11 Myths About Teaching That We’re Still Busting

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we’re taking a whack at some of the most common myths about teachers and the teaching profession. Teachers are the baddest baddies out there, so we’re making sure everybody knows the #truth.

Myth 1: Teachers work from 8 to 3.

If only! The average teacher works over 50 hours a week. From lesson planning to meetings with parents, teaching duties extend far beyond classroom time. Teachers, in comparison to other professionals, are also more likely to work in the early morning hours and on Sunday.

Myth 2: Teachers get summers off.

Yes, if by “off” you mean time to catch their breath, attend professional development and training classes, teach summer school, and map out lesson plans for the upcoming school year that starts in August.

Myth 3: Teaching is easy.  

Have you ever stood in front of a group of 30 restless teenagers and taught them vector components? This may terrify some, but it is all in a day’s work for high school physics teachers. Teaching requires a grab bag of skills, adaptability, and resourcefulness that goes far beyond subject knowledge.

Myth 4: Teachers are born not made.

According to the NEA, more than half of teachers hold master’s degrees, and “all have completed extensive coursework in learning theory and educational practice.” Boom.

Myth 5: Teachers are extroverts.

Many teachers excel at the performance-like aspects of the job and thrive on the noisy class atmosphere. But just as many introverts are drawn to teaching for its thoughtful, deep engagement with course material and impacting students one-on-one.

Myth 6: Teachers only teach their subject matter.

We are talking about teaching kids, right, not robots? Okay, cool, because teaching kids requires imparting social and emotional knowledge as well as content.

Myth 7: Teaching is a backup career.

Guys! Teaching is a calling, requires advanced degrees and certification—like other professionals—and is far from a fall-back choice.

Myth 8: Teachers can’t hack it in the corporate grind.

Teachers are just as competitive and ambitious as their corporate overlords, I mean, counterparts. They are constantly seeking innovative ways to help students excel and advance their own knowledge and skill set.

Myth 9: Teaching doesn’t offer leadership opportunities.

Schools need leaders, too, and opportunities for advancement are ample. From teacher-leaders to district heads, many roles exist for the high-achieving, ambitious educator.

Myth 10: Teachers expend a lot of energy for little reward.

An overwhelming majority of teachers chose their profession to make a difference in kids’ lives. That is the reward, and it’s endless.

Myth 11: Teaching is joyless.

I MEAN. This barely deserves a response (just take a look at #teacherlife), but we’ll leave you with wise words from one of our favorite TeacherPop writers, Dylan Manderlink:

If I can be silly and make a fool out of myself in front of my students, they can feel comfortable being their silly selves, too. The more smiles and laughter, the more enjoyable, accessible, and encouraging the learning process can be. Just being my quirky self, when I dance, sing parts of my lesson, or crack jokes, I strive to create and model a learning environment where my students feel comfortable, less stressed, and just happy.

What myths did we miss? Share them on Twitter @TeacherPop with the hashtag #ThankATeacher.