Teaching in BC by a local colleague is an amazing read. I encourage you to read it entirely as she shares her experiences teaching.
Here is one part I particularily enjoyed because I respect Barrie Bennett and have taken a fair amount of Pro D with him and also because it is an analogy that anyone can relate to:
Barrie Bennett, a well-respected professor working out of OISE (the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto) once compared teaching to organizing a children’s birthday party.
He asked all the parents in the room to recall the amount of work and planning that went into the last party they planned. He listed all the things that needed to be prepared ahead of time, things like a cake, presents, goodie bags, balloons, and games. He discussed the challenges of bringing ten or twelve children into a single home for a period of three hours and keeping them suitably entertained. He had everyone visualize the clean-up at the end of the event, and most importantly, had people reflect on how they felt—tired, exhausted, relieved it was over for another year—after the event.
Barrie, eyes twinkling, then asked us to imagine hosting a birthday party, not for ten children, but for thirty. And instead of entertaining the kids for three hours, we had to do it for six. He casually said, “And instead of goody bags, you have to give tests.” There’s no cake. No games, no prizes, no clowns, no balloons. Instead there are required learning outcomes, unit plans, lesson plans, photocopying, adaptations, modifications and mountains of paperwork. Some of the guests won’t want to be there. Some are not ready to be there, and a few will come with adults who will tell you you’re doing it all wrong.
He asked us to recall those feelings of exhaustion after hosting a party again. Then he told us we’d have to do it again the next day. And the one after that. We’d have to plan and host the equivalent of one hundred and eighty parties. And remember, these aren’t parties where the kids are excited to be there, where you can whip out a clown or chocolate fountain to appease the masses. These are parties where there are tests and assignments and bullies and insufficient resources.
Barrie was talking about a typical class where less than 10% of the population is categorized as having special needs.
Her post goes on to talk about her experiences teaching and the conditions and circumstances she faces each day as a Teacher in BC. Please Read her entire post here