My husband is a teacher.
That often garners responses that range as wide as "He's a Super Hero" to "Oh."
In fact, I like to tell the many stories of times the Mommy Mafia would accost me on the playground and say "Oh... you work?" as if I were a leper. I would usually say "Yes. My husband is a teacher." And then they would nod and go "Oh... I get it."
As if we were close to starving to death on his meager wages.
More on that in a minute.
So yes, my husband is a just a teacher. He's not an administrator. He might go that route at some point, but honestly, right now, he loves what he does.
He's one of THOSE teachers. The kind that kids remember for years to come. The one that gets an obscene amount of treats and notes during Teacher Appreciation Week.
He cares about his students. He cares about his classes.
He is frequently frustrated. He's had over 50 kids in his class. In fact, his school even was used in example by President Obama during the last presidential debates. He has had kids sit on the floor the first few weeks until Count Day-- when they see who is really showing up and who is simply in the database- and they can reschedule the students. Then he will have often have 40+. But at least they will have desks. Unless everyone shows up.
He sits through training classes on whatever the latest and greatest system is developed by people who maybe taught a year or two. Every year, it seems, there is some new method on how to teach.
He hears about test scores and their importance. Of course, he doesn't teach a core class, so no one really cares.
He stays up at night making interesting lesson plans. He makes notes when he finds something that might be useful to use at some point. He has some fantastic colleagues that share information and experiences.
He stays up inputting grades because he has very little time during the day to do the paperwork.
His classroom is where students and teachers come for lunch. To hang out. To chat.
I usually have the opportunity to watch him teach once or twice a year (I get to be a guest speaker on economics or money management sometimes). It's amazing to watch him work. He keeps the kids captivated. They love him. He makes it fun. I have a crush on him all over again.
I've had a few of his students work for me over the years. Today, my intern was sharing with another intern how great a teacher he was-- I was beaming.
And yes, I make a few dollars more than he does. But honestly, by the time you throw in his time off, his pension, his health insurance- it's a better gig than most corporate jobs. Seriously.
Plus, he gets to pick his kids up every day after school. They have their own little routines. He spends the summers with them. How many dads get to do that? As they've gotten older, he's really gotten attached to his time with them.
He works in a career that most people think they can do-- and when they try, most fail (like the attorney who refused to accept any help from anyone and then walked out during the work day... or the retired military officer who never came back after Thanksgiving...).
So to sum up, yes, my husband is just a teacher.
He changes young people's lives. He has time for our family. He loves what he does.
And that's pretty darn cool from where I'm sitting.
Have a great school year, Papa Bean!