Secrets About Teachers You Probably Don't Know

Secrets About Teachers You Probably Don't Know

This is my fifth year in education, and I have learned so much in the past five school-years. At this point, nothing really surprises me anymore.

In these five years, I've interned at an Urban Title I high school, I student taught in an affluent rural high school, I've subbed in various schools(mainly Urban Title I), did a small teaching gig at a Catholic K-8 school, and I even did some time at an Urban Charter School. Needless to say, I've pretty much seen every demographic there is to see when it comes to teaching.

What shocks me more than the kids, administrators, and parents, are the teachers themselves. If you think teachers are a bunch of Ron Clarks who are passionate about their career, and are innocent little angels praising God on Heaven's doorsteps, you're definitely mistaken. As a matter of fact, walking into your average teacher's lounge(which my school doesn't have, oddly) is like walking into a family feud at times. It gets ugly, and is another piece to the puzzle in the dismal burnout rate for teachers.

Before I begin, keep in mind, my experiences have primarily been in high schools(grades 9-12). I've spent a decent amount of time with Jr. High School students(7th, and 8th grade), but only a fraction of time with elementary ages(K-6). So, this is mainly from the high school teacher's perspective, and as always, I'm going from what I notice about most teachers I've came across. I should also mention that my experiences are exclusively here in the United States of America(in one state-Ohio).

In this Take, I'll discuss some secrets that I betcha' didn't know 'bout teachers....

Secret: Teachers Actually DO Gossip About Students

Secrets About Teachers You Probably Don't Know

If you thought the gossip was bad in school, you should hear it from the teacher's point of view.

I've heard teacher's literally make fun of students for the way they act, look, their academic performance, etc. I've heard teachers gossip about the students' personal problems, medical problems, behavioral problems, and the list goes on. There have been times I've been disgusted with how some teachers talk about other students to be honest. In my opinion, it's highly unprofessional, and there are consequences at times for these actions. There have been teachers wrote-up, scolded, and even terminated because of their student-bashing.

I do gossip about students to other teachers, but it's light gossip. It's more on who is dating who, who is working where, and who is playing what sport-type of gossip.

Secret: Teachers Recognize Student Cliques Quite Easily

Secrets About Teachers You Probably Don't Know

Did you ever wonder if teachers realized you were the unpopular nerdy kid with no friends? Unfortunately, we do notice that, as well as every other bully who hated you. Little did you know there was another reason to hate your life in high school.

This shouldn't be too surprising at this point, given I've already mentioned our gossiping habits. I know which students belong in their cliques quite well: The Tier 1 Sports Jocks, the Tier 2 sports jocks, the nerds, the geeks, the gamers, the goths, the kids who hang out in a group with no stereotypical clique, the loners(who decide to form a small clique within each other), etc.

Nobody is safe as a high schooler.

Secret: Teachers Have Cliques Within Themselves

Secrets About Teachers You Probably Don't Know

I remember in my first year of college, I was disappointed to find out there were just as many cliques among traditional college students as their were among high school students. I remember working low-wage jobs outside of my current career, and noticing cliques, but I just brushed that off as a situation with po' folk with nothing else to do. I remember telling myself it would get better in my career field-which it did, a little bit.

Unfortunately, I'm surprised at how cliquey teachers can be(it's especially a problem in suburban schools). In some schools, it's solely by department(math, English, science, social studies, fine arts, etc.). In others, it's about seniority(all the new teachers stick together, while the veterans hang out together). Either way, it creates a toxic work environment. I've noticed this within other careers, but why does it have to carry on to teachers? Aren't we supposed to be the ones who try to diffuse cliques?

I've never been the type who falls into one type of clique, and I'm disappointed to see my colleagues fall into this.

Secret: Teachers hate being called down to the principal's office too.

Secrets About Teachers You Probably Don't Know

When you're a kid, or a teenager, it's easy to think all of the adults stick together in a hive mentality, and pick on the kids. As Pink Floyd told, "teachers, leave them kids alone."

