The Truth About Teachers

truth about teachers

I’m going to tell you the truth about teachers. But first, let me go backwards a little bit.

A few weeks ago, someone posted a comment to a post on my blog. I didn’t let it go through because I would have had to go all cray-zay on the person, who was just making a comment and couldn’t know how defensive I am about teachers. Here was part of the comment:

I think the job title label of ‘Teacher’ should be replaced with the word ‘Trainer’. 99% of Public School Teachers, goodness bless them, are well-meaning and worthy of our respect. But, they’re mostly just….. mediocre.

Mediocre. You don’t say.


Coincidentally, I had taken this picture just a few days earlier:


I came upon this teacher when I was at the TAGT conference in San Antonio. What’s she doing? Browsing the cute clothes in an awesome booth in the exhibit hall? Grabbing a fab lunch at the steak house downstairs? Chillin’ with her colleagues?


She was grading papers. Alone.

I asked if I could take her picture, and she said yes. She is just one, but she represents all.

The truth about teachers is that she is alone here, but she’s not alone in that this is how teachers are.

Mediocre. Yep. This is how mediocre most teachers are:

  • 56% have at least one advanced degree
  • they work an average of 50 hours a week, at least 10 hours unpaid
  • 88% of Americans report having a teacher who strongly impacted their life
  • the average teacher reaches over 3,000 students during the course of a career
  • they spend 1.5 billion dollars a year of their own money on school supplies
  • 67% of teachers buy snacks for their students
  • more than half of teachers have paid for field trips for students who otherwise couldn’t go

Sometimes, they even pick a spouse for them, as in the case of this sweet couple whom I fixed up when they were in 10th grade in 2006 and who just got married in November.


And they do this in an environment that could only be described as hostile.

They constantly face budget cuts.

Every action is dissected and judged by people who never, ever have done for ten minutes what they do.

Politicians order them to teach to tests the politicians themselves could likely not pass. Just sayin’.

Curriculum is in constant flux. Common Core, anyone?

Students are becoming more and more disrespectful, and parents seem to be on Defcon 1 (nuclear war is imminent) unreasonably often. {Can y’all just stand down?}

So, go ahead, tell me more about how teachers are mediocre. I’m listening.

Not really.

If you are a teacher, you go! You are rockin’ it.

Lions don’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep, so go ahead and roar.

You are a paper-gradin’, snack-givin’, lesson-plannin’, kid-lovin’ god and you are awesome.

If you’re mediocre, give me mediocre. The world needs more of it.

And that’s the truth about teachers.





If you want to read more about what is amazing about teachers, you may like 5 Crazy Laws of Teaching.

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