Teacher Annoyance Survey: One Question
There are two distinct categories of adverse job conditions in teaching or any other profession. The first category is necessary or unavoidable things. You can’t get away from them. The second category is nasty things that don’t really need to be that way but somebody is making it that way on purpose. It’s much more variable and dependent on where you are teaching, not just that you are teaching.
For now, I want to ask you about the first category. These are fundamental conditions of teaching. Every teacher everywhere has to deal with these in one way or another. They are necessary and/or unavoidable. They are like the smell of paint in a paint factory; or coal dust in a coal mine. How much do these impact your overall satisfaction as a teacher?
Here they are and how I am roughly defining them.
Tedium and Predictability: The minutia and repetitiveness of daily activities; grading, taking attendance, constantly recording small bits of information; micro-micro managing yourself; knowing exactly where you’re going to be and what you’ll be doing minute by minute for months into the future. When there’s a surprise in school, it’s usually not the good kind.
Bell and Chain: There are five hours per day when you are legally required to be present in a certain room. It’s a super big deal if you’re not there. You may not use the bathroom or the telephone during these hours. If you are sad or angry or depressed for any reason, you must hide this and keep performing. You have a 35 minute lunch that ends before noon.
No Career Track: Teaching is a dead end job. There is no regular or semi-predictable career or promotion path. If you are a teacher, your job is to pretty much keep doing the same thing with the same level of responsibility until you die. If you do anything else (curriculum development, principal, trainer, etc), you have to leave one profession and enter another. That’s hard to do. A lot of people get stuck in teaching because of this.
Here’s the question (and feel free to pass this on):