Teaching is not a solo job

My last year of high school I was told by a teacher that I was entering a lonely profession. This confused me a lot, I  was becoming a teacher, I would be surrounded by students every day and I would have other teachers in the school. Once I entered my third year of university I finally understood where my former teacher got his understanding that teaching was a lonely profession. He was doing it wrong. He believe that teaching was a job that could only be done solely by the person who was in the classroom,  this eventually caused him to burnout and he quit teaching two years after I graduated.

Teaching is not a job that is dependent on one person, just like everything that is done in life, nothing is dependent on one person. It takes a village to raise a child, while it takes a whole school to teach a child. Throughout my time as being a student, it was never just one person that impacted my learning, it was multiple teachers, admin, support staff, and parents that allowed me to be successful in school. That is the way I see it, if you ask my teachers they would only take credit for the grades that they specifically taught me.

Teachers support each other, and in some cases they do it without realizing it. I recently read a book Teaching is Harder Than it Looks by Gary Dee, a large percentage of this book focused around how teaching is not easy, and how he found it important to have supports in place, and not just other teachers, but supportive administration, parents, and most importantly your friends that are not teachers who are able to take your mind off of the stresses of the classroom.

As a pre-service teacher I know that using whatever supports that are available to me are important. However, I also know me, and I know that I am horrible at asking for help, I am even worse at admitting I need help even when it was offered to me.

Supports for a teacher are important because it helps them survive the world that is education, but it is more important that teachers use the supports that they need to be successful so that they can be the support for the students. Teachers have access to many supports (at least that is what I am told in university, rarely am I told how to access these supports) but students’ starting place for support is the teacher. If teachers cannot get support for our needs than students cannot get supports for their needs, and that is a problem.

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