Recently someone on Reddit asked: “how is teaching stressful?” I thought I’d share my fun little response I wrote.
Are you kidding? I canot even begin to answer that question because I am so totally exhausted from teaching. It is one of the most stressful jobs on the planet.
In addition to pouty, arrogant, disinterested students (whose passion for learning — or at least passing standardized tests — you must excite or be condemned for being bad at your job), you will face endless bureaucratic mandates; mountains of tedious paperwork, related to student activities and not; gallons of emails, most of it nearly pointless, but just barely important enough to get you into big trouble if you delete it without reading it; years of “professional development” which often translates into mind-numbing seminars or lectures at best; meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting; conferences about young people who brag about how they hate you, your class, the curriculum, and everyone in the building, refuse to do work, but still deserve to pass the class; and a socio-political environment that demonizes you at every turn for not instantly remedying all of the nation’s ills yet provides almost no support for this herculean task.
Then there are the myriad challenges of preparing lessons, designing activities, teaching the actual class, and grading papers. Once you’ve finished all of that, you can write up your goal reflection for the year, finish your club sponsor duties (for which you may or may not get paid), and help struggling students after school. Also don’t forget to check your mailbox and remember to send those things to Central Copy before you leave, or else you won’t have them when you need them on Friday. Also that student who is doing the independent study project needs to meet with you.
Don’t get me wrong — I love my job and I cannot imagine doing anything else. I also love my district and I’m very lucky to have a supportive administration that respects me.
But it’s a job with stress like you will not believe.
You know how Mitt Romney made all his money by running a private equity firm? You know how those firms buy struggling companies and make them more efficient, and then sell them off, making a hefty profit in the process?
Well tonight I was listening to a BusinessWeek podcast featuring an interview with a guy who has spent his life doing this stuff. And it hit me: Here’s how I’m going to make my first million dollars.
Private equity firms help improve all sorts of businesses — manufacturing, finance, service-sector, you name it. But what’s the only business that is not constantly subjected to efficiency upgrades and relentless waste-fighting measures?
Private equity firms!
So what I’m gonna do is become a private equity consultant for private equity firms! I’ll go to the board of directors of equity firms and say “I’ll bet your workers aren’t firing people and dismantling companies as efficiently as they could be.” And they can pay me a huge fee to stand over people like Mitt Romney with a stopwatch and lecture him on how to be more efficient.
Ka-ching! This idea is patent pending, by the way. If anyone wants to use it, I am hereby attaching the same stipulations from my “[your product] SUCKS” guerrilla marketing tactic that I came up with eight years ago. ($100K each to ETAN/US and the Alachua County Labor Party.)
I’m gonna be so rich.. I can’t wait. I’m gonna buy me some mink socks and a new iPad and a diamond collar for Tito.