Column: Student interns deserve compensation
It’s 5:30 in the morning. Your alarm is buzzing and you wake up, still a little tired from staying up lesson planning, but you find the energy to get moving.
30 minutes later you’re out the door and on your way to school. After another 30 to 45 minutes of driving (depending on traffic), you finally arrive to your destination. When you get there, you’ve got approximately 20 minutes to set up for the morning.
You hear the sweet sound of the school bell and before you know it, the halls are filled. Little people with big minds and crazy imaginations are shuffling their way to their classrooms where they expect "edutainment” (education and entertainment) for the next eight hours.
Between meetings, during planning time, lunch and activities, you’re giving it all you’ve got and by one o’clock, you are barely holding on. Then, just when you think you’ve run out of ideas, the bell rings for the day and you’re saved until tomorrow. But you can’t go home just yet. You have staff, special teams and grade level meetings- and then you have to do your own preparation for the next day.
Once you finally arrive home, you’re exhausted, but you have things that you have to do because of course, you took your work home with you. By the time you get everything done enough, it is late and you need to go to bed just to wake up and do it all again for the rest of the week.
Doesn't that sound like a full-time job? Well, not everyone sees it that way. Student teachers are just like teachers except there is no pay and the only benefit is experience- which you do need.
In order to live, a lot of student teachers don’t have any other option except to work a second job. I say second job because student teaching is a full time job. It’s just a shame that others don’t see it that way.
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