Why Do You Judge Me for Wanting to Be a Teacher?

images (5)By Aubrey Murtha — I recently read my friend Taylor Gall’s post “So You’re Gonna Marry Rich, Right?” here on the Marquette Educator blog feed, and it really resonated with me.

Interestingly, just a few days earlier I had read a post by Laura Hertzog, a student at Saint Norbert’s College, entitled “Just an Education Major.”  Both pieces, though they each took a slightly different angle, address a similar concept: we education majors get judged by our peers and working adults alike far too often.

Now, I’m not trying to start a pity party here, but I’ve been asked my fair share of nonsense questions and have received an excessive amount of unmerited criticism from third party individuals since I decided that teaching was my vocation back in high school.

“Oh, are you sure you want to teach in Milwaukee?”

“Middle and high school kids?  C’mon, kids are gross at that age.”

“You know you’re not going to make any money, right?”

“You think your education course work is hard? You should try my biomed assignments.  Then   you’ll understand what hard homework is like.”

“If you’re going to go into teaching, you should at least be a math or science teacher.  Schools    aren’t hiring English teachers right now.”

I’m sorry, but until you’ve successfully completed a semester of field placements, written learning objectives and implementable lesson plans, composed a performance exam or selective response assessment, worked with children of all ages, developed the communication skills required to deliver effective lessons, and looked in a young adult’s eyes and told her, “Yes.  You can do this”—until you’ve done all of these things, you cannot insult my chosen profession.

As Laura points out, “our Nation’s educators are underpaid & undervalued.”

I’m not going to get into the whole teacher salary debate, but I will say, I most certainly think our educators are undervalued.  Sometimes, I think our doctors and lawyers and businessmen forget where they came from, who inspired them and motivated them to learn, who ultimately gave them the specialized training that they needed to receive their advanced degrees.  If you need me to remind you, I think you should reread this post.

So, readers, I’m asking for a little “R-E-S-P-E-C-T.”  Spread some love.  Let’s not diss on people’s professions.  I’m not picking on yours.  In fact, may in a few years I’ll be training you for yours.

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