Behind the scenes in the life of a teacher

22 September 2020

Behind the scenes in the life of a teacher –

When you start googling facts about teachers, the following question pops up automatically:
Do teachers have lives outside school?

The answer given is as follows: It’s truly amazing how many students sincerely believe that their teachers have no life outside of school. Now, depending on what grade or school a teacher works at, they may not have much of a life outside of the classroom…

As a teacher this might not surprise you much.
You’ll know the feeling of learners staring agape at you when they bump into you
at the movies or a restaurant/shopping mall as if to ask,
“What are you doing here?
You are not supposed to have a normal life, are you?”

Let’s have a tongue-in-cheek look at your life as a teacher, shall we?
Or rather, much of it is so very true that you probably often wish it wasn’t so…

  • Your day begins long before the school bell rings

You’re lucky if someone else makes coffee in the morning!  School lunch (yours and those of everyone else in the household) needs to be packed, there might be some last-minute preparation of lessons, you have to remember to pack the scripts or portfolios you’ve been marking (till late last night most likely) and often there is a little voice reminding you that your outfit should preferably get the nod from those in your class who will be looking you up and down as soon as you enter your classroom.

  • Your work day carries on for long after learners have gone home

Tidying the classroom, gathering the books that need to be marked and whatever you need for preparation of lessons, a staff meeting, a learner wanting to see you for guidance or an extra lesson, an appointment with a parent who is worried about their teenager/wants to complain/can’t wait until the scheduled Parents-Teachers Evening… the list is endless.

  • Before school, during school and after school you multi-task endlessly

According to teachers are information providers, discipline controllers, assessors, administrators, role models, foster parents and facilitators. In addition to all of that, they say that the average classroom teacher makes 1500 educational decisions every school day – in a 6-hour school day that’s more than 4 decisions every minute!

  • Teachers are a dozen – or more – professions rolled into one

Teachers are actors because they are on a stage all day long.

They are managers making decisions in classrooms, influencing learners on different levels and facilitating learner achievement.

As teachers spend a great deal of time with the learners in their class(es) they often pick up on behavioural or emotional signs that a particular learner is not coping and needs help. Sometimes it merely means lending an ear; at other times it could involve counselling or a referral.

As educators teachers are resource specialists, they act as mentors, they perform administerial duties more often than they would like… this is another list that goes on and on.


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