Once again, the life of a professional educator has me pushed to my absolute limit of frustration. We had another record setting attendance level this semester, and because of that, many of us had to take on overload courses. Between the overload and dual enrollment, I’m teaching the equivalent of seven full courses this semester. It’s too much.
Literally, I hit the ground running on Monday morning, and I barely have time to use the bathroom until Friday afternoon. I’m either teaching, preparing, or grading all day, every day. Physically and emotionally, it’s as exhausting as working two full-time jobs.
If I were fairly compensated for my efforts, I might not feel so bitter. However, I have more education than many other professionals and put in as many hours as most executives yet am paid about what a fast-food entry-level manager makes. Somewhere along the way, this system got severely fucked up, and my generation is the one being punished for it. I can assure you that many of us cannot and will not continue to teach your children for these wages, and you will be left with teachers who are fast-food quality.
That’s the cold, harsh reality of America’s future. Our education system is going down the drain and going down faster every day. Between the demands of our initial qualifications, professional development, teaching load, and additional duties, too much is placed in our laps. On top of that, too little is returned to us in the form of tangible wages. As if that weren’t bad enough, every year we are given less and less to work with in terms of student talent. Yet we are expected to be held accountable for their apathy and lack of attention span.
I do not have many more semesters of beating my head against this wall, and while I do have my flaws, I’m a good teacher. I’m not so certain that the people who will follow me will have the same sense of professional pride. They might, but I seriously doubt it.
One last thought: even though this semester is difficult and demanding, I would rather have this schedule than have to deal with that bad half of a group of students at Seymour last year. I hope some of them are learning some tough lessons this semester.