What Not To Say to an Education Major
As an education major, I’m acutely aware of some of the stigma that comes with
being a teacher. While most people are incredibly supportive of my aspirations, over
the years I’ve heard some pretty insensitive stuff. While people usually aren’t trying
to be hurtful, the things they say can come across as rather naïve. So before you start
talking to an education major, make sure you know what might set them off.
1. “It’s so easy.”
Nothing could be farther from the truth. While ed majors might not have to
pull all-nighters pouring over textbooks, I promise we do just as much work
as you do. We learn how to write lesson plans, rubrics, tests, and
assignments. We get placed into classrooms so that we can learn by doing.
We learn about the growth and psychology of school aged children. We learn
about effective teaching methods. We do all of this, on top of learning the
actual material we are going to teach.
2. “You won’t make any money.”
I’m pretty confident when I say there has never been a teacher who is in it for
the money. Ed majors are well aware going into school that teaching is not a
job that allows a glamorous lifestyle. The salary is fairly small, plus teachers
often spend a lot of their own money for their classrooms. Education majors
are here because we love students and want to help them become better
people. And if you love your job, it really doesn’t matter what your income is.
3. “You’re too smart for that.”
Yes, this has been said to me before, and I don’t think anything makes me
angrier. Teachers are some of the smartest people I know. Just because we
spend the majority of their time around young people does not mean we
aren’t smart as hell. Teaching takes more knowledge than you might think.
You have to be confident in your subject material as well as classroom
management, social skills, and organization, to name a few. If you’re in doubt,
see number one.
4. “Good for you, I can’t stand kids.”
Then I guess it’s a good thing that I’m the one studying to be a teacher, isn’t
it? I completely understand if you don’t want to work with adolescents all
day. It’s not your cup of tea. But I don’t need you pushing your opinion about
people I love (that’s right, I love kids) on me. It sort of makes me feel like
you’re judging me, you know?
5. “You’re so lucky you get summer off.”
Thanks! I am pretty lucky. Actually, luck has nothing to do with it. I chose this
profession knowing that I would get to take summers off. But that’s not why I
chose it. I chose it because I love education, not because I want three months
off per year. And whatever major you chose, I’m sure you were well aware
that you would have to work all year round, and it didn’t affect your decision.
Plus, if I do say so myself, teachers do a year’s worth of work in nine months.
I think that break is pretty justified.
6. “Are you just here to get your MRS degree?”
No, I’m here to become a teacher. And if I happen to meet my future husband
along the way, great! If not, that’s great too! I’m here to learn how to be the
best teacher I can be, not to find someone to support me my whole life.
Education majors are not constantly seeking out someone to be their spouse.
The idea that teachers and housewives coincide is incredibly outdated. Many
of us really are here because we want to teach and help the future of our
society. So before you jump to that conclusion, think about how you would
feel if someone asked you the same question.
People choose to be in education because it’s their passion, just like you chose to be
in your field because it’s something you enjoy. So no matter whom you’re talking to,
support their decisions and take a second to appreciate what they do.