The Difficulty of Being a Teacher


Phoebe Wang, Staff Writer

Recently, I have realized that teaching kids is an incredibly difficult process that demands the most patient and loving personality. When I say kids, I’m referring to anyone from age eight to eighteen. I have worked as a math teacher’s aide, a chess class assistant, a peer tutor, and apparently as a walking book of homework help to many of my friends and classmates. Teaching — to say the least — is not for the faint of heart. 

As a teacher, there are many types of people whom you must be able to handle. The rebellious ones, the rowdy ones, the I-don’t-care ones, the ones who care but just don’t understand, and so on. There are many challenges in teaching kids, ranging from personality to learning speed. It’s difficult to explain concepts to those who struggle in academics, but equally challenging to keep those who are ahead still interested. Not only so, but many teachers work much longer than the mere six hours of school. They grade papers, create projects, and hold conferences all throughout the week — often sacrificing their time to create the best possible learning environment for their students. This leads to a lot of pressure, from fellow teachers, bosses, and parents. Ultimately, it is up to a teacher to make sure a class succeeds, and it truly takes a lot to make it happen. 

A typical class at AHS has 30 or more students. 30 very different students, who each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Teachers often have to work with disrespectful or unmotivated kids and push them onto the right path. They must be able to empathize with their troublesome students, while also encouraging them to change. Dealing with a silent, unmotivated class is not much better. Being able to best accommodate each student’s needs and managing their personalities are both incredibly difficult tasks. That of which, teachers are expected to execute with ease.  

Although they are given breaks whenever students are given a holiday, teachers work long days — often resulting in hours of overtime. According to the National Education Association, “teachers spend an average of 50 hours per week on instructional duties, including an average of 12 hours each week on non-compensated school-related activities.” This extra time is devoted to grading papers, supervising clubs, and planning lessons. Not only this, but they are often sought during their free time to meet with families and kids who need more help. Although this field of education is often seen as comfortable working hours — school is technically only hours a day — most teachers go above and beyond.

We often take our teachers for granted and expect them to be perfect. There is no hesitation in blaming them once we discover an accidental red mark, if they’re late in posting grades, or for their excessive homework load. In truth, they deal with a lot. Teachers sacrifice their time, effort and often sanity to make their class succeed. If anything, they’re pretty amazing.

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