Packed into classrooms with far too many students, teachers are faced with limited resources, often dipping into their own funds to pay for basic classroom supplies. And teaching isn’t confined to the classroom; teachers also need to grade homework, develop lesson plans, conduct research, attend further education programmes, meet with staff and other personnel, and coordinate school activities. These tasks go above and beyond the hours of the school day, and many teachers also have to deal with added pressures like interacting with law enforcement and Child Services in the course of trying to serve and protect their students.
Teaching is not a 9-3:30 job with all the perks and benefits you could want. It’s exhausting, whether you’re working with kindergarten students or you’re adjunct faculty at an institution of higher learning. And, like other public employees, teachers are tied to the whipping post for problems with the system they work in when these problems are manifestly not their fault. Teachers are blamed for ‘poor student performance’ by people who have a hazy idea of what that even means, but seem to think it has something to do with standardised testing; there’s no thought to the fact that it might be hard for students to ‘perform’ if their schools are overcrowded, leaky, moldy, filled with garbage, hindered by overflowing and broken toilets, a lack of equipment, and poor maintenance. Apparently students can magically excel in schools that are literally falling apart, so long as they have the right teacher.