Ten common myths about teaching
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Educators discuss the nation’s biggest misconceptions about teachers and their profession
eSchool News recently asked readers: “If you could clear up one misconception about teachers and/or teaching, what would it be?” Our goal was not only to help others understand these misconceptions, but also to learn how teachers feel they are perceived by others.
Here are 10 misconceptions about teachers and teaching that emerged from readers (responses edited for brevity):
“One of my favorites is, ‘Those who can’t, teach.’ Teachers must be well educated in their field of study, of course, but that is only the beginning. Teachers need much pedagogical preparation on topics including educational psychology, classroom management, assessment, curriculum instruction, communication skills, and budgeting. And that is all before a teacher steps into a classroom. The requirements for a qualified teacher include all of the skills needed for the 21st-century workplace.” —Mary Montag, teacher, St. Teresa’s Academy
2. A teacher’s day ends at 3 p.m.
“The main misconception that I would like to see corrected is the belief that we all quit work at 3:00. My work day usually extends to 8 or 9 p.m., and I have to work on the weekends. On the days that I do leave the building at 3 p.m., I am taking my work home with me.” —Anonymous
“I would love to clear up one misconception about teaching: that teachers have an easy job, working 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. with summers and holidays off. The sad thing is that too many people become teachers for this very reason. The good teachers I know work before school starts and long after the students go home, and work all summer, too—taking classes and attending workshops to become a better teacher; working on developing activities, units, and lessons to help students learn better; and learning new skills to integrate technology into their classrooms.” —Pam Mackowski
“Contrary to popular belief, we do not have summers off. We spend them doing professional development and planning for the coming year—even more so if you are changing grade level or subject for the coming year. Also, we don’t stop working when that last bell rings—often we spend our evenings and weekends grading papers, planning lessons, and responding to parent eMails and phone calls.” —Susan J. Walton, computer teacher and technology coordinator, Academy of St. Adalbert, Ohio.
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