When it comes to teachers, it seems like a lot of people outside of the industry have their own ideas about what they think a teacher is or what a teacher does. From common stereotypes to general assumptions, those myths about teachers just won’t seem to go away!
Luckily we’re here to bust those myths and set the record straight…
1. Teachers have a short day that ends at 3pm
While official teaching hours may seem well below average, any teacher will tell you that their work is never left in the classroom. Often marking and grading is taken home, and lesson planning will need to be done in the evenings and at weekends (Sunday nights tend to be extra busy!) Not to mention the time that is spent decorating classrooms, getting up to speed with changes in the curriculum and any extra tutoring that is needed outside of lesson hours.
2. Teachers are always on holiday
A lot of people think that teachers have the whole summer off and endless weeks of holiday in between, but this is simply not the case. A large portion of the summer holidays will be spent planning for the academic year ahead, attending teaching events and reading up on any changes they should be aware of. Teachers will also often attend workshops and events to help with their teaching practices and methodology which means that there is often little time left for themselves!
3. A good teacher means that students are guaranteed high scores
This is a common misconception which is often echoed by parents. In actual fact, teachers only have so much control over students’ achieving high grades. Therefore it is more realistic to look at teachers as facilitators – they provide the right environment, materials and guidance but it is essentially up to the student to choose what they do with that. However, something that teachers can control is how they guide their students and they are certainly able to give their students the confidence and self-belief to succeed.
4. Teachers are just there to make students learn
Teachers are with students during some of the most important years of their lives. Therefore it’s only natural that they will have an impact on their personal development as well. They can instil import traits such as respect, good manners and kindness. Teachers often ensure that students aren’t afraid of failure and let them see that there is an opportunity to try again and learn from mistakes. They can build up students’ confidence, boost their self-esteem and guide them towards personal goals. They can also teach them the art of decision-making which remains important long after they’ve left school.
5. Teachers live in the classroom
Is this one for real you ask? There is a myth that teachers actually live in the classroom (or inside the supply cupboard according to some elementary school students!) This is more a case of students not being able to imagine their teacher outside of the classroom and other people may also forget to separate the two. In reality, a teacher is just like any other person working in a demanding profession with a family, friends, hobbies and a social life.
6. Teachers don’t like change
It can be said that teachers are not open to new developments or are scared of change. However, teachers are highly innovative and often lead the way in terms of new technology in the classroom. In fact, 93% of teachers* are now using some form of instructional technology in their lessons and are quick to adapt to the rapidly changing classroom environment. Collaborative tools such as Spiral can help teachers incorporate technology into their lessons as the applications are easy to use and facilitate a more engaged style of learning.
7. It’s easy to teach
Anyone can teach right? Technically yes, but there’s a lot more to it than that. There’s a difference between being able to teach and being a great teacher. Teaching requires patience, multi-tasking capabilities, excellent organization skills and the ability to communicate and manage relationships with the students, parents and other teachers. All of that combined with always having to be full of energy, switched on and maximizing the use of resources – not so easy after all!
Do you have any teacher myths that you would like to add? Tweet us at @SpiralEducation and let us know!