Perhaps the line should include a "oh, and principals, quit bullying teachers" because principals will often lay the foot down on their teachers more than the students. I was personally bullied by a principal at my former school last year(long story), and has since been harassed by my current principal. It's almost as if administration is out to get the teachers, and is cited as a huge reason why teachers quit. And if you're a teacher in his/her first five years, it's going to be brutal, because many seasoned veteran principals don't remember what it's like to be young, and fresh out of college. I have the impression school administration is bought out by the corrupt political system, and it allows them to abuse their power.

Secret: Teachers don't necessarily like the content they teach

Secrets About Teachers You Probably Don't Know

The words "what the fuck?" probably just ran through your head, but allow me to elaborate here.

You may not have heard, but in 2009, the United States of America adopted the Common Core State Sandards(CCSS), which is basically a subtle way of saying the government will control what we teach, how we want to teach it, and exactly the way they want us to teach it. In other words, many teachers are essentially following a scripted curriculum(which is a huge problem here in Ohio).

Now, there is another side to this: Some teachers actually do hate their content, regardless of how well it's controlled. They hate the subjects they teach at times. I've known teachers who only teach to be a coach for the school they're in, or pick an "easy" subject to teach so they have more time at home.

School is becoming less about the content, and more about the testing anyway.

Secret: Many Teachers actually hate their jobs

Secrets About Teachers You Probably Don't Know

This is the last "secret" I'll share, because it's the reality many people don't want to admit: Not only do many teachers hate their job, there are now more teachers who hate their job than there has ever been.

It's boiling down to some of the things I already mentioned in this MyTake: A toxic work environment, possessive administration, a lack of freedom, a nonsensical content, the salary, student behavior, and other factors I won't go into. It's trickling down to a poor quality of life-in an economy where families still struggle just to make it to the next paycheck.

I'm part of the 45-55 percent of teachers who don't currently like my job.

What other questions, or concerns do you have about teachers? Let me know in the comments below.


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Most Helpful Guys

  • I teach at a private school.

    Secret: Teachers Actually DO Gossip About Students
    Yep, sad but true.

    Secret: Teachers Recognize Student Cliques Quite Easily
    Cliques haven't really solidified in the age group that I teach, but I do see them forming. I'm very good at spotting which students will be bullied.

    Secret: Teachers hate being called down to the principal's office too.
    WE DO!!! My reasons are different than yours. I've not been bullied or harassed by any principal. The reason I don't like it is it's usually a huge waste of time.

    Secret: Teachers don't necessarily like the content they teach
    I dislike the focus California has on its mission system in the 4th grade.

    Secret: Many Teachers actually hate their jobs
    At my school, that isn't true. I'd say 2/3 to 3/4 love their jobs, but I realize this isn't the norm. As for those who hate their jobs, I wish to God they would leave. They make my job that much harder.

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    • I've noticed private school teachers tend to like their jobs more for some reason. Is the the freedom they get?

    • Show All
    • That's bizarre to me. From my experience, private schools have the least supportive parents.

      Do you teach at a religious private school?

    • I teach at a non-parochial school.

  • I know I wouldn't have the mental capacity to work with kids so whenever I see a high school teacher, whether they like their job or if they're trying, my hat's off to them. I prefer working with graduates or a more dedicated group of undergrads.

    From the work environment perspective, you raise a good point - the cliques of new blood and veterans. As a supervisor, I encourage everyone to talk to everyone at work, I don't like seeing the kind of 'grouping' that would potentially lead to a toxic work environment. Fortunately, everyone understands this without telling them, so that makes it much easier.

    Is it more so the content (which is nonsensical to you), the work environment or the kids that make you hate teaching?

