Recently I sat down to update my resume. See if you can guess my job:
- Promoted and ran online fundraising campaign securing $2,500.00 for equipment from outside parties.
- Designed and implemented behavior logging system using google sheets and sites, allowing users to submit and track site wide behavior data and identify trends in behaviors.
- Presented portfolio of materials to a panel of stakeholders to secure renewal of grant funding.
- Managed tech repair and support program ensuring 40 Chromebooks were kept charged, updated, and functional for daily use.
- Assembled, maintained and repaired equipment and laboratory apparatus for usage 2 times a week.
- Organized and managed chemical storage, including filing inventory and safety documentation.
- Repaired and maintained a 50-year-old heating system.
After seeing this list of responsibilities, your first guess was probably not high school science teacher. You might notice some significant items are missing, like teaching, lesson planning, and grading for 200 students across six classes.
In the five years since I began teaching, my list of job responsibilities has grown to be quite diverse and impressive. However, it has also become less and less recognizable.
A teacher today can easily fill half a page of their resume with roles and responsibilities without even using the words “teach” or “student.” This is not to say that a teacher does not think of their students and effective teaching as their primary focus.
But, as school budgets shrink ever smaller, school support staff are often the first to go. This leaves many tasks that are essential to the functioning of a school to the only people who are left, the teachers.
I did not volunteer or apply to be a fundraising campaign manager, but the alternative option was no lab equipment for my high school physics course.
The time spent creating wish lists, posting on social media, following up with donors were hours that were not spent on creating engaging lessons, providing students with personal feedback, or reaching out to parents.
If we truly value education, we should be demanding that our leaders work for changes that make a teacher’s responsibility teaching their students.
I would clear out all of the bullet points above if tomorrow it meant that I could replace them with:
- Plans and executes engaging and personalized lessons to a diverse student body in a warm and welcoming classroom with 100 percent of students achieving passing grades.
My resume might end up looking a little empty, but I could always double space.