shaping who you are, just like your favorite celebrity. People see their teachers more than they see their parents. They teach you how to write, read, count and whatever else the country thinks we need to know.

These “loser” teachers’ responsibility extends far beyond standing in front of a classroom and trying to educate the leaders of tomorrow. Teachers are expected to wear more hats than any other job. For seven hours a day, they must be a teacher, a parent, a counselor and nowadays a police officer too.

Being a teacher is a dangerous job. We underestimate the investment they make in each of their students.

They take a child’s wellbeing into their own hands, calling Child Protective Services when they think the child is in danger at home. In 2019, you never know if the day you walk into class to teach will require you to be a body shield to a bullet.

These past nine years have been nothing but mass shootings for schools and for Trump Jr. to just wave off the value of teachers and reduce to name-calling like a kid in the schoolyard, is deplorable.

Teachers are those that were once so inspired by what they studied or by the realization of the impact education can have, that they decided to live their lives in the service of others.

Teachers are not just educators. They are surrogate parents and deserve respect.