What are teachers afraid of?



Some fears are real. I’m afraid of snakes. Deathly afraid of snakes. I can’t even watch them on TV or look at them in a book. And then I have some fears that are silly.  Fears that sound too silly to even say.   So, what are teachers afraid of?

1. Teachers are afraid that they won’t have a snow day.  Face it, we all need snow days. Snow days are little gifts that allow us to sleep in and watch the snow from inside where it is warm and safe.

2. Being snowed in at school.  Kids joke about being snowed in. Teachers cringe in fear. I would definitely find a way out. Even if I had to walk 5 miles in snow uphill.

3. Too many snow days. Too many snow days = too few summer vacation days. Enough said.

4. Grading essays, especially when you have 150 middle school students. There goes the week-end! One paragraph blends into another and every sentence looks pretty much like the last.

5. Wearing two different shoes. Nope, I didn’t do this. Yep, one of my best friends did.  I just wore my shirt backwards all day. Didn’t realize it until my supervisor was complimenting me on my attention to details.

6. Kids that won’t move or kids that do move. We all have students that are “model students” and those are usually the ones that move. The child that turns every hair gray and raises our blood pressure doesn’t even use sick days.

7. State testing. Maybe not a fear, but definitely a worry. We spend April and May second guessing our teaching methods and strategies. Did I teach the subject well enough? Did I cover all the standards? Will my students remember everything I taught?  Too much emphasis is placed on state testing.

8. The email from the principal requesting a meeting with you tomorrow. Do you sleep? Probably not well.  You spend your time trying to figure out what they want or what you did. Even though these meetings are usually harmless, teachers are rule-followers that are afraid of being in trouble for not following a rule they didn’t even know they weren’t following. Did you follow that?

9. The parent that can’t find anything good to say. Nothing you do or say will change this person. Hard to accept, worrisome, annoying, frustrating, but we have to accept that we can’t make everyone happy all the time.  Some people are never pleased or satisfied.

10. Not making a difference. That’s why we’re teachers. We want to make a difference. We want to help children and we’re afraid that we will somehow fail. The fact that we worry about it ensures us that we won’t fail.

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