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Unread 09-22-2007, 06:45 AM
 
Location: FL
1,909 posts, read 5,186,793 times
Reputation: 2015
Default Why is teaching a profession SO often looked down upon?

You don't ever hear about firemen, nurses, policemen, doctors...being looked down upon. But bring up the teaching profession...and there is ALWAYS someone to say that teachers are paid enough...or too much...don't even work...have it easy....and so on. You don't ever hear people complaining when those other professions are asking for more money, more hours, and so on?

I wonder if it's because everybody has had more contact with teachers than any other professional (for example-I only see nurses when I'm sick, and have yet had to deal with a fireman or a policeman!). Everyone has went to school and had to deal with...what...possibly 7 teachers a year depending on if their school switched classes. Times that 7 teachers for every year they went to elementary school, middle school, high school and possibly college...

Maybe people had a bad teacher that ruined it for them. Maybe they didn't do well in school and blame the education (teacher) system. Maybe they are uneducated or undereducated- hence the ignorance. It sure doesn't help when the people going through education only see the teachers in the day...and during a school year...so the times they don't see them it appears as if they have free play time (nights, weekends and summers) such as they do.

But do you notice that all of the people bashing teachers are not teachers. Hence, they never walked in the shoes so how could they know everything that the job entailed?

Sure, there are some teachers that s#ck. Just like there are some dirty cops...some doctors that make fatal mistakes....greedy lawyers....but still, why are we looked down upon by so many?

Someone in this forum had said something along the lines as...."...don't try to give me this 'you teach the children of tomorrow...our future...get off your god complex'..." (not exact words).....but let me ask this: DON'T we teach the children of tomorrow? Aren't children, as they grow into adults...going to be responsible for our future? Don't we want to instill in them a proper education and morals?

What did I say that wasn't true? That was a lie? That isn't happening? It's not a "God complex" but the simple truth of what is going on. And still we're looked down upon by many.

 
Unread 09-22-2007, 09:08 AM
 
Location: City of the damned, Wash
429 posts, read 1,618,801 times
Reputation: 228
I don't look down on the profession, but....I think it's cumulative. I grew up around a lot of teachers and liked them all. I can't remember a teacher K-12 that I really had a problem with.
But as an adult, I get a little uptight w/them when I overhear some of the stuff they say, stuff that is completely unprofessional, out of line, ignorant and so on. I have met teachers with the god complex: "The hug I give little Maria is the only love she gets all day." gag me.
I know teachers that are only there for the paycheck. I know teachers that won't give my child the work she missed when she was home sick.

And now, with the epidemic of 20- and 30-something female teachers preying on very young boys, there is the reality that the teaching profession has a much bigger PR problem than ever before.
 
Unread 09-22-2007, 09:59 AM
 
3,633 posts, read 10,223,070 times
Reputation: 1170
Quote:
Originally Posted by missyM View Post
I don't look down on the profession, but....I think it's cumulative. I grew up around a lot of teachers and liked them all. I can't remember a teacher K-12 that I really had a problem with.
But as an adult, I get a little uptight w/them when I overhear some of the stuff they say, stuff that is completely unprofessional, out of line, ignorant and so on. I have met teachers with the god complex: "The hug I give little Maria is the only love she gets all day." gag me.
I know teachers that are only there for the paycheck. I know teachers that won't give my child the work she missed when she was home sick.

And now, with the epidemic of 20- and 30-something female teachers preying on very young boys, there is the reality that the teaching profession has a much bigger PR problem than ever before.
I agree. I have met many teachers that I would never want my children to have. I have also thought many teachers have a "god complex" too. I don't think we should honor any career like we do cops, firemen, nurses, doctors, and such. Look how many of these professions act like god. Doctors walk around like they are all that.
There are too many forgotten people out there that do a great service and just go unnoticed.
 
Unread 09-22-2007, 10:05 AM
 
Location: southern california
46,789 posts, read 41,245,850 times
Reputation: 37406
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrshvo View Post
You don't ever hear about firemen, nurses, policemen, doctors...being looked down upon. But bring up the teaching profession...and there is ALWAYS someone to say that teachers are paid enough...or too much...don't even work...have it easy....and so on. You don't ever hear people complaining when those other professions are asking for more money, more hours, and so on?

I wonder if it's because everybody has had more contact with teachers than any other professional (for example-I only see nurses when I'm sick, and have yet had to deal with a fireman or a policeman!). Everyone has went to school and had to deal with...what...possibly 7 teachers a year depending on if their school switched classes. Times that 7 teachers for every year they went to elementary school, middle school, high school and possibly college...

Maybe people had a bad teacher that ruined it for them. Maybe they didn't do well in school and blame the education (teacher) system. Maybe they are uneducated or undereducated- hence the ignorance. It sure doesn't help when the people going through education only see the teachers in the day...and during a school year...so the times they don't see them it appears as if they have free play time (nights, weekends and summers) such as they do.

But do you notice that all of the people bashing teachers are not teachers. Hence, they never walked in the shoes so how could they know everything that the job entailed?

