The New Teacher's Perspective

After being interviewed by the school administration, the eager new teaching prospect said, "Let me see if I've got this right." "As a new teacher, you want me to go into that room with all those kids, and fill their every waking moment with a love for learning."

New Teacher's Response

And I'm supposed to instill a sense of pride in their ethnicity, modify their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse and even censor their t-shirt messages and dress habits.

As a new teacher, you want me to wage a war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, check their backpacks for weapons of mass destruction, and raise their self esteem.

You want me to teach them patriotism, good citizenship, sportsmanship, fair play, how to register to vote, how to balance a checkbook, and how to apply for a job.

As a new teacher, I am to check their heads for lice, maintain a safe environment, recognize signs of anti-social behavior, offer advice, write letters of recommendation for student employment and scholarships, encourage respect for the cultural diversity of others, and oh, make sure that I give the girls in my class fifty percent of my attention.

My new teacher contract requires me to work on my own time after school, evenings and weekends grading papers.

pensive woman

Also, I must spend my summer vacation, at my own expense, working toward advance certification and a Masters degree.

And on my own time as a new teacher you want me to attend committee and faculty meetings, PTA meetings, and participate in staff development training.

I am to be a paragon of virtue, larger than life, such that my very teaching presence will awe my students into being obedient and respectful of authority.

You want me to incorporate technology into the learning experience, monitor web sites, and relate personally with each student. That includes deciding who might be potentially dangerous and/or liable to commit a crime in school.

As a new teacher, I am to make sure all students pass the mandatory state exams, even those who don't come to school regularly or complete any of their assignments.

Plus, I am to make sure that all of the students with handicaps get an equal education regardless of the extent of their mental or physical handicap.

And like all teachers, I am to communicate regularly with the parents by letter, telephone, email, newsletter and report card.

All of this I am to do with just a piece of chalk, a computer, a few books, a bulletin board, a big smile AND on a starting salary that qualifies my family for food stamps!

AND, as a new teacher, you want me to do all of this and yet you expect me... NOT TO PRAY!!

Signs You are a New Teacher

You smile a lot when you are nervous or excited, and don't know what you're supposed to do.

You look forward to the weekends so you will have some time to prepare your lesson plans.

You refer to your students as "your kids".

You do not use the bathroom or each lunch during the school day.

Your friends and family complain to you, that you are starting to talk to them as if they are children.

boy with glasses thinking

Your speech patterns begin to include adolescent slang.

You don't understand why speaking with your students as if they are rational adults leads nowhere.

You say to yourself, "I'm never gonna have any kids".

Each day you consider quitting. Each night you cry yourself to sleep.

You cell phone is filled with photos of "your kids", and phone numbers of "their parents".

You have bravely, though regrettably, actually eaten some of the homemade baked cookies brought to school by your second graders.  "I made these myself!"

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