Friday, 10 August 2012

Respecting and Supporting Teachers

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This morning, my husband, a teacher by profession, got a call from a parent asking him to assist her child with SBA (it was suppose to be done, before school went on holidays, but he wasted time). Let me say here that teachers are on 'vacation'. I immediately remembered while I was home, on two occasions, I heard two different parents talked about they couldn't wait for the holidays over to 'get rid of' their children and the holidays of teachers being so long. 

How come teachers can have a child for 9 months during the year, for most of the day if I should add and  a parent cannot seem to be able to stand their child/children for 2 little months? I guess only teachers can have that question or parents can understand it, but as a teacher I am baffled. I am baffled at the parent who called my husband bright and early this morning to get him to come down school to assist her child with SBA, even though I understand he might need some extra help. It is just that being a teacher myself, I get the impression that many think that the 2 months holiday is too long or when you are on it you have nothing else to do but think about when the time will end so that you can go back to teach. I feel deeply that many persons do not understand the job of a teacher and the workload the position carries.

Let me share who a teacher is and what a teacher does based on my personal experience.

We are teachers whose work does not end at 3pm when we might leave school. There is not enough time in the hours given on the job to carry out the job description, which includes lesson plans, teaching, disciplining,counselling, marking and club/sporting duties etc. We are also parents to these very children. I remembered distinctly one parents' day, I spoke to a parent about her son, seeking some assistance from the mother of the child in disciplining the child, the mother instead asked for my help as the teenager would reach in the house at night though school finishes at 3pm. I realised then that I had more power than the parent as she begged me please to help her. I also found out that there are students who trust, respect and listen to teachers more than their own parents. Believe it or not. The things we have to listen to and counsel these students about and the encouragement a good teacher would give to motivate their students to excel, some parents never give to their children. 

Still there are times, when parents come with their child on their child's words without even seeking the entire truth from both sides, ready to 'beat up' teachers, our salaries are still small and the 'vacation' given throughout the year still seems too much for us. About that vacation, I choose to put it inverted commas because at any time we can be called during that time for workshops etc. It is not really ours. We are still expected to apply for our true vacation, but we are expected to apply when school is out. Aren't we then restricted? Hmmm.That is not an issue still. What I would request though is respect and support for teachers and when school is out, give us the time to spend with OUR families with no interruptions.