Who has the Harder Job?

The building known as school is respected very greatly by most people, respected by officials, by parents, by guardians, etc. But, to whom does this much respect go to? Certainly not the building. So then we asked a kid and he said “The students of course, for their hard work, who bring the fame for the school.” But when we asked an official, she said “The teachers/administrators because of their dedication in espousing knowledge.” And we were left with a perplexing question as to who has the harder job, students or teachers?

In the beginning itself, I start off declaring that the following claims are made from a neutral perspective before anyone concludes that a seventeen year old, a student, will obviously support other students. In truth, I have actually been a part of both worlds for many years and speak from a conscience of one leg here and the other there. And I have to say that its a tough debate, but the winner is pretty distinct in the end.

Let’s start with teachers. And let’s start being honest: it’s not easy working around kids. Each one has a separate nature and talent which the teacher has to accommodate to. Sometimes kids are unwilling to listen, sometimes emotional, sometimes too excited; they’re each an endless dictionary of definitions each describing their unique selves. And the teacher has to memorize them all; it’s definitely a challenge.

But…the same analysis can hold true for students as well. Every year, they get a new set of teachers…..each with their own personalities and thoughts and concerns. And the student has to act accordingly depending on the class. Last year’s Lit teacher expects a different style than this year’s. And to get that A, you have to rebuild your strategies in surviving this year….and multiply it times six(or seven) to accommodate each class. For this teacher, you must use Edmodo, and for her, handwriting matters, and for him it’s all about binder organization…….it’s a laundry load of expectations each year despite the actual studies.

Studies……now the heat’s really going to start.

Every school wants to do well and it tries its best to get its kids achieving high. Teachers are paid to do their job….that is….. ‘Enlighten kids.’ Hours are put into lesson plans; sometimes teachers don’t have proper lunch time, or spend their evenings grading essays or tests. And if you look at numbers, even thinking about it is frightful: 130 kids per teacher is like 130 essays, or 130 research papers, or projects…….it’s a tough chunk of their TV time or family time.

But students may even have it worse. Deadlines from seven classes. At least teachers grade only in one or two subjects, and they’re good and fast at it too…..from the years of training school. But kids are learning and trying…..and that effort is painful, especially with deadlines lurking over their heartbeats faster than even the clock ticks. Teachers don’t really have super strict deadlines; things are just due once every six weeks or so. And I’ve even seen some teachers outlaw that rule and take their own sweet time. But then they make things due every week for students……who don’t get extensions or even smiley faces. Even worse…..students get this dialogue: “I’m only preparing you all for the real world.” Excuse my neutrality for just a minute…..but nothing is more frustrating than that comment, especially when they’re sitting behind no time crunch.

Then there’s the holidays. See, in other sectors of the work force,  winter holidays can be taken pretty generously….two, even maybe three weeks. But teachers are stuck to a maximum of two weeks; it’s definitely a time constraint for travels. But at least they have a break. Students are officially at home, but still bound by homework, projects, assessments, etc. Teachers will be like, “ Just read this ten page packet, or do this fun video project, or study for this test……” And they justify it saying that the work only takes a portion of the entire break. What they forget is that its that portion multiplied by seven, and with each teacher adding their amounts, there is no more break. Obviously…..students take the major strife here.

And despite hearing all this, a final argument for teachers would say that “We went through all that turmoil too and thus we have the right for these teacher privileges now.” And they think they’ve won the case, but that statement only strengthens the kids’ arguments: so it was a turmoil for them as students…..it is hard work, it is a fight to keep striving every minute, pleasing every teacher, doing well on in fluxing assessments……that at the end of day when the bell rings, for the teacher to realize that she/he can go home….. But for the student it’s an alarm to restart their motivation for another 4, 5, 6, or all-night period of work; it’s an enduring journey; it’s a winning argument.

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