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    • Out of the three factors you listed, the student behavior is my biggest stress factor, and it's the only reason I hate my job at times. I should mention I teach at one of the lowest ranked high schools in the entire state of Ohio, and we have some of the most severe behavior issues in the state as well (our school is under watch by the state). I literally go through chaotic behaviors (breaking up fights, throwing things, making excessively loud noises, etc.) on a daily basis, and it wears me down.

      Overall, I wouldn't mind it as much, if it wasn't for the fact administration rarely has your back anymore. I would say administration and the "big shots"(higher-ups) are the MAIN reason why so many teachers quit within their first five years.

Most Helpful Girls

  • I’m not a teacher, nor do I plan to be. But my mother has that experience. The teachers there are so obnoxious, of course some nice- but too many are rude. The school doesn’t truly care about the kids and she’s putting her job on the line to help fix the system. She is trying to make kids feel safe in school, the school doesn’t like that though. I know this sounds very biased, and I can’t deny that, but I feel as if my mother truly cares about the kids. She considers what they really need. Like not homework to disrupt their out of school life. Please as a teacher, be kind to students, crazy kids don’t need yelling- they need someone to understand, don’t give homework, make kids feel safe, give them room for mistakes, show them you make mistakes, don’t sugarcoat, etc. understand truly what is helpful and what is not.

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    • Thanks for the input. I feel sorry for your mom.

      Yeah, I'm one of the coolest teachers in our school, but we also have severe behavior issues as well. We're definitely an abnormal school.

    • Its great to be an abnormal school, I feel that it helps people realize there’s not a one size fits all thing going on in school. Keep being a cool teacher!

  • During high school i knew the teachers gossiped about me and i had a lot of problems going on so that made me feel even more uncomfortable and they didn’t understand the situation so they made it much worst than it actually was. I have had teachers give me attitude and such. Props to you to stand away from that bad crowd.

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    • Interestingly enough, I had a feeling some of the teachers I had in high school gossiped about me too. I remember some teachers would subtle notice my unpopularity in high school. For example, one teacher told me "If you get a Prom date, that would make someone like YOU really happy, right?" Well, with the way she put that, it insinuated I was never popular, and that would have been a bizarre anomaly in my life. It's not hard to read between the lines.

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What Girls & Guys Said

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  • Teachers are no smarter and no more mature than the children they pretend to educate? Sorry, but this is not a secret. Everybody knows.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CDaflxJJ0g

    If you were really smart, they wouldn't let you teach.

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    • "If you were really smart, they wouldn't let you teach."

      I'm not following your logic here. If anything, you shouldn't be teaching if you're not smart in the subject area you teach in.

    • Yes, of course they want people who are well versed in their own narrow field of expertise.

      Like an idiot savant.

      Who they don't want teaching is somebody who's actually capable of seeing through the indoctrination and teaching the kids about how the world REALLY works, who REALLY owns everything and who REALLY makes the rules that govern all our lives.

      If you ever go to your cupboard and read the back of any package, where there's a little paragraph all about the History of the company and the product you're holding, that is basically what teachers teach and what students are graded on knowing: company History, written by the company, from the company's perspective, all about how good the company is and how much you can trust them, because they're your friends.

      That's what gets taught in schools. Pure, base propaganda. Nothing else. Just pablum.

      That's the reason why there are certain families and groups of families around the world, in banking, in government, in industry, and in Academia who have been able to STAY IN POWER for centuries, and keep gathering more and more power to themselves and building more and more layers of protection and insulation between themselves and the rest of the world, why they're able to dictate which economies grow and which crash, which nations go to war and which ones win and lose. They steer the world like a car and the only thing that teachers teach in schools is, "how to buckle up and go along for the ride."

  • These aren't really secrets. I was aware of all those things, except for the principle one.

    Teachers hate other teachers too, which I guess goes under the "cliques" category.

    A couple more I would add are, "YES! Teachers DO in fact play favorites. There are students they love and students they hate" And they're really sneaky in extracting information from you about your views, troubles or family problems.

