What People Think Teaching Is vs. What It Actually Is…

Many people believe teaching is an “easy job” where we have fun teaching all day and work shorter hours than your average 9-5 office job.


Many people believe teaching is an “easy job” where we have fun teaching all day and work shorter hours than your average 9-5 office job. If this is true, then why do 44% of teachers leave the profession within the first five years? There are plenty of misconceptions out there, so we’ve decided to narrow it down and write about a few mix-ups about teaching that we find hilarious.

1. Teachers begin work at 8:00am and finish at 3:00pm.

As a rule of thumb, if the bell rings for class at 8:00am you will find majority of teachers in their classrooms at least an hour earlier setting up learning activities and teaching resources. We have regular staff meetings before school, which means we need to be at school much earlier. When the bell rings at 3:00pm, we spend our afternoons marking, entering data and planning for our upcoming lessons. Anyone who has worked a school before knows that our working hours often far exceed 7 hours each day.

2. We have fun all day

Don’t get me wrong, I love working with children and we laugh together throughout the day, but our job is much more stressful than many other jobs. As teachers, we don’t spend all day playing games with our students. We are on a strict schedule to meet specific outcomes and the games and activities our students are involved in are centred around an actual learning outcome that requires careful thought, preparation and data to see if the learning was effective. Some days, there are plenty of tears and tantrums and our behaviour management strategies don’t always work. When selecting a teacher resource, we must think carefully about if it matches our students’ abilities whilst still being a little bit of a challenge. We are constantly preparing assessment tasks and marking 30 books at any one time. It’s definitely not all fun and games.

3. We decide what and how to teach.

Lots of thought, planning and effort goes into our lessons. In modern times, teachers don’t have the luxury of teaching whatever our hearts desire. Whilst we don’t have the choice of exactly WHAT to teach; we sometimes make decisions about HOW to teach content, activities and lessons that build up to an assessment. However, if we are teaching children with learning difficulties, then we must move away from our preferred teaching style, thus, we don’t always decide how to teach. Many teachers are passionate about something happening in the world doesn’t mean we can always teach it if it doesn’t relate to the curriculum or it’s not appropriate for specific year levels.

With this in mind, if you’re searching for websites for teachers then you should visit the Resources for Teaching website (https://resourcesforteaching.com.au). They have lots of useful materials for educators, parents and students that are aligned to the Australian curriculum and easy to incorporate into your lessons.

The author is a writer who often publishes articles on health and education for their readers online. She also manages a website that offers a range of teaching resources online. Visit https://resourcesforteaching.com.au/ for more information.



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