There is a lot of controversy around the education system in today's society, and what teachers should and should not be teaching. But, before you even get to have your own classroom you have to go through your state required Teacher Preparation Program. While going through this program in college there are a lot of things education majors grow accustomed to hearing, and they aren't always nice.
1. "Oh, you're an education major. You know you won't make a lot of money, right?"
Thank you so much. I didn't realize I had asked you for financial advice on my life. Would you like to tell me how to pay my bills and balance my checkbook too? This is the rudest thing ever, who actually picks their career based on money? Like, yeah it's a nice bonus but as long as I am happy who cares what I make, and it certainly isn't your business.
2. "Oh, that's an easy major."
Hold up! Have you ever worked with children in your life? Have you ever tried to have the attention of 30 middle schoolers all the same time and actually get them to learn something? Have you memorized state standards in every content area, and implemented IEP forms and learned how to write out delinquency files? Yeah, I didn't think so. Just because I am not majoring in nuclear chemistry doesn't make my degree any less hard then yours.
3. "That was smart, you picked that because you get summers off right?"
I just can't with you people. Do you truly believe we get out summers off? You don't think we aren't doing continuing education courses, planning our lessons for the year, cleaning our classroom, piling over last years data to figure out how to make the next school year better? Oh no, that's right, you think we lay on a beach with a margarita all summer. Puh-lease.
4. "I could never do that."
Did anyone ask you to do it? Did anyone say, "you must change your major to education and teach for the rest of your life?" No, they didn't. Then why do you feel the need to doubt me, just because you can't do it, that doesn't mean I can't. I could never be a Nuclear Chemist, but you don't hear me telling you that your major is stupid.
5. "Those who can do, those who can't teach."
You really don't want to get into that with me. You might as well turn around, walk away and keep your mouth shut.
6. "Your homework is a bunch of coloring sheets."
Okay, no it is not. My homework consists of a seven-day unit plan that has summative and formative assessments, projects, homework and meets all required state standards. I also have to make sure I have supplemental material for my students with disabilities/learning deficiencies. Once I have laid all that out, I then I have to create all these assignments, and projects, print them out and teach them to my professor and class. And yes, depending on what grades I am going to school to teach, they may have to be colored. SO, when you see me coloring, you are seeing the end of my homework. That isn't even including the countless content courses I am taking on top of my general ed, major requirements, and university requirements. So no, I don't color for homework.
7. "You must be really patient."
Like, no I'm not, because right now I want to throw you through a wall. But what I am is compassionate. I love learning, I love the craving of knowledge students have, and I love the fact I can help shape their minds and world. The idea if you telling me I am patient is insulting. You are insinuating I will need to be patient with my future students, that they will be unruly and undisciplined. but really, it's people like you, that gives students the bad image they have. Why don't you walk away now?
8. " Your lectures consist of games."
Have you ever sat in an education class? Would you know the difference between a methods course and a curriculum course? what about a developmental psychology course and a special education course? Do you know what pedagogy means? Or how to use it in your classroom? The list goes on and on, there is so much depth to the history of education and how to be the best educator possible. And yes, at times our methods courses do involve games, BUT that is ONLY because we are learning how to use supplemental material and activities into our lessons. Did you enjoy sitting and reading from a textbook all day long? Yeah, I didn't think so. Checkmate.
9. "I hate kids, so more power to you."
I'll think about your children when I have them in my class. I'll remind you when you come in for your first parent-teacher conference, and ask me why your child is struggling, that it is because you hate kids. Instead of hating small humans who have done nothing to you, why don't we focus on changing the world. Showing these little people there is some good left, and they do matter. Don't come at me with "you hate kids" because guess what, I don't care.
10. "You'll have to stop swearing."
OMG you mean you aren't allowed to drop foul language in the workplace! Why didn't someone tell me this three years ago before I picked this major! Get real people! Obviously, I won't swear in front of my students, even though they will swear in front of me. But the teachers' lounge is another thing, you obviously don't know many teachers if you don't think they swear. Oh! Another thing, I didn't choose this major, I was called to be an educator, and there is a reason you weren't.
The next time you come at with nasty remarks or "helpful hints" just remember I don't care what you have to say. This is my life, my future, my students. If there is one thing I know for sure, it is that I was called to be an educator, and despite all the "reasons" you want to give, nothing will ever change my mind.