    I've also met a few who've had a criminal background or had criminals in their family.

    Most college and university instructors also have little or no knowledge outside their field, but this isn't really a secret or all that surprising.

    One last thing I will add, which is the one that shocked me and my parents the most, "Teachers TELL LIES and CHEAT" like everyone else.
    I noticed this from my Nepalese math teacher. He said, "I'm gonna travel to all these countries over 6 months", than only went to his native Nepal. He even admitted to cheating on tests at school, and said he even forged a certificate and lied about his age and background, to land a paid position as a tutor and part time instructor.

    Another teacher claims to have a teaching job in Poland, even though schools are on vacation at the time he goes there. And he also freeloads off people. Visiting them in their countries, but never inviting THEM and always looking for someone to fund his travels.

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  • Tbh most kids know how messy teachers and the education system is. I think that's why a lot of students don't respect adults that much now. They know at the end of the day people, in general, can just be shitty. This was interesting though, thank you.

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  • Oh, these are no secrets sweetie. Many students are aware of how garbage their administration/faculty system is😂😂😂

    I am a teacher myself, but I teach kids how make and decorate deserts 😂 I’m so glad I’ve never had to deal with real high school bs. I considered teaching in one of those but I learned that would have been a mistake... and it’s not because of the students 😬

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  • I think this only surprising given where you are in your career. You could say something very similar about any workplace. I don't see why I would or should expect teachers to act any differently from any other humans, gossiping about the clients, laugh ing at clients problems, fearing a trip to see the boss. It all sounds very normal behaviour ( note I am not saying it is ethical, just common)

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    • Because teachers are usually stereotyped to be "passionate, caring, and humble" within all aspects of life.

    • Sure I get that. Same as doctors, nurses etc. Maybe it's an age thing but at 40 years old, I know people are people. Same shit different job, different country. People assume a value set on teachers and some nurses and teachers even claim it. But come on. Be real.

  • I thought all of this was obvious. I'm a senior in high school. Especially teachers hating what they teach.

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    • It’s all true. I’ve been a teacher since 2016 and woah is this true!!

    • It's interesting to see that high school students notice this.

      When I was a senior in high school, I knew there were teachers who didn't care for their content, and I knew they gossiped about others , but I was oblivious to some things (i. e. the principal vs teacher feuds, the political climate, cliques, etc.).

    • Oh no haha. It's pretty obvious. Teachers are like certified high school students ;)

  • It’s nice to read this firstly clarified some misunderstanding I might have.

    I understand now and you’ve honestly put it out there.

    Lol I don’t understand the relevance of the first picture above;) naughty though it is ;)

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  • Great Take!.. Although much of this didn't really surprise me.. I've witnessed some of this stuff myself.. I mean some teachers used to literally cuss the students out in 10 minute long rants.. LMAO.. Ever since 7th grade I knew teachers wasn't these squeaky clean, instructors who just love they jobs.. In fact I don't doubt some students favor students over others for various reasons.. Probably got crushes on some students.. LOL..

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  • I have noticed a monumental upswing in female teachers having sex with/screwing around with students. Have you been able to determine reasoning for this during your time behind the screen?

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    • I'm not entirely sure to be honest. As far as I know, I've never came across a female teacher who has these thoughts. I would think that some people go into teaching BECAUSE they can prey on minors though, which is a little disturbing.

      I have noticed my female colleagues give me more attention than any other females have in my lifetime. Maybe they're just more desperate? Lol.

  • I that sometimes you need to take a different mind set when it comes to education to actually educate people.

    I came from a fairly strict education standard that pretty much dictates everything from text books to tests and topics to even exercises and homework. It's a perfect clone engine approach to education.

    What I can tell you is that it works. Not the best system but it's functional. It forces the students to study. It forces the teacher to teach at least the bare minimum.

