Oh, Teachers

This may not be very popular.

Tell me, why do you go into teaching if you know (I mean, you KNOW, right?) that you will have to deal with children all day long? And that you won’t make a ton of money? And that almost every school district across the land is broke (give me a break) and that means paper and art supplies and colorful tissue paper will have to come out of your own pocket? Okay, yes, yes, you LOOOVVEE children. Uh huh. Is that why you begin counting down the hours until summer break when it is barely Valentine’s day?

In all the years of dealing with schools and teachers I only encountered ONE (One, folks. That’s it) that said she woke up every day super excited to get to work and begin teaching the kids (science no less, blech) and when summer came around she was miserable and could hardly wait for autumn and back-to-school.

One teacher.

Out of somewhere near 150 teachers total.

And those class lists.

Give me a break.

I get that the teachers pool their supplies, which is annoying. I remember helping a teacher one year in elementary school on the last day of school and her closet was full – I mean FULL – with boxes and boxes and BOXES of crayons, markers, glue sticks, tissue, and baggies. An entire shelf filled with reams of paper. And every year the list is the same. Maybe it isn’t the teacher putting out the lists and the district is to blame but as a parent the school year is expensive for us too and I couldn’t quite shake the feeling that the teacher was hoarding those supplies from one year to the next.

It cost me over five hundred dollars to get my kids registered for school and buy their “required supplies” per the class list. And that is before we do anything else like backpacks and new sneakers. So when I hear the teachers complain I always sort of say to myself that it is pricey for everyone involved. And yet in my school district we seem to keep passing bond after bond giving the district more of our tax money and yet I am paying more than ever to send my kids to public school.

“Eleventh grade class fee”. What is that for, exactly?

We spent a school year on the east coast and I remember walking into the schools to register my kids with my checkbook in hand and yet there wasn’t a place to pay for anything. I actually went into the office because I thought I must be missing something. Nope. No expenses to register the kids. Come again? I felt like I won the lottery.

Every August I swear I spend more money on school related expenses (and my kids don’t even play sports through the school or that would tack on another hundred bucks per kid per sport) than I do in December for the holidays. Seriously.

I know it costs teachers a lot of money to keep a classroom going but shouldn’t they be taking that up with their bosses and not the parents? And you have to know the realities while you are still in college deciding to become a teacher, right? At least the teachers get discounts everywhere from bookstores to art supply stores to craft stores. Parents don’t get discounts – instead we are forced to buy packs of dry erase markers and special, expensive rulers and binders.

And this doesn’t take into account all the other things parents have to pay for throughout the year like field trips, supplies for projects (my son was in physics and needed magnets that cost fourteen bucks for one tiny magnet for a one minute presentation), ink for printing reports, flash drives, and specific calculators.

All I’m saying is no one forced you to become a teacher.


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