[OR “I Should Have Been a Bus Driver”]
So I’m at a conference for career development in the 21st Century, feeling a little out of my league with high school guidance counselors, Area Education Agency personnel, and some fine folks from the Department of Ed. It’s a great conference, offered as a one credit class, and I am LEARNING SO MUCH! 🙂 Anyway, I find myself sitting in a session where we’re invited to log in as students into a career exploration site. Naturally, I visit the elementary version.
Yeah. Here’s the thing. People who do not KNOW elementary kids and teachers should probably not try to write curriculum for them.
Well, I go about answering some of the “interest survey” questions and guess what? Education is not even one of the “Career Paths” offered to me. Whoa. At this point I’m somewhat concerned that I have totally misjudged my talents for the past sixteen years, but I reassure myself that this was the elementary version and only had like maybe 20 questions to judge interests. Must be a fluke, right?
[By the way, I went through another route and found the “elementary teacher” information. Can’t begin to describe how appalled I was to see the LAST line as quoted by a cute little puppy character say, “I know my ABCs and I like to tell stories. I would like helping students learn.” Um. Yeah. That’s EXACTLY how I spent my four years of college and my master’s thesis work–learning my ABCs and telling stories. *Sigh*]
Anyway, in a different session, I think, “Well, let’s give the MIDDLE-HIGH SCHOOL version a try.” I log on as a student, navigate to the interest survey, and proceed to answer about 100 questions. Seriously, about 100. Went on FOREVER, asking questions such as “Do you like to build cabinets?” <No> “Would you like to help a doctor?” <No> “Would you like to teach children to READ?” <YES!>
“School Bus” by ImageMD on Flickr
Guess what? I had 49 possible careers that matched my interests.
Not ONE was a teacher.
However, apparently I’m interested in DRIVING THE BUS. [NOT kidding]
Oh, and a “teacher’s assistant” DID show up as well. Another *sigh.*
I’m going to the DMV tomorrow to apply for my CDL license and I’m asking my colleges for a refund on all that tuition $$.
So, once again, I go through the BACKDOOR to get to elementary teacher and find the list of “Elementary School Teacher: What They Do.” Geez, no wonder I didn’t get this as an option. This job would
suck not be fun. Here’s the EXACT list (emphasis mine)**:
- Prepares reports on students as required by the school.
- Prepares course objectives and outlines, following curriculum guidelines set by the school or state.
- Administers standardized tests and interprets results to determine students’ strengths and weaknesses.
- Lectures, demonstrates, and uses audiovisual aids and computers to present subject matter to classes.
- Teaches rules of conduct and maintains order.
- Counsels pupils when behavior or academic problems arise, and meets with parents when necessary.
- Adapts teaching methods and instructional materials to meet students’ varying needs and interests.
- Assigns and grades class work and homework.
- Helps in school libraries, monitors halls and cafeterias and helps with bus loading and unloading.
- Sponsors extracurricular activities such as clubs, student organizations and academic contests.
Seriously. If that’s what I do all day, somebody shoot me now. Sure, I do a lot of
that crap those things, but geez, could you make it anymore cold or clinical? Did they even CONSULT an ACTUAL elementary teacher? Or did they think we had our hands full with ABCs and telling stories?
So, what say you?
Let’s make a LIST of what ACTUAL elementary teachers do.
What would YOU put on the list?
**Oh, and high school teachers, guidance counselors, and the Department of Ed, please don’t put TOO much stock in those career development sites. They may be great ways to INTRODUCE and EXPLORE these topics, but let’s not label and track kids based on them. Kids don’t fit into neat little business formulas.