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Teacher gets gifted a sign that highlights the reality of being an educator, sparking debate

Teaching can be an emotionally taxing profession that requires high empathy and compassion, which unfortunately, not every school offers.

Teacher gets gifted a sign that highlights the reality of being an educator, sparking debate
Cover Image Source: Reddit/u/Cool__Machine

Teaching is a rewarding and fulfilling profession. However, it can also be emotionally taxing and requires high empathy and compassion, which not every school offers. Many educators face several challenges that are not adequately addressed. These include long hours, low pay, classroom management, pressure to meet standards, emotional labor and staying up-to-date on the latest teaching methods that are time-consuming and expensive.

In a recent Reddit post by (u/Cool__Machine), the user highlighted the bittersweet reality of being a teacher. "A friend got a gift from admins, and it is messed up," read the post, which received over 3.9k upvotes. The post featured the image of a framed quote that divided many on the platform.

Image Source: Pexels / RDNE Stock project
Representative Image Source: Pexels / RDNE Stock project

"They said I could be anything I wanted, so I chose to work 60+ hours per week, love other people's children, be doubted by society, develop an addiction to school supplies, make over 100 new friends every year, have the best days ever, spend my own money on my classroom, have the worst days ever and cry quietly in the room after school," the sign read.

Teachers manage many responsibilities, from preparing lesson plans and grading assignments to monitoring classroom behavior and meeting academic standards. They often acquire classroom necessities with money from their own pockets when in reality, they should be given to the teacher by the school. Moreover, teachers rarely—if ever—receive the recognition or compensation they deserve for their hard work.

Image Source: Reddit / u/Cool__Machine
Image Source: Reddit / u/Cool__Machine

The quote further said: "Have 20-minute lunches (on a good day), buy stock in Ticonderoga pencils, stay up at night worrying about kids, teach the future, spend more time with my students than my kids, change the world, be a teacher!"

Clarifying in a comment that the image was originally shared on the r/Teachers forum by u/BunniesAteMyFriends, u/Cool__Machine wrote: "I was a teacher for 13 years and recently left. This is a list of reasons why I chose to seek other opportunities. Another reason not listed is that many people in educational leadership positions are dumb enough to create and gift something like this."

Unfortunately, toxic school environments are a reality for many teachers, who are often corrupted by the administration and feel unsupported by their colleagues. 

Moreover, teachers working in an unfavorable environment are constantly stressed by the competitive atmosphere, which is detrimental to educators and students. There is a lack of autonomy, and teachers may feel they have little to no control over their work and are often forced to follow strict guidelines that are not aligned with their teaching philosophy or the needs of their students.

Such school cultures create low teacher morale and high turnover rates, contributing to a toxic school environment for teachers. These factors lead to burnout, job dissatisfaction and even resigning from the profession altogether. Schools must recognize and address these issues to create a more positive and supportive environment for all teachers.

Image Source: Reddit / u/latina1986
Image Source: Reddit / u/latina1986


Image Source: Reddit / u/emmency
Image Source: Reddit / u/emmency

In the comments, people sympathized with the teacher and many shared similar stories of when they worked as a teacher. "If administrators want to show appreciation for teachers, advocate for better pay, cancel any meeting that could be an email, and either give money or a general gift card. This was not a good choice for a gift at all," said u/AnonymousTeacher333.

"That part comes with paying out of pocket to stock your class because the school should be doing that. Sadly, this is reality," added u/ThursianDreams. "Anyone who claims that teaching is easy is either some sort of classroom management wizard, too stupid to realize they are/would be bad at it, or full of it. I got out of education about eight years ago and never looked back," shared u/Malarkay79. "Nothing says, 'horrible, out-of-touch leadership' like gifting your people a list of major things wrong with their profession," wrote u/LordMudkip

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