The role of the teacher has changed greatly over the past few decades. Teachers have to take on more and more responsibilities with fewer and fewer resources. Gone are the days where teachers only had to focus on content delivery. In today’s educational landscape, teachers take on a wide variety of roles and wear many different hats. It is important to note that our society rarely recognizes these other aspects of the job of an educator.
Here are 5 jobs that teachers do other than deliver content:
Teachers walk into school everyday, not always knowing what to expect. The lives of their students can be unpredictable, tumultuous, and chaotic. We have more and more children in poverty, more and more children who are homeless, so in highly impacted communities, the needs that teachers have to be responsive to the children. (Darling-Hammond, 2015). Teachers routinely need to counsel children on a variety of different issues including bullying, relationships, social interactions, home life, as well as academics.
We all know that teachers keep a safety kit in their classroom filled with band-aides and wipes. We can all accept that tending to minor cuts and scrapes are a part of the job. However, teachers often need to helps students without more serious medical issues including monitoring blood sugar for diabetic students, medication timing, and watching out for seizures. Some of these elements are daily fixtures in a teacher’s schedule and greatly impacts their schedule.
Teachers are routinely involved in fundraising for their students and school. When a candy drive is launched, you better believe that teachers are selling right along with their students. They also actively fundraise using other means such as Donorschoose.org and other online supports. Teachers also involve themselves in grant writing to secure funds for technology, social – emotional programs, and curriculum.
- IT Support
Most corporate companies have an IT expert on staff. Larger companies have a complete team of experts. While school districts might have an IT team, they are usually spread pretty thin. Most individual school sites do not have a person dedicated to IT. Therefore, it is up to individual teachers to troubleshoot and fix IT issues on the fly as it could be days before someone from the district can come in to fix the problem. With the variety of technology in classrooms, teachers must be able to troubleshoot issues on tablets, laptops, desktops, and web-based programs, as well as deal with less than adequate bandwidth and Wi-Fi strength.
Teachers often serve as surrogate parents for a few different reasons. Many teachers work with students who come from dysfunctional households where the parent or parents are not greatly involved with their child either due to work schedules or other issues such as a new baby or just lack of interest or knowledge. Some children come from families where one parent is incarcerated or that they live with grandparents or another family member other than their biological parents. Teachers must step in to model and teacher concepts that were once considered the job of the family such as manners, respect, responsibility, and empathy.
Dr. David Franklin, CEO of The Principal’s Desk, is an experienced school administrator, education professor, curriculum designer, and presenter. Dr. Franklin has presented at national and international education conferences as is available for school and district professional development sessions. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at www.principalsdesk.org.