Top Ten Things I've Learned From This Blog: Number 7 Everyone thinks teachers shouldn’t have a personal life

Teacher’s personal lives are subject to scrutiny in the same way that politician’s and councillors are, the only difference being that they get paid a whole lot less. You can’t argue that that’s what they get paid for, because they don’t, but you could argue that that’s the life they chose when they picked this particular career.

Only they didn’t. Teachers aren’t exactly celebrities who are in the public eye, who are trying to gain the respect and trust of the public or who are billing themselves as flawless pillars of the community. They are academics, passionate about their subject, who want to create more people who feel the same way. They deserve to be left alone when they are off duty.

Very young students will think that the teacher lives at school, and will be surprised to find out that they have husbands, wives, sons and daughters of their own. Older students will be surprised that teachers have interests and social lives outside of teaching and the school. When asked, most students of all ages will expect teachers to be beyond reproach outside of school hours, and if they’re not, it’s their own fault and that makes them a poor teacher.

This is supported by parents and by managers as well. My own experience is that I was expected to dedicate my spare time to musical societies chosen for me by management, some of which required a fee to be a member of, which I was expected to pay from off my own back. I was already doing this, just in a different set of societies. I had to give them up to go to the ones picked out for me.

It’s little things like that that are unacceptable. Most teachers are not coke-sniffing Friday night floor puking fight starting embarrassments to the teaching profession, which is the reason most managers will give you for being this way. Most teachers simply have their own interests that just don’t sit right with managers when it is absolutely no concern of theirs.

Have you ever been instructed what to do in your spare time by management?


Post a Comment