“So what do you do?”
“Oh, I work in education” I said.
“Oh, so you must be getting the whole summer off soon then” he scoffed.
I took a deep breath and prepared for the conversation I had grown accustomed to over the last three years. I was at a train station and was on my way back from a night out. I was not in the mood for a tipsy stranger to piss over my career choice. Never the less, I attempted to remain as dignified as possible.
Don’t get me wrong, I adore my job but it is not what most people think. In fact, it can be general misconceptions about the field which can be hardest to face, without ‘accidentally’ smacking train passengers in the nose….
Here are five things you should NEVER say to someone who works in education.
1) “You get loads of holiday”
Whilst it may be true that staff are not teaching during school holidays there are still mountains of paper work to do. Reports, data collection and analysis, planning, marking etc. A teacher can easily work twelve plus hours a day during term time with often one day each weekend spent planning too.
Sassy train guy told me all professions require a lot of work and fair shout, but that doesn’t make the work load less. Easy solution- we’re all working our socks off, we all rock!
2) (Depending on your specialism) “That must be easy then.”
I get this a lot working in the primary sector and I know P.E staff in secondary schools also face the same thing. It is not easy and it is not just playing (although there is some play involved… you’d build a giant tower of blocks or a fort at work if you could too… right?)
3) “You can just pop into town.”
This seems like a very normal thing to do, naturally, but no. “Hello Miss Franklin” being yelled at me from other ends of aisles in my local supermarket haunts me. Everyone stares. It’s lovely to chat to families, but if you’re too far away to actually uphold any sort of conversation it’s just shouting and staring (and awkward waving on my part).
4) “You get loads of free stuff at the end of term.”
Yes, but we need all of the winez. Anyone who even has children will know, sometimes there is no logical response to the things children say. As much as this can brighten any day.
5) “Teaching must be so easy, you just follow the curriculum.”
Getting a child excited about topics they may have no interest in, different habitats for example, is no walk in the park (see what I did there? … I’ll see myself out).
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