Fri | Jun 5, 2020

Letter of the Day | Are teachers just ‘glorified babysitters’?

Published:Saturday | April 4, 2020 | 12:12 AM
Today’s concept of appropriate classroom control sees the teacher begging the students to cooperate
Today’s concept of appropriate classroom control sees the teacher begging the students to cooperate


I remember when I was younger and travelling in a taxi, a lady was on her phone arguing that teachers are being unreasonable about wanting more pay. She said “All dem do a siddung inna class wid the pickney dem, teach and go home. Dem even get pay fi summer n dem nuh work.”

We live in an era where persons are so unappreciative towards teachers, which, to me, makes no sense because, without teachers, where would we be? Teachers are the reason we have doctors, nurses, lawyers and bank tellers. They are the foundation to every career seen today.

However, since children are home because of COVID-19 there have been multiple posts, tweets and memes about parents wondering how teachers carry out their jobs with teaching and caring for so many students in one classroom when they cannot homeschool their kids.

The famous Shonda Rhimes a producer, author, television and film writer of popular TV shows such as Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy and How To Get Away With Murder tweeted: “Been homeschooling a 6-year-old and 8-year-old for one hour and 11 minutes. Teachers deserve to make a billion dollars a year. Or a week.”

This received more than 604,000 likes and almost 100,000 retweets. There are numerous tweets and posts just like this from parents who have been homeschooling their children for merely a few hours, stating that teachers should either be getting more pay or more holidays. Imagine the teachers doing this for hours, months and years.

Finally In Teachers’ Shoes

I hope teachers are no longer seen as “glorified babysitters” but as individuals who love, teach and nurture children when left in their care. The problems that parents are just now facing, such as their children being too energetic or unwilling to complete activities given, are the same problems teachers deal with on a daily basis.

I hope the strength and patience that teachers bestow daily on these same energetic and stubborn children is more recognised because, quite frankly, some parents are incapable of expressing these same characteristics to their own children.

I also hope we will all be more appreciative towards our teachers. Good teachers deserve the utmost respect for having the strength to manage multiple personalities and challenges on a daily basis.

I pray you all stay safe through this time.

Shawaynie Lewis