I am going to vent. A fair warning. Am I going to be funny? Probably not. Sarcastic and mean? God, yes. Offensive? Be realistic – when aren’t I? So if you’re not big on sarcasm, you’d better stop reading. I mean it. Consider yourself forewarned…

DSC_5742

Teachers are a very needy bunch of people. Like, really, really needy. Is it just teachers? I don’t know. Maybe it is true for all professions. Maybe doctors, engineers or clerks are all the same. I don’t know. I only know about teachers. Is it all teachers? Is it only language teachers? Is it teachers of English specifically? Who knows? Not me, that’s for sure. All I know is what I have experienced and that is that teachers are a needy bunch of people.

I like to believe that I am pretty self-sufficient as far as my work goes. I need new materials, I look for them myself, or I prepare them myself. I do possess some basic computer skills. I can surf the Internet. I am able to even browse books and I definitely possess the skills necessary to play an audio cd or open a dvd on my computer. But apparently I am the exception…

Because, as a rule, teachers cannot do any of those things and they need constant help and attention. So what does a teacher do when they cannot find audiotracks on a cd rom on their computers? Put it in a stereo and check? Nope, that would be too easy. They call their teacher friends to complain and/or contact the publishing house which released the materials. The dvd provided with the coursebook doesn’t work. What do the teachers do? Contact the bookstore where they bought the coursebook? Nope. They complain to anyone who would listen but don’t take much action. They don’t know which curriculum they should be using. Seriously, this happens. And they do have workshops and teacher conferences on topics like that, don’t they? So will they ask a fellow teacher for help? Will they go online and find the right curriculum? Nope. They call the publishing house which prepares coursebooks cause those guys must know for sure…

Teachers are needy in the worst way. No, I do not know if there is any good way of being needy. But if there is, it does not correspond with the neediness of teachers… Lately I have joined a facebook group for Polish teachers of English. I lasted three days before I stopped following it – I still am a member, it might come in handy some day, but all the spamming produced by the teachers simply pissed me off. Does anyone have this book? Does anyone have tests for that book? What coursebook have you chosen for the next schoolyear because I don’t know what to choose – so basically I will just follow and do whatever you did because I do not have an opinion and I can’t be bothered to actually look at the free samples I received… Can I use a laser during classes? What can I do during English lessons with teenagers after their Junior High School exam? Because apparently conducting regular classes or teaching them something or revising is out of question. I need ideas for conversation classes – because, first, I cannot think of any topic whatsover, second, I do not possess the skills necessary to surf the Internet, basic facebook skills are all I have. How big is my salary going to be this month (true story) – and they upload a photo of their weekly classes and overtime… Come on… And then there are the existential issues like „Should all teachers be teaching?” and „Students do not listen to me”… Three days. That’s how long I lasted.

But teachers are not only needy. They also complain a lot. About anything actually. About the students, about the coursebooks, about the tests, about the cds and dvds and other additional materials they have. But most of all they complain about their jobs and conditions. Ok, I am generalizing probably but so far I haven’t met a teacher who wouldn’t claim how terrible their job and how low their salary is. But I have heard non-teachers discussing the problem and I do agree with them completely. Teachers are not paid enough. And who is? I mean, seriously, which profession is paid well enough? Everyone complains about their salaries. But the thing with teaching is that teachers do not have a forty-hour working week. So if we really compared and calculated I am fairly sure it would turn out that teaching is actually one of the better-paid professions. Plus, winter break, summer holidays, long Christmas and Easter breaks – all paid. Which other profession has that??? Let’s not forget about the 13th salary or whatever it is called in English. Plus bonuses. Plus extra money for Christmas and holidays. But teachers don’t stop working once they get out of the school. They have to prepare at home, correct tests and it all takes time. True, but don’t we all do that? None of my non-teacher friends leaves work in the office. Some of them work weekends. Some of them leave the office at 8pm and don’t get paid overtime. When it happens to everyone else, it seems fair. But when it happens to teachers, it’s simply unjust… Oh, and let us not forget about the year off teachers can have (twice? three times?) to repair their health. All paid of course…

I guess I should clear something out – I do teach but I am not a teacher. Not really, according to the Polish understanding of the word. I do not work in a public school so I shouldn’t call myself a teacher, not in Poland. So what else distinguishes me from teachers? I don’t get paid during summer holidays, I don’t get 13th salary or any other benefits teachers get. I do not complain about my salary. I am capable of dealing with most obstacles on my own. Last but not least, I love teaching…

Reklamy