It's Disgusting That We Expect Anyone To Go Into Education Anymore
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It's Disgusting That We Expect Anyone To Go Into Education Anymore

People need to see that things are not okay and that they haven't been for a long time.

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It's Disgusting That We Expect Anyone To Go Into Education Anymore
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Teaching is a full-time job, kids. You can't show up acting like Cameron Diaz in "Bad Teacher." You (typically) work from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day. You get a half hour for lunch at best. You get about an hour for "free period," which actually means you're working on grading assignments or tests, preparing for upcoming meetings or conferences, researching new teaching techniques or tricks, going over notes for the next class, or maybe finding fun activities online if you truly have nothing to do (which never happens).

In your typical work day, you have to see and deal with horrible, heartbreaking things. You see kids who aren't being fed or taken care of at home. You see kids who are physically abused. You see kids who are emotionally abused. You see kids who are sexually abused. And those are just the kids who don't know how to hide it.

You see kids who aren't receiving the medication they need. You see kids who have to act as caregivers for their siblings because their parent(s) won't do it themselves. You see kids who don't have clothes that fit. You see kids with clothes that have been handed down so many times that you can barely call them clothes anymore. You see kids whose families can't afford food but are expected to have school supplies.

And you have to somehow put all of that aside, every day, and give all of your students a "normal" environment that they can feel relaxed, comfortable and safe enough in to actually learn. You have to keep them engaged and entertained and make learning fun for them just so they have something to look forward to every day. You have to teach them how to appropriately socialize and interact with other people because they aren't learning proper behaviors at home.

To add to these stresses teachers face, they are treated like they're worthless. Salaries have been and are still being cut across the country. Health insurance packages have become unhelpful and, frankly, just plain ridiculous. For example, my mom is a special education teacher with a master's degree (plus six credits every five years) and our health insurance won't cover any form of vision. I'll repeat that for you: a teacher's health insurance will not cover any form of vision. So basically, teachers who need glasses are told, "Tough luck" and have to teach children without being able to see properly.

My mom, my brother and I all need glasses. My glasses cost between $500 and $700 alone. So consider being a single parent with two kids and you all needing glasses. The average annual salary for a special education teacher in the state of Michigan according to teachingdegree.org is just over $59,000. That's under $5,000 a month. After paying the bills for our home, cars, TV, phones, electricity, gas, water, insurance, food, taxes and everything else people have to pay for, where do you get the money to pay for glasses? Whose glasses do you get first? What do you cut out of your budget that has already been cut time and time again? Which bill do you not pay that month so you can afford glasses?

It's also worth noting that teachers don't only have to have bachelor's degrees. They have to go back to school for their master's degree. And then every five years, they have to go back and take another six credits worth of courses to stay "up to date." Who pays for those credits? Not the schools they work for, usually, so that comes out of pocket, too. And with all of the changes to teachers' health insurance plans and general salary cuts over the last few years, I don't know a single teacher who could have ends meet on their own without having some form of secondary income.

It's disgusting that we expect anyone to go into education anymore. People need to see that things are not okay and that they haven't been for a long time. We need to start doing things that make this world a better place. And we weed to start making it so the next generation will be educated enough to make the world a better place, too.


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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