Misconceptions of school jobs

To the editor:

Ever notice that the experts on raising children are people who don’t have children?

Because you have been a patient do you know how to be a doctor or nurse?

Are you a school expert because you were once a student? Some think so. It takes more qualifications to drive the bus than it does to be a passenger. Cooking for your family won’t prepare you to make lunch for 500. Just because you sat in school desks doesn’t mean you are capable of being a teacher or an aide!

Secretaries only type and answer phones, right? Most split their time between endless clerical duties, nursing, counseling and “mothering.” You might clean up after your family, but custodians clean up after everyone’s families.

But school employees get paid holidays and vacations, don’t they? Some full year employees do, but that’s because they are full year employees. Most support staff work less than a full year. They get limited holidays and usually no paid vacation. Pay for snow days? Not unless the employee goes to work. Like most of you, they are paid only when they work.

Yeah! But teachers get paid holidays and summers! Oops, another misconception. Teachers are under contract for a certain number of days per year which do not include holiday breaks and summers. They do have the option of spreading their pay over twelve months to assist in household budgeting. Besides, summers are when they spend their own money taking required classes in order to remain employed.

You don’t assume to tell a contractor how to build a house just because you took a shop class in high school. Don’t assume you know what a school employee’s job entails because you once were a student.

A former fifth grade teacher was told by some friends that he had it made being a teacher.

His response; “I have seen you trying to handle five 10 year olds at a party at McDonald’s. Don’t ever try my job!”

Terry A. LaJeunesse