Recently, an article has made the rounds from a fellow teacher named Beth Wallis. In the article, she asks that legislators, and the general public, “Stop equating teachers with martyrs.” I couldn’t agree more with her words, and I am glad that educators are finally taking action and not accepting what is put on our plates. It’s tiring when you constantly have more than you can handle, but have to continue on whether or not you have completed the tasks.
Jennifer Gonzales from Cult of Pedagogy compiled a list of things that teachers wanted administrators to know. It’s a great list that I think every person who even votes for a school board should read. However, I’m going to quote the first item on the list because I feel that it is most pertinent to the conversation going on nationally about the value of our teachers. It deals with the issue of a teacher’s time, and what we are expected to do within that time.
No other job on the planet expects you to do all those things in one hour, or finish them at home or stay after work. Every teacher I know, fills the parking lots in the morning hours prior and late evenings after work. Every teacher I know walks out of the building with a luggage bag full of things to do at home. It’s not sustainable. My question is, are we willing to go through with what needs to be done to make a change? Because honestly, it’s not just a question of money. You can throw money at a problem and just make it worse. It’s also about time and value. No matter how much you pay me, you cannot expect me to complete all that work in one hour. This also has to change. We are martyrs not because society expects us to be, but because we have let ourselves become so by not saying the word we are so good at saying to our children: no.