At this point in college we all have chosen our majors and are working toward the requirements to graduate with a degree. I personally am an English major who's going to be applying to the education program in the Fall. Each major has to deal with the slew of misconceptions from the people around them. Here are the things English Education majors are tired of hearing:
1. "Can you just look at my paper?"
Just because I have chosen to be an English major and the fact that I want to teach in the future does mean I want to "practice" now and re-do your entire paper. People who ask me to look over their paper usually write something without trying, knowing that the perfectionist in me will correct every little thing about it and basically do it for them. Some people don't even have the topic and are like, "well can you just give me an idea?" knowing well that I will end up writing the whole thing.
2. "Why are you reading something from the 1600s?"
I really hope that people understand that I don't read Shakespeare, John Dryden, William Wordsworth or Alexander Pope because I thoroughly enjoy it. Getting asked why I carry around these huge literature books is like asking a math major why they carry a calculator. It's part of the life we chose, and our backs have to suffer for it. I'm not going to lie and say that I despise these readings, but if I had a choice, these would not be at the top of the list.
3. "Why would you want to teach English?"
If I had a dollar for every time I got asked "Oh, why?" when I tell people that I plan on becoming an English teacher I would already own a house and a Range Rover. Just because our future goals don't match up, doesn't mean that you should judge what I want to do. Maybe, just maybe, I don't want the next generation to mix up 'they're' 'their' and 'there' or 'your' and 'you're' like the person who's asking does. I find it ironic that the people who ask the most questions about the English major tend to have the worst grammar.
4. "So you just want summers off?"
It is genuinely irritating when people not only critique why you have chosen the career path you have chosen, but then they go into detail about why they feel the way they do. They don't think you deserve summers off or they think that it's the only reason you are choosing to teach. Not that I need to explain myself to people, but I am choosing to teach because I like to help people grow as writers and develop their skills but if you think that translates to me wanting summers off, so be it.
5. "But, like, you'll be with kids all day."
Oh, really? I had no idea that being a teacher involved being with kids all day, thank you so much for informing me. All kidding aside, I understand that working with kids may not be ideal for a lot of people but it is something that I am passionate about and it's not another person's place to be sarcastic about it. Having a student get into the college they strived for, or get an A on a paper that they were previously getting Cs on is what I aspire to do. I don't care what age I end up teaching, if I can help some students achieve their goals, I will consider myself successful.
6. "You're not going to make a lot of money."
I have had people say to me with a straight face, "you realize you aren't going to make a lot of money, right?" They don't even realize what they are saying. I have chosen this career knowing the starting salary, so you pointing out how the salary is sub par to your Communications degree, is pointless to my life.
7. "Aren't you afraid of the town you're assigned to?"
Being an aspiring teacher, shadowing in Newark comes with the territory. Do I absolutely love driving through the streets of Newark once a week? No, but once I see the hard work these kids are devoting to their education, it makes it all worth while. Have I seen a few people who were on some form of drugs? Yes. Have I seen one or two sketchy people? Absolutely. But like I said, it comes with the territory. The kids honestly start to respect you and you don't feel like an outsider anymore.
These are just a few of the things English Education majors are tired of hearing. We understand the salary isn't great, that we'll be with kids all day, and we won't always be placed in the nicest of areas. None of that matters when you are making a difference in someone's life. If that isn't good enough for you, that's your problem.