The Best Job in Education?


It’s time we get to the bottom of this age-old question that has been hashed and rehashed in teachers’ lounges for the last 100 years (or it’s just something I think about… hard to tell).

Who has the best job in education?The Mystery of the Best Job in Education.

I’m talking about K-12 education, so college professors who “work” 3 hours a day twice a week don’t count (let the emails begin… please include “Don’t Forget We Have Office Hours” in the subject line… ).  I can almost hear my readership on college campuses plummeting.

Who has the best job is a very difficult question.

An easier question is who has the worst job.  I could get to the bottom of this in a matter of minutes (by minutes I mean seconds).

I can ask anyone who works for a school who has the worst job, and they will all say the same thing. 

“I do.”  

Everyone thinks their job is the most difficult and demanding in education.  And the world.  And universe.  And whatever is bigger than the universe.

Since this question is easily answered, we can focus on who has the best job.

Personally, I think a job where you sit at home and blog about nothing (not in a tie, unshaven, and holding a certain unnamed handsome beagle) would be the absolutely best job in education.

Unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be an economic possibility (since this unnamed beagle eats a LOT… which is understandable because he needs his strength to… well, nap all day… and sleep all night).

To understand who has the best job in education (which isn’t easy because it’s an enigma wrapped in a riddle tucked in a conundrum), I’ve decided to break it down by position.

First up are Athletic Directors.  This can’t be the best job because fans get angry when the AD hires a bad referee.  Of course, this statement assumes there are good referees (sorry, coaching flashback).  Plus they spend way too much time in a gymnasium.  You can only lean on a wall or sit in the bleachers for so long before your back hurts.

Bookkeepers can’t have the best job because there is far too much responsibility with way too much money (hopefully they have money to worry about…).  Plus employees of the district get SO upset when their paychecks are a few weeks late.

Coaches get fired.  A lot.  And if they don’t get fired this year, it’s very likely they will be fired next year.  So they can’t have the best job because they may not have a job by the time they are done reading this.

Custodians.  Vomit and toilets (individually not too bad, but together they make a horrific partnership).  Enough said on this subject (until a few sentences from now).

Dean of Students.  This job is similar to being a principal, but without any of the good parts (this assumes there are good parts).

Lunch Ladies have to feed hundreds of children who don’t like what they are serving.  This is especially true when the food is green.  Plus, you have to wear a hair net.  Not a good look.

Maintenance Man.  No chance.  Kids break things and while that provides a certain amount of job security, it happens so frequently this job is work.

Principal.  No way.  People yell at the principal and then threaten to sue.  Vomit and/or toilets would be a step up. 

The School Nurse is out because vomit is the least of their troubles.  Illness (Hello, Swine Flu) and huge amounts of responsibility takes them out of the running.

Secretaries are in charge of… well everything.  Definitely not the best job but certainly a candidate for the most challenging job.

Superintendent.  Nope.  You can throw this job in the same category as bookkeepers.  Lots of money (if all is going well) and a ton of responsibility.  Plus, they get paid a lot, so people don’t like them.

Teachers have students in their classrooms all day.  Enough said.  I don’t think I even need to talk about the shear number of papers they have to grade.

Technology People.  I don’t think so.  If a staff member has a computer/printer/SmartBoard/projector/anything electric and it’s not working… they want the Tech Person driven out to the middle of nowhere and left for dead.  If people want you killed, this officially takes you out of the running for the best job.

Substitute teachers.  Get serious.  Students who hate school get excited when there is a sub.  Not a good sign.  It’s hard enough controlling kids when you know their names.

All of these positions have issues that disqualifies them from receiving the title of Best Job in Education.

So if not these, which job is the Best in Education?

Easy.

It’s a no brainer.

Assistant Superintendent.

This is without a doubt (like I have a clue) the absolute Best Job in Education.

Why?

Two reasons.  One, who knows what this person looks like?  And two, who knows what this person does?

They are ghosts.

Enigmas if you will.

They work for the school… or do they?

They are seldom seen or heard (again, let the emails begin… please include “You Have No Idea How Hard I Work” in the subject line).

You know who hates this person?

Nobody.

Absolutely nobody.

This qualifies them (easily) as the winner of the Best Job in Education.

No matter what job you hold… Have a Happy Thanksgiving and a Great Holiday Season!

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Maybe It’s Not the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. But It Should Be.


It’s that time of year.

The honeymoon is over.

The fat lady hasn’t sung, but she is warming up (is this an insult to fat or skinny people??).

If you work at a school it’s very likely that your patience is getting shorter, shorter, and/or gone.

We’re a long way away from the happiness the beginning of school brings and an even longer way from the next sweet sweet summer vacation.

It’s too early to start the year-end countdown (although I’m willing to bet each and every reader can name the person in their school that will start the countdown… usually by January 1) and it’s too late to remember how restful last summer was.Do You Ever Feel Like You're Getting Buried.

Each year fall arrives and brings a special feeling I like to call “I’ve Got to Find a New Job” or “I Hate Everyone Shorter Than 4’10”” or “I Should Have Been a ________________ (fill in your dream occupation here).”

This feeling is so recognizable.

It has an unmistakable look.  A sort of fake smile (or grimace).  There’s also an overall brooding.

This time of year, every school has employees who absolutely hate their job, their class, their school, and anything resembling a child.  It’s like every family has a crazy person (and if you think your family doesn’t… that means it’s you).

In general, teachers are tired.  They are beginning to feel like they are getting buried.

To compound the problem, parents have also had it.

And Principals need a vacation.

Notice I didn’t mention students.  That’s because they aren’t infected with this feeling, but they are carriers.

If the general malaise of the school year isn’t bad enough, we have two major catastrophes headed our way (and I use the word catastrophe in the best possible way).

The holidays and testing.

Thanksgiving, Christmas and Festivus (and any other holidays you may or may not celebrate) ruin November and December (I use ruin in the nicest way possible).

Actually the holidays aren’t so bad, but the music stinks (I hate those holiday songs… every last one of them).

Testing gives us all a giant noogie around March and April (I use giant noogie instead of a kick in the …).

These events (and 20 more just like them) are exhausting.

There is no other way to say it… working in education is flat-out tiring.

People who have regular jobs don’t understand this.  They get less time off than we do, so it’s hard to relate to our working conditions.

Educating students is draining.

That being said, I think we can often be our own worst enemy.  It’s easy to fall into the trap where we think our jobs are harder and more stressful than any other profession.

They aren’t.

Being an educator is hard.  It’s just not that hard.

Lawyers, doctors, trash collectors, waitresses, construction workers, welders and everyone else (if they are lucky enough to be employed in this day and age) also have difficult jobs.

It’s not just us.

It’s not just our class.

It’s not just our school.

It’s not just this year’s parents.

Shockingly, it’s not even the administrators (at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).

All jobs, when done correctly are difficult, time-consuming and tiring.

Teaching (or anything in education) is no different.

I don’t think we are wrong in pointing out the challenges we face.  I just think we are wrong when we throw ourselves a pity party.

Maybe this year’s class is more difficult than usual.

Maybe they don’t listen or aren’t as respectful as they should be.  Our job(s) is to make them better.  At least a little better before we send them on to their next grade level (if we send them on… and if they are really bad… they are so getting sent on…).

Administrators face some of the same challenges.  Maybe our employees aren’t all perfect.  Our job is to help them improve.

If it was easy, everybody would go into education.

And we don’t want that.

Because if that happens, they just might figure out how good we really have it.

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Disclaimer

While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.