Can you say unpaid overtime?

That’s in reference to teachers and the sometimes obscene amounts of time they put in outside of the normal workday. Granted, my sample group is only two people. I put more work into Rhiannon’s teaching job than I do my own sometimes. At least that’s what it feels like. I will admit, she’s the over-acheiver everything-has-to-be-perfect personality and this is her first job, so she doesn’t have files and resources and lesson plans socked away for when things get busy.

I realize that teachers grade assignments outside of school. I’ve also heard people say that if teachers expect kids to do work outside of school as homework, then they should be willing to do the same. I’m also pretty confident some of these people site at their jobs and count the minutes until they can go home and not think about work until the next day. But there are some teachers who put in way more work than any student would dream about.

So why do teachers do it? The standard is answer is that you don’t go into teaching for the money. Honestly, that’s probably better in the long run. There are some jobs you can half-ass and get through just to make a buck. Teaching isn’t one of them. I don’t have kids, but if I did, you can be sure I wouldn’t want them to be with someone who doesn’t care every day of the week. Growing up I had teachers who were getting close to retirement and you could tell they were to the point of just putting in the time. They didn’t do anything new, didn’t learn anything themselves, and generally didn’t care; the sad part is that is was painfully obvious. On the other hand, I had some older teachers who were wonderful and used their years of experience and knowledge to reach as many students as they could. Those are the people who put in too much time in school and take too much home with them.

And those are the people who the U.S. needs in charge of our youth. Thank you to all the teachers who do the things I know I never could.