Realtor Lindsay Szwed, of RE/MAX Suburban, began her teaching career in 2003 after graduating from the University of New Mexico. During her first summer as an educator, Szwed worked non-stop in the classroom and spent hundreds of dollars out of her own pocket to make her classroom a warm, friendly environment.
“I was excited and couldn’t wait to meet my students,” said Szwed. “Fast forward nine years, several grade level changes, from 3rd to 2nd back to 3rd and 5th again, and I knew I was reaching a burnout stage in my career. I was tired and overwhelmed with all the expectations we put on ourselves and these little kids.”
In fact, teachers are often overworked and have to supply their own classroom supplies. In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, Szwed lists the top four myths about being a teacher.
No. 1: But at least you get your summers off. “I never had a summer where I turned in my keys and didn’t step foot in my room until I was required to,” stressed Szwed. “I made daily visits to the school to reorganize, clean, prepare for the upcoming year, attempt to get ahead on projects and copies, rearrange furniture, go over curriculum, etc. Teaching is not something you can just close your door on the last day and open it on the first day of school and expect student success. People think teachers don’t work in the summer when in fact, they work all year long.”
No. 2: Being an elementary school teacher must be so much fun. Elementary teachers have to have every minute of the day scheduled and accounted for. If they don’t, kids get bored, get in trouble, and the classroom becomes chaos, which is never a good thing.
No. 3: Teachers are paid well for the amount of time they work. People expect a teacher to be an all-encompassing doer of all good things, but want to pay them a minimum salary. “It’s so disheartening,” added Szwed. “Teachers don’t work 9 a.m.-3 p.m. like the good old days. What people don’t see is how many hours they arrive before their ‘duty day’ and stay late for meetings, additional prep time, grading papers, going over curriculum, and just talking to a colleague about how they can better serve a struggling student or family.”
No. 4: You probably love helping in your own children’s classrooms. “In all honesty, when I left teaching I felt like I didn’t have another ounce to give,” concluded Szwed. “I would walk into my own children’s classrooms and feel instantly anxious about everything. I can honestly say I gave it my all for almost a full decade, but now I am extra thankful for all of the teachers still giving it their all day in and day out, with very little recognition.”
About Lindsay Szwed, RE/MAX Suburban
Lindsay Szwed has a lifelong interest in real estate, and her goal is to put clients’ interests first and build relationships founded on professionalism and honesty. She has a strong local market knowledge, negotiation skills, and understanding of current trends in real estate. For more information, please call (847) 714-3704, or visit http://www.listedwithlindsay.com.