In a recent post, I made an offhand comment about how it doesn't make economic sense to work as a teacher, that getting paid $20,000 year with a college degree isn't enough.
Then I read this New York Times article about a national teacher shortage and its effects on the education system.
With my degree, I am a good candidate to teach. It's a possibility. But it's hard to describe the frustration inherent in teaching jobs. It is rewarding to get to know and mentor many young people.
"It’s challenging to teach in these high-needs schools," said Mark Jewell, president of the local teachers union. "These new teachers will have a trial by fire, and then it’ll be a revolving door."
In my last semester of teaching at the University of Arizona, I had a class that was super-receptive, involved, interested, and that gave me super-high evaluation scores. Yet the expectation to perform, to plan activities for forty-plus people, to grade, and develop young people with no real assessment other than seeing a student "get a little brighter" is just difficult. It's a "grind" -- that's the word.
Add to that the No Child Left Behind rules, which must double or triple the stress of an already-stressful job, it's no wonder the turnover rate for teachers is so high.
And it's hard to listen to one's own voice pontificating day after day. It really is.