Sure, there are some teachers that s#ck. Just like there are some dirty cops...some doctors that make fatal mistakes....greedy lawyers....but still, why are we looked down upon by so many?

Someone in this forum had said something along the lines as...."...don't try to give me this 'you teach the children of tomorrow...our future...get off your god complex'..." (not exact words).....but let me ask this: DON'T we teach the children of tomorrow? Aren't children, as they grow into adults...going to be responsible for our future? Don't we want to instill in them a proper education and morals?

What did I say that wasn't true? That was a lie? That isn't happening? It's not a "God complex" but the simple truth of what is going on. And still we're looked down upon by many.
there is an overall contempt of authority and principle. these are dark days friend. stiff upper lip. you will not get thank you notes for the good you do.
the negative experiences are not reserved for teachers. police and social workers and nurses and doctors getem too. ingratitude disrespect and just plain hatred.
lots of that goin on.
that is why your job is so important. if its unpleasant the way people are treating each other, even for empowered adults like us, can you imagine what it is like being 2 feet tall in all of this. keep the faith.

stephen s
san diego ca
 
Unread 09-22-2007, 10:09 AM
 
Location: FL
1,909 posts, read 5,186,793 times
Reputation: 2015
Quote:
Originally Posted by missyM View Post
I don't look down on the profession, but....I think it's cumulative. I grew up around a lot of teachers and liked them all. I can't remember a teacher K-12 that I really had a problem with.
But as an adult, I get a little uptight w/them when I overhear some of the stuff they say, stuff that is completely unprofessional, out of line, ignorant and so on. I have met teachers with the god complex: "The hug I give little Maria is the only love she gets all day." gag me.
I know teachers that are only there for the paycheck. I know teachers that won't give my child the work she missed when she was home sick.

And now, with the epidemic of 20- and 30-something female teachers preying on very young boys, there is the reality that the teaching profession has a much bigger PR problem than ever before.

Regarding the comment "The hug I give little Maria is the only love she gets all day"....shouldn't have been said to you. That is a teacher-child personal business. However, what if it was true? Why does that have to be the god complex? Coming from the inner city of Philadelphia, originally...I could have said that comment about numerous children. These children came from abusive homes, and heck yes, the only nice words they had could have been from their teachers. That could have been a very true comment, and good for that teacher to have been the only positive part of a child's life.

Yes, I know teachers that seem to be there only for the paycheck too. I know some teachers that are mean-in my opinion. But I also know some cops that take money...do bad deals...lawyers defending people they darn well know are guilty...doctors trying to cover mistakes...people in corporations stealing money: my point is that we are still looked down more than them, though they are some cruddy people in those jobs.

I have to say please, give me a break about the teachers preying on young boys. If I wanted to pull up all of the people that have preyed on young girls and boys, in every profession...I have heard of officers, attornies, lawyers, doctors, millionaires, vice-presidents of companies, mothers, fathers....it's out there everywhere, in every profession. I think it's awful, but you can't act like "teachers all over are preying on young boys"...it's everywhere so if you want to make that comment, you have to pull up all of the other people in the other professions that have done it too. Just another instance of teachers being put down more than others.

What about all the teachers that report the physical, sexual and emotional abuse, neglect they have witnessed, and saved children's lives.
 
Unread 09-22-2007, 10:53 AM
dgz
 
787 posts, read 1,553,400 times
Reputation: 563
I'm in the corporate training field and so my background is different, but I meet many former teachers who have left public education to work in the corporate world. There are 3 things that I hear over and over...

#1 - There are some teachers who are simply outstanding and will create a positive impression on their students' lives (and they are paid far too little), and there are many teachers who are just awful (they aren't that intelligent, an Education degree was the easy route for them, and they don't care about the students).

#2 - In public schools, teachers have to spend more time on 'behavior control' than on 'teaching.'

#3 - The really good teachers eventually get frustrated/depressed and leave. The bad teachers stay because they have no other place to go.

Also, I don't know if things have changed, but I recall that during my undergraduate years, a BA in Education was considered one of the easier degrees, and most people who were getting their Education degree were not double-majoring. For example, they weren't double-majoring in Education & Math, or Education & History, or Education & Biology... And I recall back in high school that in one of my English classes, the English teacher drew a rough map of the UK and put Ireland on the wrong side of the map (i.e., closer to Denmark). When you see your high school teacher make mistakes like that, it's really difficult to assign any serious value to what other things they have to say.
 
Unread 09-22-2007, 12:41 PM
 
6,589 posts, read 15,036,499 times
Reputation: 2954
I had so many bad teachers growing up (in supposed excellent schools) including ones like the above poster who taught wrong information. I just lost respect for them even as a student. And, yes, I even had a female teacher who was romantically involved with one of the male students, but back then was just kept quiet.

I had one excellent teacher during K-12 and it was my 4th grade teacher. She went on to do bigger and better things at the state level for education.

My son's brief experience with public school also proved disappointing. He had several really bad teachers.

He is in private school and the excellent teachers far out number the bad teachers. I can think of at least 10 who have been quite amazing. He has had two though I wasn't very fond of, both were former public school teachers and still had that 'tude from their time spent there.

