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5 fun facts you learn when youíre a teacher
I spend my working days making a vague and sometimes desperate attempt to teach kids things. I do this with a great variety of succes. Sometimes I look back at 30 pairs of curious eyes and I OWN the house. And sometimes I feel like Caesar amongst the Gauls, trying to look for a way out. Teaching, its the best way to get a burnout at age 30.
In the do-or-die world of teaching its important to learn quick, screw up as often as you can get away with and develop good legs for making fast get aways. Below are the 5 things I've learned since I started teaching full time. Its shocking and weird, rolled into one.
5. No matter how much vacation we get, its nowhere near enough.
At regular intervals I like to rub it in everyoneís face that teachers get a scary amount of vacation. Almost three times that of people who arenít teachers in fact. This huge amount of vacation is spend in lazyness, trekking with caravans or leveling characters in World of Warcraft.
Yet, for all the free time that teachers have, no one complains as much about work pressure as the teachers. Now, Iím all for complaining and striking when demands arenít met but coming back after a week of vacation no other profession gets and immediately starting to yammer: it wasnít enough, lets go on strike! (this is a real occurrence down here in Eindhoven) seems to a bit odd to me. But then, I havenít been a teacher for very long and Iím still used to the mindset, work till you drop and donít whine. Maybe, in a few years Iíll be wiser. In the meantime, Iíll just go with the flow. Weíre due to strike in two weeks.
Surprisingly, no one was killed.
4.You can pass any education as long as you can use Google
Nowadays a quarter of our lessons is mandatorily spent near computers. The teachers simply roam about the students as they toil away at assignments we made up 15 minutes before. Most of these are basically about looking stuff up on Google and copying it. Each time an assignment is a bit harder then that, students complain its too hard. Sigh.
This doesnít diminish the fact that its ludicrously easy to pass for most courses provided you know how to use google. This works when youíre 14 and it will still work when youíre 25. Know Google and you have the world in your hand. However, most students simply choose to be as lazy as possible and make good attempts to fuck up even the most basic and mind bogglingly simple tasks. And that also goes for the 14 year olds and their 25 year old retarded counterparts.
Example: (as heard from a colleague French)
Look up the provinces of France and write them in a map.
Believe it or not but this took the average kid an hour to complete. Try googling France. I know its distasteful but try it anyway. Does it look like you need an hour to write down the damn provinces? Well, does it??
3 Printers are the least reliable pieces of hardware on the planet
As inescapable as it is true, there are very few decent print machines in the world. I know that every single human being who completed an education has used the excuse Ďthe printer didnít workí at least once but probably often. Statistics say itís the most used excuse right after, Ďbut I didnít know there were Jews hiding behind my closet!í
Necessary at the time...
Not that Iím comparing modern school children to people trying to hide stuff from the Naziís but its something they have in common nonetheless. Lying about stuff. Hiding your incompetence from other people. Hiding your laziness. All admirable traits but not traits that modern teachers find acceptable. The most commonly used reply to the printer excuse is therefore
Yeah, you tell em crazy german lady who is totally not a nazi!
2 Parents are scary creatures
Iíve already done a separate article on this but I feel it warrants repetition. Parents are not normal human beings when at school. Parents can be anything to deceptively cooperative easy going smile machines to vicious remark spouting, coffee lurking zombie monsters who think nothing of insulting you down to the bone if it helps their brat gain 2 tenths of a point.
Iíve had my first taste of facing a classroom full of parents this year and I would call it akin to mountain scaling and mountain biking, the latter I call my second greatest fear since my trip to the Ardennes and almost died on something called the 'rocky path'.
Pictured: Not me.
Parents are worse then mountain biking. Their beady little eyes, their crossed arms, their black coats, their little grimace that signals to you ĎI donít want to be here and Iím gonna make sure you wish you were deadí
1 Teachers are still little kids themselves.
Teachers have a deadline 4 times a year. Thatís the time they need to upload all their grades into a computer and have it calculate the averages. Itís a simple deadline that every idiot could easily take into account.
And yet, at the very last minute before it expires who do we see feverishly typing away to get it done in time?
Its simply mind blowing to see a group of people whoís job it is to tell students how poorly organized they are and that they should plan things in advance s ludicrously bad organized! Weíre nothing better then our students! Weíre just as bad! Weíre just as incompetent, poorly organized and donít plan shit in advance.
Oh and if youíre a teacher and you say ĎI always make my deadline in timeí then youíre probably one of those teachers who never shows up for a after work drink. Or if you areÖ well screw you mister superiority!