    For example, my math teacher had a teaching method that is probably the most boring, stupid and really easy to follow.

    He had a notebook, he would copy everything from that notebook to the blackboard. Everyone would copy the stuff on the blackboard down. He would then read out loud the stuff on the blackboard with human language. He would repeat the exact same thing for all of his classes for 10 years.

    He would give the same test questions with only minor changes in every single tests.

    His moto would be "memorize". Yeah, you don't have to learn anything, just memorize by repeatedly doing the exact same thing over and over.

    Before the "national" level standardized tests. He would take out the tests for the last 10 years or so and repeatedly make everyone redo them until you can do it without thinking.

    I would forget most of the stuff he taught but it didn't stop me from learning mathematics later in my life. What I really got from him wasn't the stuff he taught but rather his approach "Pass the stupid tests like a machine then you worry about the rest"

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  • Just making an opinion so I can read this later and from what I read I agree with you teachers are snobby and not as nice as they seem. When I was in high school a woman teacher tried to pick on me and I yelled at her and I got mad one day a shoved her.

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  • I was a teacher aid for a few teachers for 4 years. I couldn't believe the bullshit I heard lmfao

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  • Oh thank God, I'm so glad you realize this because so many idiot people don't. When I was in high school I had so much of that drama going on. I even had teachers and adults being jealous of their students and I was one of them. For nothing. They are good teachers and are bad teachers. The worst of them all is the principal. Once you get the principal that is all screwed up, they affect everybody in that school. It caused me to become extremely toxic as well as other people and every student wanted to leave the school. I just thank God I was able to get out of there before it was too late, cuz I wouldn't end up having to drop out and get a GED for no reason.

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  • Sadly, none of this surprised me. It's not really all that different from working in a cube farm - the difference being that they talk about kids, instead of their peers or "the IT department" :)

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  • My father is an English teacher. LITERALLY all he does is gossip about his students.

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  • Yeah I already knew some of this stuff.
    One teacher I had realized I was that nerdy kid who knew women about as well as I knew the US tax code, and she purposely kept sitting me next to girls who she thought were single during class rotations.
    They know, and some of them like to have games with it.

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  • I disrespected pretty much all of my teachers unintentionally, as I didn't care much for the trashy curriculum and that they unreasonably demanded attantion for it.

    On these grounds, I never felt unsafe, but enjoyed what could be enjoyed about highschool.

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  • I probably wouldn't have known any of this growing up, but I've now gotten a deeper understanding of people, and none of this surprises me anymore.

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  • Yep I've noticed those vibes glad I went with my gut. You could just tell by their body language. Plus they don't like their pay and have to pay for their own school supplies.

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  • I think those are not secrets, they are people like everybody else.

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  • Yes , one of my daughters is a teacher, they are year 8if I'm right. but like you sayit the politics, and gossip.
    My only attempt at teaching was a metal work course average age 18. To my surprise the second year I was doing it we had girls in the class , mainly interested in gas welding. This is wear I realised how much the girls knew to my surprise the girls were better at doing I than the lads. I had one young lady called Joann. Great looking and brains to go with it. All the lads called me sir but not Joann she used my first name. You call me by my first name why can't I do the same. Could question that so I told her. I am not going into what she got up to but it made my Time that year v ery pleasuresble...

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  • Like most people, I had good teachers and bad teachers (and a lot of mediocre ones) over the years. One guy in particular I remember (fortunately, though he was a regular teacher, I only had him as a short-term replacement for a couple weeks when the regular was sick) had major little-man syndrome. He was about 5'4 and even as the skinny kid I was could have whupped his ass, but he strutted around like some bad-ass biker and gruffly mocked students.

    Another teacher I had was one of those coaches who had to teach at least one none-PE class, and he was not a sharp man. A couple of times he told us things that most of us knew were factually wrong, and it seemed the students were actually embarrassed for him - he was a very nice man and likeable personally.

