I have recently seen a post that goes its rounds about how hard teachers work. Here is the post:
“Every school in America has teachers working for free on a daily basis. Go by any school parking lot early in the morning, late in the afternoon, or even at night or on weekends, and you will see them. No overtime, no bonuses or promotions on the line- just doing it for their students! Teachers are using their free time, and often investing their own money, for children’s literacy, prosperity and future. Repost if you are a teacher, love a teacher, or appreciate a teacher.”
I am not trying to bash teachers, but I also do not believe their job is any more important than anyone else’s. I also do not think their job is any less than anyone else’s. They play a vital role in our communities, but then so does the mailman.
I will use my own husband as an example. My husband is a salaried worker in the construction field. He has put in 80 hours this week and will work tomorrow. He is out of town working and will not be home until tomorrow night. He will get home around 5-6 pm. He is dead tired. He will be back up on Monday morning at 3:15 am and will leave by 4 am so he can be on the job by 7 am. (An almost 3 hour drive) He’s been working Mondays from 7 am- 8 pm (and this means after he got up at 3:15 and drove almost 3 hours prior to working) and from Tues-Fri from 6 am to 8 pm every night. He is only being paid for 40 hours (expected to work 48).
He is making sure a building gets built properly so no one will perish in it because of faulty workmanship. He oversees the installation of electrical, HVAC, framers, plumbers, roofers, masons, painters, drywallers, pavers, graders, and landscapers. He must know how to read and fix blueprints, know everyone’s jobs and whether they are doing their job right.
He must deal with the city and feds in the form of permits, inspectors, and OSHA. He is responsible for every person working on his job site and their job performance.
He is also held accountable for anything that might go wrong and must make sure it gets fixed. His role is crucial for the well-being of those who are working in the building (their safety) and for those who will use the building he is erecting.
He also sometimes takes people to lunch on his own dime. He sometimes takes in coffee and donuts. If a group of painters are staying late to get some work done, he will buy them pizza out of his own pocket.These are expenses he does not get reimbursed for. These are expenses that can run into the hundreds of dollars per year that he pays out-of-pocket.
He works 255 days per year (280 if you add all the extra Saturdays). Teachers work an average of 200 days per year (225 if you count Saturdays). He does not get summers off, nor does he get a Christmas or Spring Break. He does not get overtime or promotions (he is at the top in his field where he wants to be, just like a teacher). I have seen tenured teachers whose pay is equal to or even much higher than his pay, even within our county. He does not have a guaranteed pension plan through the state (He has Social Security).
He also does not have to continue to go to school every so many years (thankfully! And I don’t think teachers should have to either!), though he has taken many classes over the years from the Builders Exchange in order to have accreditation in many areas of work. He has also taken CPR classes.
His work is mental and physical. He keeps a log book, takes pictures, and often catches up with paperwork in the evenings after work.
If you go by his job early in the morning, late in the afternoon, or late in the evening, chances are you will see him there- working for free so that he can not only get a building done on a timeline, but so that others can also work. He is contributing to the economy and to the prosperity and future of others.
My point being teachers may work hard and put in long hours, but so do many other people in other fields of importance. I am not trying to denigrate teachers, but most of them do not work that hard (physically), though I admit their job can be emotionally hard. I just think it is wrong to put some people in society up on a pedestal and think they are more valuable than others because of their job.
My husband’s work is not more valuable than a teacher’s, but it is also not less valuable than a teacher’s. Everyone who works hard deserves to be recognized for what they do. If one works in fast food, a warehouse, a factory, an office, at a school, in construction, in a hospital, a ditch, or a nursing home: YOUR JOB IS IMPORTANT. Our society could not work without your contribution. ALL jobs are important!!!! There are not tiers of importance in this country. Yes, some people get paid way more money (CEO’s, Actors, Sports figures) than what they are worth, but it is the Capitalistic way our country operates. I have no problem with this since these people are paid from money earned by the companies that hire them. What I have a problem with is when some people try to make one job sound more important than anyone else’s and worth more in (taxpayer) money than others. As I said, all are important- including teachers.
I can appreciate all the hours and work load a teacher puts into the students under their care, but I can also appreciate the 10 miles per day that my mailman must walk, whether in the rain, snow, sleet, or high heat of the day, while carrying a heavy pack on his shoulder. And mailmen do this six days most weeks. Mailmen deliver important things and are an important necessity.
Can we all agree that anyone who works, whether it is someone who cashes us out at the local burger joint, or the mailman who delivers our mail, or the teachers at the local schools (and homeschool moms!), or soldiers, that they all deserve our kudos for a job well-done and for keeping our lives running smoothly. I appreciate all hard-working people and find all of you deserving of a job well-done.
Thank you for letting me rant. My rant is over. 🙂