It is probably the most frustrating and insulting thing in the world when I hear people say that my Liberal Studies major is "easy."
After all of the passion and hard work I have put into this major of mine, let me tell you right now my friend: There is nothing about my major that is easy. Here are a few reasons why.
1. C's DON'T get degrees.
In our college program courses, the lowest passing grade is a B-. If we earn a grade any lower than that, we are forced to drop from the program. If we drop the education program, we are not able to graduate with our licensure, and therefore not have the ability to have our own classroom. Our courses are intense, rigorous, and full of detailed information.
2. I have to meet the needs of 20+ individuals.
Every child learns differently. What works for one student may not work for another. As a teacher, it is challenging to accommodate my lesson to every student's different learning style. On top of that, some students may be behind, on, or above grade level. You do what you have to do because the needs of your students always come first.
3. My job does not end when I leave the classroom.
Not only do I take home assignments to grade and lessons to create, there are parents to contact, meetings to attend, preparing for the day before the students arrive at school, I could go on.
4. Having the summers off does not make my job any "easier" than yours.
I'll admit, it's a perk. But, I did not study for years to earn my degree just to have the summers off. I studied my a** off because I have a passion for what I do. The teachers that are solely there for the paycheck burn out within a short number of years. Many teachers, in fact, attend workshops and classes to extend their education over the summer.
5. I will, unfortunately, come across students who are abused or neglected.
There is no textbook that could ever prepare a teacher to emotionally handle and help a student who is verbally, sexually, or physically abused or neglected. As a professional, we have to remember that we have to keep our emotions out of the situation (which is nearly impossible) and do what is best for that child.
6. We have to put the safety of our students before anything else, always.
For that child who is acting out or misbehaving, there is always an answer why. These students can be distracting to their peers and take away from their learning. As frustrating as these students can be, they are the students that us teachers have to have the most patience with. Going off of number 4, it can hard to make judgment calls on sending emails home to parents about their child's behavior because you're afraid of how that abusive parent will react to the child.
7. The liability of teaching.
People neglect to realize the HUGE responsibilities of teachers.
8. Not knowing which grade you're going to be teaching.
I may have my heart set on teaching first grade, but if I'm asked to teach fifth grade, I must be flexible for the needs of the students and the needs of the school. Those two age groups are completely different and moving from grade level to grade level can be challenging.
Teaching is definitely a one-of-a-kind type of job. If you are not born with the passion and love for this profession, it's definitely one you will quickly burn out in. Please, do not underestimate the challenges we face. We love what we do more than anything else, so please do not sit back and say what we do is "easy" when most people wouldn't make it through one day.