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  • All of it is true, but at the end they did something for us thats why we have success in our lives

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  • Good thing I actually found good teachers (though it does take some searching and many of them lived centuries ago)

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  • In college as the same teacher teaches more than one subject you can ususaly see pretty well the one he's passionate about and the one he was forced to take

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  • Most of my high school teachers had the life suck out of them over the years and typically spoke in one continuous monotonous voice. 😂

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    • Did you go to a high school with a large population of students in poverty? If so, that would explain this.

      Title I schools (just a fancy way of saying "poor" schools) often have the most behavior issues, which cause a huge burnout among teachers. On top of this, they often get the youngest, and least experienced teachers, meaning the quality of instruction is terrible.

    • Nah, mostly blue collar middle class folks. I did have a physics professor who was 88 years old and taught my aunt and uncle though. He had the yearbooks to prove it. 😂

  • I’ve always known teachers gossiped, they’re people to. Question is which teacher wants to fuck their students 👀

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    • I don't care what anyone says, most high school male teachers find SOME of the 17-19 year old female students physically attractive. Now, does this give any teacher the right to act on their urges? Absolutely not. But when people act "surprised" that a 25-30 year old teacher wants to have sex with a young adult (let's say 18 year old), I have to laugh.

      I do think it's disturbing that there are teacher-student sex scandals where adults are having sexual relationships with 11-14 year olds though. That's fucked up on any level.

  • In other words, teachers are like everyone else. Whowouldathought?

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  • Uh duh of course teachers gossip about students. Why would anyone think otherwise? And talking about their students' behavioral problems isn't gossip-- it's potentially extremely relevant to their ability to do their job, if someone's going to be an asshole in class. I disagree that that constitutes "gossip." And why wouldn't there be cliques (also known as "friend groups," something entirely normal to have) amongst teachers as well? They're human, aren't they? That's what humans do-- get into social groups that they can identify with.

    I appreciate everything you've written here but none of it is surprising. Is it supposed to be?

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  • This is why we must develope technology that will feed information into our brains!!!

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  • I can confirm every one of these from my own experience as well.

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  • Well, my teachers likely didn't discuss me. I highly doubt it. If they did — good riddance.

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  • Very interesting, I kind of already know teachers hate their job and what they teach.

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  • The most important myth was not discussed; the myth that teachers are underpaid.

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    • That's not really a "myth"; that's an opinion.

      In my opinion, teachers are overpaid as a whole. My district pays well, but I can't speak for other states, districts, or the private sector.

  • I am a teacher and everything stated here is true.

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  • Damn I hate teachers lol

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  • 😭😭😭🤣shame on u

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  • Interesting mytake!

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  • Nice

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  • Meah. That girl has a nice ass.

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  • wow. interesting kiddo

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  • Sounds like every other work environment.

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  • Nice

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  • l don't even care

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  • Don't forget this one.

    Female teachers fuck students WAY MORE than male teachers fuck students.

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  • My wife quit her job of 13 years because she wasn't in the principal's little clique

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  • We homeschool our kids mostly because of how bad schools are and how little teachers care.

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  • Yup. And those quality fuckers are who largely determine your future.

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  • Do you have any idea about people who work for teach for America as teachers? Can you tell me about them in case you have interacted with them before or know about them?

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    • I actually have two co-workers who are part of Teach For America, and I've came across a handful of people who have worked for that organization. I hear mixed reviews about the organization.

      I know most programs require their teachers to teach for at least five years in the SAME school. And if that someone doesn't make it all five years (even if it isn't fault via candidate), than that teacher's "grant" turns into an ugly student loan.

      From what my alma mater (Miami University in Ohio) told me, it's a bad idea because many teachers often get laid off within their first five years, and they have to pay back ANOTHER student loan.

    • Wow! I did not know that. Thanks for your insights.

    • What are the things you would want to change about public education if you are given the power to do so?

  • quit lol that simple

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