If You Can Read This, Thank a Teacher!


 I am up late tonight thinking about the fact that I will be returning to work in less than two weeks.  Believe it or not, one has to mentally prepare for this after being on vacation for two months.  Think about when you go on vacation for a couple of days or a week and how hard it is to go back to work after being off.  Now multiply that feeling by 250% and you will know exactly how I am feeling right about now.

    I’m sure a lot of people think that being a teacher is the greatest job of all time just because of the work schedule and the vacations.  Yes, it is a rewarding job in the sense that you have the opportunity to shape and mold the minds of the young and to steer them in the right direction, hopefully.  However, it is probably the most exhausting job that anyone can do mentally.

    Just imagine waking up in the morning tired and lacking energy and having to go to a job, every single day, where you have to perform in front of a classroom of hormonal and moody teenagers.  I use the word “perform” because that is exactly what teachers have to do all day in order to keep students engaged.  Even when you are not feeling up to it, you have to remain animated, much like an actor, when you are teaching.  You don’t get any opportunities to be sick, weak, or in a bad mood when you are a teacher.  Instead, you must maintain the same level of exuberant energy all day long!

    My husband always says that my job doesn’t compare to his because he works as a warehouseman and, therefore, has to do manual labor at his job.  I explain it to him this way, at least he has the luxury of punching in and out at his job, and knowing that his time belongs to him after he punches out.  Teachers don’t have that luxury.  It seems like we are always on the clock working or doing some kind of paperwork.  So, in essence, a teacher’s job is never done.  On any given evening at home, you can find me grading papers, writing lesson plans, filling out report cards, calling up parents, filling out progress reports, looking for resources to align with my lessons online, etc.  That doesn’t even begin to encompass everything that teachers do outside of working hours.

    Sure, we get a lot of vacation days and summers off but, we deserve that.  If we didn’t have these vacations to address our mental health, you would see an increase in teacher substance abuse and an increase in the number of teachers committed to insane asylums.  Believe it or not, your precious angels do have the ability to misbehave and they do so freely within the confines of a school environment.  This is why I always support my sons’ teachers, because I know my children and because denial is not just a river in Egypt.

    In any case, I will report for duty on September 7th prepared to give my all to educating the future of this country.  I will work during my preps to tutor those kids who are falling behind and to keep my classroom environment up to date.  I will stay after school counseling students and doing more tutoring.  I will spend hundreds of dollars, of my own money, buying supplies for my classroom because the stipend the City of New York gives us is $110 dollars for the whole year.  So, when you see me on vacation or when you hear that I have a day off, keep your mouth shut because I damn well earned it!

© 2010, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.


  1. Maria I couldn't have said it any better myself. It is so hard to explain to non-education people just what is involved in our jobs as all they see is the short work day and the looong holidays!!!!!! But when it comes down to it, I still love the look on a kids face when the light bulb goes on, and I guess it's those moments that make all the "other" times worth it. Just keep putting the double shot short blacks in front of me!!!!!!! Enjoy your last few days of holiday with your family. CIao

  2. Maree, you are so right! The reward is that special moment when a child "gets" what you are trying to teach. It's also all of the love that our students give us and the fact that their parents entrust us with the precious task of educating their babies. All of that, though, is still truly exhausting and it is high time that we teachers are given the recognition that we deserve. Thank you so much for your wonderful feedback and for following. I really appreciate it.

  3. My sister and brother are teachers and I used to be an Admin Asst at a SPED school – much respect, Maria! Pretend it's not right around the corner so you can appreciate a little more vacay time 🙂

  4. Thank you, Brittany. Believe me, I am savoring every last day of my vacation before I return to the madness!

  5. Richmond, VA waited until the middle of August to inform 1,000 teachers that their jobs have been cut and to seek other employment. This low down approach sure has everyone up in arms.

    I love all my teachers who ever taught me anything!!!! Some day many of your students will say the same thing about you.

  6. That is an absolute travesty that they did that to all of those teachers! It seems that whenever anything goes wrong in education such as test scores or the state of the public school system, they blame teachers. They need to blame all of the fat rat big wigs that run the local districts and line their pockets with fat salaries while the economy is falling apart. I could only hope that my students remember me fondly when they grow up. Thank you so much for the feedback and for following @The Redhead Riter.

  7. Irene Gonzalez says

    Very well put, I give Teachers alot of credit, especially dealing in the community we do. I personally do not teach but I work in the office and dealing with the parents is a hard job within itself, so teachers dealing with both parents and students is overwhelming. Well I personally would like to Thatnk You for your dedication to my son and I want you to know that you are very appreciated and looked up to!

  8. Irene, what a pleasure it is to see you here! You also deserve a lot of credit for all of the hard work that you do in the office and supporting the teachers. It was a pleasure having your son in my class and a pleasure having you as the the parent of one of my students. You are a wonderful parent who is involved and invested in her children's education. Your support helped so much in keeping your son focused and positive and I really appreciate you. Thank you for checking out my blog and I hope you will be back to read it again.

  9. Great blog. You sure did tell it like it is. It annoys me no end that they want to cut teachers, force retirement and cut back pay or not give raises. If anyone deserves it, our nation's teachers do. Teachers, if they are good people and do their job correctly, can impact many lives. If a teacher knows what they are doing, they can relate to any kid and get them motivated. I still have teachers that left a wonderful impact whom I remember to this day. They educated thousands upon thousands of students and they deserve every dime they earn and ever vacation day they earn. Neither are enough in my opinion. In my district the teachers come in early and stay late all the time. In the high schools they deal with 9 classes of 35+ students each daily. You bet they are working at home grading papers, doing report cards, answering emails and making calls to working parents. In recent years, rather than a phone call from the teacher after business hours, we now simply email back and forth. But I've had teachers call me at 7 p.m. at night to discuss my children. Neither were bad, neither in any trouble, but the teacher had to give me an update (parent/teacher conference) and she did so via phone at 7 p.m. to accomodate my crazy schedule at the time.

    Thank you for doing what you do, with too little money, too little appreciation, too little resources and too much complaining from the general public. Not to mention the fact you deal with teens on a daily basis.

  10. Doreen, I wish everyone was as appreciative of teachers as you are. Anyone who is not part of the profession has no idea the kind of stress that teachers have. It really upsets me that, whenever something goes wrong in the schools, they blame the teachers. The people who badmouth teachers are not on the front lines and have no idea what they are talking about. So, I have a question for you, would you like a job with the teacher's union? I think you would do a better job advocating for us than they do. 🙂

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