Those former public school teachers keep the kids at arm's length, look at the kids with skepticism and scorn, consider parents the clueless enemy and constantly place blame for all education problems on bad home lives.

Good teachers don't do any of that. Good teachers genuinely like kids, genuinely like their jobs, have an attitide of, We are in this together to help the kids, they are flexible and open minded, they have fun in the classroom, think outside the box, they ask the parents what they can do to help, like, Which battles do you want me to fight for you? They understand the parents know the kids best, but also talk to the parents about how the child may act different in school and that's totally normal and not a sign of bad parenting.

These great teachers are masters of each child's learning styles, educational and social needs. The lead teacher for each child follows the child's progress in every class, what is going on with him/her socially, who is friends are, which teachers are harder for the child, what the parents' goals are, what is happening with homework, is the parent having to battle, is it taking too long, does the child have outside things to balance too - the total child. (At my son's school lead teachers are responsible for 10 kids each school year.) The kids can also call any of their teachers at home. Also at my son's school they don't get the whole summer off. They get about 4 weeks.

Also the school supports these great teachers with giving them aides, proper training, extra classroom support when needed, whatever it takes.
 
Unread 09-22-2007, 04:07 PM
 
Location: #
9,608 posts, read 8,515,906 times
Reputation: 6126
It's a United States of America thing. We don't value education like other countries do. I've taught bilingual most my career and let me tell you, the parents of the bilingual children have the utmost respect for teachers. American parents often times either don't care at all, expect us to babysit or fight for trivial things like their children getting a 97 instead of a 99 in 4th grade Social Studies. My friends who have taught in places like the Woodlands, or Hinsdale, IL (very wealthy suburbs) tell me it is more about class ism. Parents will say things like "I know so and so on the school board and will make sure you have to teach in the inner city!" They have connections and don't really need to respect any teacher except for maybe the AP teachers towards the end. Those teachers do have some power as they can give the finger back by failing or refusing to write letters of recommendation. Furthermore, many parents in towns like these think teachers did take the easy way out and don't have a real job. Or that it's "woman's" work. The immigrants respect educators. Many U.S. born do not. Look at our dollar compared to the Euro and Canada's dollar. Coincidence that these two places don't have this attitude towards educators? I think not.
 
Unread 09-22-2007, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
13,304 posts, read 14,641,695 times
Reputation: 4959
Well, I'll jump in on the dumping on teachers side of the discussion. My background is that I went to public schools, and have an advanced college degree. In addition, my wife has a college degree in Ed, and we have raised two sons who both went to public schools, and have graduated college. We also have a "special" child, who is now beyond her school years.

I generally have a poor impression of the education process, and to a degree, many teachers. I have had dealings with dozens of teachers through the generations, and while many are conscientious, many more were going through the motions and just getting their "facts" out. My own experience with public schools in the late 1950's through late 1960's was that most of my teachers were "reading" the stuff in our books, and not adding much in the way of insights or context. Few teachers really took the trouble to make learning interesting, and the process felt very stilted, with the teachers frequently being somewhat condescending.

I thought that my point of view would change as an adult, who had gotten past this experience as was advanced in the workforce. It didn't, practically every bad impression I had was reinforced when dealing with my kids teachers. The lack of creativity, or willingness to try new technologies in conveying information was troubling. I found schools to be very closed in their process, and after a few initial attempts I just gave up trying to be constructively engaging in the school process. I let my kids know that this is something you get through for future achievement, and went to a process of paying for grades to get them intellectually involved. It worked wonders, and both have graduated their universities with over 3.5 GPA's, and are doing very well in their chosen careers.

I'd love to give the schools and teachers much of the credit, but in reality my resentment of the education system and process really has only been reinforced. I don't say this as one who fared poorly in life, I now enjoy a wonderful retirement and very fulfilling life. But my honest opinion of schools is that we need a voucher process in the worst way, and this should be done to open up the creativity process in education (with some objective and measurable standards and benchmarks).
 
Unread 09-22-2007, 06:13 PM
 
6,764 posts, read 12,597,306 times
Reputation: 4431
Well, like in many professions, getting a public school job involves nepotism in many cases (not all but many). Some of these people are very dedicated and want to do their best for your children, but a lot of them are only in for the perks.

Add to it, tenure--the concept that after x number of years 'Mrs. Jones' (who is outdated and disinterested) can still teach even if she is nasty or dislikes kids. She can rip your kid to shreds in the first week of school and call you every other day with 'problems'--until you let them 'drug' little Timmy or have little Brittany classified 'special ed.'

My son is now in 4th grade. He has had maybe one or two really decent teachers. The rest were soul crushers or just in teaching because they were old and wanted that great paycheck or they were busy producing kids on the taxpayer's dime.

Now we've move I am finding this new school really hustling and working to help him. I appreciate his teachers and hope he is doing his part.

I am former teacher but I have never worked in public school because I 'don't have connections.'

I taught preschool for about four years total at three different schools and volunteered another 2 at a playgroup. Parents either treat preschool teachers as babysitters or are totally and wonderfully respectful and thankful you take care of their little ones.
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