Let me warn you right now. If you are a teacher, and I see you, you will be the recipient of a BIG HUG and a THANK YOU. Be ready! Luckily some amazing teachers, instructors, professors passed through my life. However, the appreciation was only one-sided. I appreciated their support, encouragement, teaching ability, and unknowing mentor-ship.  There are hours to put in preparing coursework, grading papers and managing “trying” students, but overall it looked like a pretty cushy job. A 10-month contract two months off (unpaid, but still) every summer. Not to mention all the student holidays as well. That is a pretty sweet gig!

Last year I happily and excitedly accepted a position as an instructor at a local college. “This is it! I found a job that was inspiring, fun, and flexible WITH solid chunks of time for travel and exploration”.

It was Pipe’s Perfect Job!

You know that moment in the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy pulls back the curtain to reveal that the mighty and powerful wizard was just a little man with gadgets and tricks. Or, in the Matrix when Neo takes the red pill and finds out that, we’re all just human batteries for the computers who took over. That life until now was just an illusion.

Well that is what happened to me. I got a peek behind the curtain and wanted to run far, far away and forget what I saw. The teaching part of the job, what I was exposed to and attracted to, is only about 30% of the job.

 The other 70% of the job includes –

  • Attending Graduation
  • Being a student advisor
  • Budgets
  • Catalog edits
  • Committee involvement
  • Community involvement
  • Course assessments
  • Course outline reviews
  • Growing the program
  • Heading up committees
  • Meetings
  • Professional development
  • Program reports
  • Reviewing schedules
  • Student assessments
  • Student recruitment/marketing
  • Training
  • Union activities

I am sure I forgot a few things. You get the idea. There is a lot! Much more than an 8-hour day / 5-days a week can hold.

“We expect teachers to reach unattainable goals with inadequate resources. The miracle is this…they often do.”

– Haim Ginott

Like I said “HUG A TEACHER!”

And then…there are students. Here are a few gems I have run into so far:

A student who flat out plagiarized “word for word” from the Internet and when confronted said, “You said this assignment was a DRAFT”.
  • Part of an assignment was to upload a Word document with their Name, Course ID and Date on it. Instead, I got a photo of a Tiger (Grrrr). When I asked about it, the student said, “Your instructions were too vague”.
A student who shares with me how they wrote a 9-billion dollar check to the college so that we can all go to school here and now the school is going to kick them out. All because they have opinions that instructors do not want to hear. On top of that, they had to cash in all their money for gold and grind it up into a fine powder and dump it in the ocean because the Chamber of Commerce keeps taking it all, thinking that it is theirs, because this student chooses to live a vagrant lifestyle.
  • A student who gets great grades but has to challenge even the smallest point infraction and repeatedly thinks that the class might be too much for them.
A student, who doesn’t attend class, doesn’t turn in homework and doesn’t understand why they are failing.
  • A student who insists that I review every single assignment before they submit it to let them know how they can make it better. I say, “What do you think you could do to make it better?” They think about it, make some changes, and get upset when they do not receive a perfect score. Better is not Perfect.
A student who, with crazy super-power speed, took an online quiz in 1 minute with a perfect score. They even managed to get one of the questions I had messed up, correct. Still waiting for an answer to this event.

Most of my students are totally awesome and I get a kick out of being in class with them. The rest, I just shake my head and stay baffled.


Stay tuned. The fun is just beginning!

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3 thoughts on “#TeacherAppreciation

  1. Wow, those are great stories from the battlefield, Piper. Sounds like you really met the challenge, so congratulations! Keep up the great work.

    Liked by 1 person

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