Teaching is one of the most popular professions worldwide. After all, most of us had to go through a teacher’s instructions at some point in our lives. This makes teaching an invaluable profession in every community.
And while the profession was highly respected in the past, our modern societies have little regard for the profession. That said, this is highly debated in various circles as some maintain the opinion that teaching remains as respectable as any other profession.
This article will look at why the majority of teachers believe the profession is disrespected in our modern societies.
Why Teachers Are Disrespected In Society
It’s sad to imagine that the profession that helps mold upcoming generations to become productive members of society, may be disrespected by the same society. The question however remains why teachers believe the profession is disrespected.
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While some teachers go through the necessary training to become professional teachers, the profession is more often seen as a fallback career in society. It’s seen as a job people only choose when all their preferred career options fail them.
Unfortunately, this argument is hard to completely refute as some teachers enter the profession only as a fail-safe.
Not Considered A Profession
Doctors, nurses, firefighters, and others are easily seen as professionals. However, teaching is not considered a profession in some aspects. While a doctor would need a qualification and license to practice, teaching is now delivered in various forms, eliminating the need for a license except in classroom environments.
Anyone with some experience or knowledge on any topic can now simply create courses online and start enrolling students. While these are referred to as teachers, they do not possess the necessary qualification, training, or license.
This leads to the debate about the teaching profession in various circles. Teachers outside official academic settings are sometimes bound by no real regulations. Unfortunately, any negative publicity they receive still imparts the profession so long as they’re referred to as teachers.
While cases of people engaged in relationships with underage students have been reported in the media, such incidents, in the case of teachers, can lead to very negative consequences for both the teacher involved as well as the profession.
Not only can the teacher face jail time or even lose their teaching license, the general public opinion on the teaching profession is also impacted. And with publicly reported incidence of teacher-student relationships, teachers are held in suspicion.
This is especially true for male teachers who are easily seen as predators by society, resulting in a significant decrease in the overall number of male teachers at the K-12 level of education.
After all, who wants to go to work and have the parents of their students view them with suspicion? Should a student make any false accusation, the teacher stands to lose more than their jobs including their teaching licenses and their reputation.
While teacher payments differ based on the respective state or region of the world, teachers on average make less than their peers in comparable fields. According to the Economic Policy Institute, public school teachers nationally make about 19% less than employees in commensurate professions.
While some parents may involve themselves in the education of their children, busy parents sometimes expect teachers to do their jobs as well. They end up criticizing teachers for their children’s lack of manners or discipline, completely ignoring the fact that this remains their responsibility.
While schools may include some level of childcare, they serve a different purpose, and teachers responsible for children should be treated as such. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case parents sometimes treat teachers as babysitters, especially those at the early childhood level.
Busy parents would simply bring their kids to school just to be rid of them for some time as well as to avoid paying for a babysitter. Parents sometimes send their clearly sick children to school to avoid missing work.
Teachers in this case are expected to take care of the needs of a classroom full of children while also taking care of the sick child. Even in cases where the parents are alerted of the child’s condition, they end up arguing with teachers over coming back to school to get their children.
Some also enroll their children in after-school programs simply to get some time away from their children. While the teacher’s job is to train the student, the parent simply wants a less expensive babysitter which develops the mentality that the teacher’s job is to serve as a babysitter.
“Teaching Is A Calling” Mentality
There’s a general misconception that teaching is a calling and that teachers only join the profession just for the love of teaching. This couldn’t be far from the truth as people enter the teaching profession not simply for the love of teaching but to make a living.
Someone might choose to become a doctor or lawyer because they love the profession. This doesn’t mean they don’t want to be paid well for the work they love. No one would want to become a doctor if they couldn’t make a living out of doing the job.
The same goes for teachers as they also need to put food on the table. While they might love the profession, no teacher would join the profession simply for the love of it especially when they need to put food on the table.
Female Dominated Profession
Unlike professions like engineering, or military jobs that are seen as manly jobs, the teaching profession is seen as unmanly as it’s dominated by females. Teaching is no longer fashionable, especially at the K-12 levels of education.
Powerless To Discipline Students
Teaching in the past simply included a room and books for students. Children were required to read, listen, and work to learn the lesson that their teachers had prepared.
Children who didn’t behave or study were typically expelled from school, either by the teacher who didn’t have time to deal with them or by the parents who believed their children would be better off working as laborers than getting into mischief at school.
Teachers had some form of control over disciplining students in the class. They could discipline students by sending students to stand in the corner, kneel, or even a smack on the hand with a ruler.
Today, these are all considered dark ages remedies and teachers are almost powerless to discipline students. Fear of repercussions not only from the school but humiliation from an angry parent or even physical assault serves as a deterrent to discipline students.
There’re regulations meant to protect students in every way which leaves teachers walking on eggshells as mistakenly brushing against a student could be considered assault which can lead to the end of a promising career.
Flexible Work Schedule
Teaching is seen as an easy profession that anyone can do especially since they simply stand and talk for a few hours during the day. The general perception is that teachers don’t spend as much time at work compared to other 9 to 5 professions.
This myth couldn’t be farther from the truth as teachers spend their days researching and developing lesson plans, setting questions, marking scripts, teaching classes, and more.
Even when they go home teachers carry their work home and spend any free time they get, grading scripts or preparing assessments for their students and the various classes they may be teaching.