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Thursday, 30 June 2011

Do teachers work harder than anyone else..?

ok so that is a questin that is deliberately going to incite some responses! but that is what I felt listening to the radio this morning. ooohh, listeing to the radio gets me annoyed sometimes. Today I heard a (striking) teacher banging on about how hard teachers work and how they should be rewarded for that. Now I am not about to disagree with her, of course the majority of teachers work hard and they are doing a fantastic job with ourn children (my kids school is brilliant and we and they love it). However what annoyed me was the fact that she implied teachers were owed more of a return because of how hard they work compared to others. So does that mean someone who works in Tesco, or a farmer, does not work as hard as a teacher? and therefore should not receive as good a pension becuase their work is not seen as worthwhile? Where would we be without shops to buy our food?

Some teaching we have been doing at church recently looks at our giftings and how God can use all of us. The message being that God needs people everywhere. Ok, so a teacher, doctor or policeman might feel their job is worthwhile on one level, but actually we need people to do everything. From cleaners to shop workers, teachers to library staff, policemen to funeral directors. At the risk of sounding like a communist (!) I don't think there are professions that are 'better' than others. One can work just as hard stacking shelves as being a driving instructor, they just use different skills and different muscles!

Not all of us are able to give medical assistance, not all of us are able to grow our own food, not all of us have the capacity to teach, not all of us are called to be Vicars...  But I'd like to see how the country would run without any of them...

BTW I am not commenting on the strike action, but the points put across on the radio on behalf of teachers.

6 comments:

Anita said...

I guess a hardworking teacher works as hard as a hardworking anybody. However, they have disproportionate influence on a society because of their role in educating and training the young.

Suem said...

I think teachers face quite a demanding workload and role, but then again we get regular holidays. Of course we do some preparation and marking during them, but they are still a great perk - especially for parents of school aged children.

A friend of mine who went from business into teaching said it was more intense during term time - but then with the respite of holidays. Also, working hard at something you love is not as much "hard work" as doing less in a job you hate, or that bores you - and lots of professions work hard, and so do stay at home mums - and they are sometimes treated as if they are just on vacation!

I think the pensions in general are a real worrry. Companies started closing their pension schemes well over a decade ago; many people had no idea how to provide for their old age and had no confidence in pensions after companies such as Equitable Life going belly up. The Government should work to encourage us all to invest in pensions and give us incentives - or else individuals and employers will not pay in and we will see poverty in old age increase with all the problems that go along with that!

margaretkiaora said...

I did work hard when I was a teacher,every night and much of Saturday. BUT I didnt work much in my School Holidays except for catching up with jobs around the house.

When I was at home with my 3 under 5s I worked all day every day often with little sleep.

Now I am retired I have time to see how hard everyone else works- my vicar who never seems to stop, my daughter working and looking after 2 very lively small boys and going to bed at 9pm as she is so tired. I see my aged parent taking 3 hours to get ready for our trips to Tescos , and the workers on the building site next door working from 8am to 5 pm with just a short meal break at lunchtime .
We did 2 Thessalonians 3v6-13 last night, so our homegroup are resolving to take it on board .We like to think St Paul was good at tentmaking- and St Peter at Fishing.
We all need the skills of others. I joined ATL because I thought they were a union who never went on strike. I am very disappointed that they did today.

Thecurateswife said...

My husband used to say I was only the person he married for about 2 weeks in the middle of the summer holidays when I worked as a full time primary teacher. I was either winding down - usually with some throat infection - or gearing up for term. It's the constant multi-tasking for a lot of children - much like looking after a family but you have to prove to the world you are teaching them effectively. It's different to many other types of work - because you can't put it down and leave it for a moment. I found it pretty life consuming until I went part time and discovered there was life outside the classroom.

Red said...

Hi guys
thanks for all your comments. It's interesting as I am both the daughter and grandaughter of ambitious teachers! My mum, particularly, worked very hard and in fact eventually left through ill-health, from over work and stress. However I think as you mention the holidays do balance it out. Sue i think you are aright, its probably more intense during term time but then you get a break in the hols.
I guess I am alos looking at it against being in ministry. The Vicars I know work incredibly long and demanding hours, with the emotional input too and yet the best they get is a few weeks off each year and if they are lucky a sabbatical every 10 years.

I do agree about pensions in general though. I think it will be a real problem when our generation gets to that age. As people live longer we will require more care for the elderly and its unlikley that they will be able to cover the costs of their own care through their pensions. My Nan spent 6 years in her care home. thats a lot of money!
Hpwver at the same time I dont have a problem with the age of working increasing, becuase it is in line with current medical standards. we do live longer than our predecessors so it makes sense really.
be interesting to see where it all goes with the teachers. could be setting a precedent..

Thecurateswife said...

Comparing ministry with teaching is interesting as we do both in our family. The difference I suppose, is that my husband can say no to some appointments and he has to manage his time effectively. Many vicars don't realise that they can say no - especially after an emotionally draining event (funerals particularly. As wife of, I am getting good at seeing the warning signs and I suggest that he puts some meetings aside. He does not always see how drained he is.A teacher carries on to the end of term and then flops!