What is in a teacher’s job description?
Without really tallying up how much teachers should get paid (I’ll save that for another post), have you ever thought about the different roles we need to perform in a day? From the moment the children enter the classroom each day we need to switch from role to role depending on what is happening in the lives of the children at that any particular moment.
Many people don’t know, and probably don’t remember, what it is like in a classroom with children on a minute by minute basis. As parents, think what it is like during one day in the life of your family, from waking up to going to sleep. Teaching is very similar to that, times 25!
The following information was taken from America’s Job Exchange. I looked at this posting and said to myself, “Self, is this what I do in a day?” I answered myself and said, “Yes, yes it is, but so much more!”
Responsible for instructing students in an elementary school from grades K-5. Creates lesson plans, administers praise and constructive criticism, instructs students on subjects such as science, literature, and math, and creates a well-rounded, comprehensive instructional program.
- Create instructional resources for use in the classroom.
- Plan, prepare and deliver instructional activities
- Create positive educational climate for students to learn in.
- Meet course and school-wide student performance goals.
- Participate in ongoing training sessions.
- Create lesson plans and modify accordingly throughout the year.
- Maintain grade books.
- Grade papers and perform other administrative duties as needed.
- Write grant proposals to gain funding for further research.
- Create projects designed to enhance lectures.
- Read and stay abreast of current topics in education.
- Create lesson plans.
- Utilize various curriculum resources.
- Integrate competencies, goals, and objectives into lesson plans.
- Utilize curricula that reflect the diverse educational, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds of the students served.
- Develop incentives to keep participants in class.
- Develop professional relationships with other agencies and programs.
- Utilize public library resources.
- Work with program coordinators to ensure initiatives are being met.
- Tutor students on an individual basis.
- Establish and communicate clear objectives for all learning activities.
- Prepare and distribute required reports.
- Observe and evaluate student’s performance.
- Manage student behavior in the classroom by invoking approved disciplinary procedures.
If only parents, students, and administrators would realize, teaching is not just curriculum disbursement. It is not just record keeping and assessment. If I was able to perform everything in the above mentioned teachers’ job description in a day, and only that, there would be a whole other side of the teaching experience ignored.
Roles in a Teacher’s Job Description
1. Air Ground Traffic Controller– Bureau of Labor Statistics– $60/hr Walking in the hallway, directing students to where they need to be at any time, lining up, noise control, classroom coordinator of jobs, crowd control during heavy traffic. Have you ever lost half of your class as you were heading to an assembly or lunch? Is this in a teacher’s job description?
2. Judge/Jury/Sentencing– Bureau of Labor Statistics– $50/hr Listening to both sides of a story, knowledge of state laws, knowledge of school policies and classroom rules. I should wear my graduation robe all day because it feels like I need to listen to stories all day! Is this in a teacher’s job description?
3. Psychologists/Counsellor– Bureau of Labor Statistics– $33/hr Children can be so cruel to each other, counselors need to mend the broken hearts. Most of their little skirmishes are misunderstandings that they neglected to talk about with their adversary. Is this in a teacher’s job description?
4. Law Enforcement– Bureau of Labor Statistics– $28/hr Patrolling hallways, cafeterias, playground, and classrooms, enforcing school and classroom policies. I have a favorite quote, “OFF WITH THEIR HEAD!!” (from the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland movie) when I begin my role as the cop! The detective in me comes out at the first mystery, “Someone stole my pencil!” Is this in a teacher’s job description?
5. Nurse Practitioners–Nurse Practitioner– $50/hr diagnosing illnesses, bandage installer, hand washing, determining when last bowel movement was which will eliminate most of the the other duties. One time a student came up to my desk and said, “I don’t feel well.” and promptly vomited on my very crowded desk!!!! I had to throw away a couple of teacher editions, my plan book and grade book!! Is this in a teacher’s job description?
6. Coach/Umpire– Bureau of Labor Statistics– $76/day Knowledge of rules of every single game you can think of, dispensing words of encouragement, teaching good sportsmanship,
7. Human Resource Manager– Bureau of Labor Statistics– $48/hr Managing absenteeism by taking attendance and passing excuses to administration, distribution of classroom rewards earned, assess job performance of students.
8. Administrative Assistant– Bureau of Labor Statistics– $17/hr Record keeping of assignments and assessments, communications with administrations and parents, keeping track of things- anything- misplaced items, etc. “Who did their homework?” “Who is buying lunch?” I need to email about 4 parents each day, while clarifying questions from those parents with school administrators and secretaries. Is this in a teacher’s job description?
9 Technology Specialist– Bureau of Labor Statistics– $60/hr Day to day use and maintenance of classroom technology- computer, document camera, promethean board, FM system, wrestling with the copy machine, phone repair, searching for the one just right lesson for tomorrow, updating my class web page. Is this in a teacher’s job description?
10. Teacher– Bureau of Labor Statistics– $53,000/year Oh, do I have to do more?
11. Transportation Coordinator (also known as Travel Agent)- Bureau of Labor Statistics $16/hr Directing which students go where after school- bus, parent pick-up, child care, after school clubs.
I once had a boy who didn’t particularly like school. He decided it would be better at home. I had delivered the class to the library when I was paged to the office. This child had left the library, gone out the side door, walked all the way home, to be brought back by his mother. Oh, my!!!!!
Or the student who went home on the bus but was supposed to go to child care. Or the student who fell asleep on the bus and didn’t get off the bus at their bus stop, with parents freaking out!!!! Is this in a teacher’s job description?
12. Maintenance Coordinator– Bureau of Labor Statistics– $17/hr Directing students to clean inside desks every couple of days, cleaning up messes around desks hourly, cleaning up toys, scouring tops of desks. A quick tip, I use shaving cream to have the use as finger paint to clean their desks. It’s just soap! I wipe their desks after it disappears. Is this in a teacher’s job description?
13. Entertainer– Bureau of Labor Statistics– $21/hr Presenting content in a fun and meaningful way, cheering up sad students, keeping students awake, keeping a straight face when I spy a peculiar behavior. It seems like it’s a song and dance during some lessons!
Although these “extra” jobs we do are not in our job description, they are sometimes the best times of a teacher’s day! It is these small interactions that reveal what the children are really like. These are also necessary activities we need to do to keep the little ones safe.
I wouldn’t trade my job for any other, except the job of a retiree!!!!
I know there are many other roles we take on in the classroom. Please share the ones that come to mind.