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Please Just Let Me Teach



What if your ENTIRE teaching job was just that. Teaching. Sounds too good to be true? It shouldn't. A teacher's job is to focus on the curriculum, a good lesson plan, and helping students engage and learn. That is already a huge, challenging and interesting job. I love doing this. It is fun to watch students get "hooked" on your lesson and get excited to learn. What I don't love, and you probably don't either, is being asked to do way too many other tasks that are not for your classroom.


So, what takes away from this?


Being asked to do too many tasks outside of what you were hired for. You were hired to teach a specific curriculum, to a specific student group, for a very specific amount of time. If that is 100% of your job that is already a lot.


You may not, as a new hire, have known that you might also:


-Be on multiple after or before school committees

-Write/plan extended lesson plans for students that choose to leave for 6 weeks right around Christmas.

-Engage in fund raising for a school club

-Lead at least one school club

-Offer tutoring before school, after school or at lunch

-Leave your classroom for IEP meetings

-Leave your classroom to cover another teacher's classroom because the sub didn't show

-Get involved preparing for or being involved in school wide assemblies

-Meet with the counselor for another student/parent meeting that is in the middle of your

teaching and another teacher or administrator will cover for you

-Be expected to do yard duty and/or direct traffic at the school parking lot

-Attend multiple evening events at your school

-Grade/score schoolwide assessments



I am NOT suggesting that teachers should not participate in ANY of these additional responsibilities. I am suggesting that there are way too many of them and the cumulative effect is to drastically decrease the amount of time the the teacher has to do the original job of teaching.


My suggestion is to participate in a "reasonable" number of these additional activities but not so many that you feel overwhelmed and know that you and your students will suffer. If you are a new teacher and feel that your job is on the line if you do not participate in every activity that you're asked to do, consider discussing this with your principal. It's o.k. to say a polite "no" to the ones that are not in yours or your student's best interest because of the time taken away from your teaching. Any good principal will understand that you want to put your teaching first and should respect that.


Final Thought: It is common for teachers to get asked or feel pressure to do way too many things besides "teach." Teaching is already a HUGE job so it is fair and the right thing to do to stand up for yourself and limit outside activities if they are adding up to too, too much.





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