I overheard an interesting conversation the other night. A frustrated parent expressed the opinion that one of her children’s teachers had to be (and I quote) “The Laziest Teacher In Existence.” Maybe your child has had a teacher who you thought deserved that appellation; I know I’ve suspected the same thing.

Now that I am a teacher, I have new perspectives, but yes, I still think some teachers are lazy.

Having said that, her comment that this teacher, “probably doesn’t spend one minute more than her contracted seven hours a day” rings a bit strange to me.

If your school board has contracted with your son’s teacher to work 180 days a year, for 7 hours a day and to pay them x amount of dollars to do that, why do you feel qualified to measure out how many additional hours that teacher should actually be working?

And since you aren’t qualified to specify that, shouldn’t you be complaining instead that the wages are too high, and not that the teacher doesn’t take enough work home at the end of the day with her? She’s filling her contract. Argue with the contract, not the teacher.

Argue that she is overpaid and under-worked.

But first, job shadow her for a couple of weeks. Arrive and leave at the same time she does. Weigh her bag coming and going. Listen in to the conversations she has with parents and administrators. Take a peek at the regulations she has to satisfy. Ask her how much of her “vacations” are actually spent vacationing and not planning or grading papers. Ask her how much the mandatory, ongoing training will cost her throughout her career. Ask her how much of her salary she spends on buying her student’s supplies for them.

Then tell me how overpaid you think she really is.

I dare you.

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