This morning I was staring blearily at the television in a zombie-esque state (in other words, exactly like every morning) when I was jolted into consciousness by a poll that was intended to be humorous, but instead made me attempt to hurl my Faithful Hound Winston through the television in anger. (Don’t worry, not only did I completely fail to actually pick him up off the floor, but I also threw my back out in the process.) The perfectly coiffed wag on the TV was gleefully displaying the 5 Most Regretted Career Choices. The Talking Head was being gleeful presumably because his own chosen profession of “Ken Doll” hadn’t made the list.
5. Bank Teller
4. Delivery Driver
3. Secondary School Teacher
Do you see that, Faithful Readers? Snuggled right there in the middle at number 3? Yeah, that’s Yours Truly. Here’s the excerpt that went with it.
With an average yearly salary of $43,800, the highest in the top 5, secondary school teachers rank third in regret with 43%. They problem is that would-be teachers often don’t fully understand what the job involves until after they have started, McLeod says. “I had a friend who was a secondary school teacher and realized on day two she had made an enormous mistake. She was awash in the paperwork required of an educator, as well as the unending parent interventions and the reluctance of students to do the work. She didn’t realize the politics of working in a secondary school system.”
Parker says the challenges that face teachers are daunting. “Although teachers are responsible for preparing the next generation to lead our nation, the education profession is often marred by a lack of resources, dwindling support, and modest salaries,” she says. “Instead of simply teaching children, teachers must simultaneously parent and counsel all while navigating the stressful terrain often found in the bureaucracy of school districts. It takes a remarkable human being to become a teacher but it takes a golden human being to stay one.”
Is that what I’m doing? I never knew. I have mixed feelings about having my profession ranked on this list. On the one hand, it’s amazingly depressing to know that nearly everyone regrets doing my job and wishes that they were doing something else. Is everyone else that much smarter than me? Apparently. On the other hand, there is something gratifying about being able to do a job (with skill and verve) that everyone else hates more than almost anything.
Coming as this does just before February, I found this news report a bit distasteful. February, as all Future Generators know, is without a doubt the most depressing month of the year. Not only are we required to connect all of our lessons to Black History Month (I’m still looking for a good one concerning tidal patterns), but February is the month when Future Generators realize that their students are just not going to be the next Einsteins or Curies (I teach science, get over it).
So the Februaries have come early for this Future Generator. At least this year it is supposed to be snot-freezingly cold for my morning bicycle commutes, so I’ve that going for me, which is nice.