Ten common myths about teaching

2. A teacher’s day ends at 3 p.m.

“The main misconception that I would like to see corrected is the belief that we all quit work at 3:00. My work day usually extends to 8 or 9 p.m., and I have to work on the weekends. On the days that I do leave the building at 3 p.m., I am taking my work home with me.” —Anonymous

“I would love to clear up one misconception about teaching: that teachers have an easy job, working 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. with summers and holidays off. The sad thing is that too many people become teachers for this very reason. The good teachers I know work before school starts and long after the students go home, and work all summer, too—taking classes and attending workshops to become a better teacher; working on developing activities, units, and lessons to help students learn better; and learning new skills to integrate technology into their classrooms.” —Pam Mackowski

3. Teachers get their summers off.

“Misconception: Teachers only work nine months of the year and get summers off, so the salaries they’re paid should reflect that.” —Carol K. Schmoock, assistant executive director of program services, Tennessee Education Association

“Contrary to popular belief, we do not have summers off. We spend them doing professional development and planning for the coming year—even more so if you are changing grade level or subject for the coming year. Also, we don’t stop working when that last bell rings—often we spend our evenings and weekends grading papers, planning lessons, and responding to parent eMails and phone calls.” —Susan J. Walton, computer teacher and technology coordinator, Academy of St. Adalbert, Ohio

Meris Stansbury

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