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10 Things Only Math Teachers Would Understand

10 Things Only Math Teachers Would Understand

It’s great being a mathematics teacher, especially now that there is a high demand for good math teachers. With the fact that mathematics is an imperative subject for children as they grow up, the job presents challenges that reap high levels of job satisfaction. Yet there are some things only math teachers can understand about the job.

1. You have to be the most prepared person in the class

Even when you think you are prepared enough to impress every student, you may still come short of answering the questions from the Mathematics textbook. It is not as if you aren’t passionate or familiar with the subject of mathematics, it is just that there comes a time in every teacher’s life when a child asks a question that he or she doesn’t have the answer to.

2. You are called in for last minute meetings

After a hectic day of teaching ridiculously hard math equations and disciplining unruly children, you still are called in for faculty meetings by the principal at the last minute on a Friday afternoon. It’s not like you’d love to spend another hour in the school building, but you really do not have a choice.

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3. You have to be serious all of the time

C’mon, mathematics is a serious subject. You have to play the part and make them know how serious it is or people will just take such an imperative subject for granted. Although you would love to burst into laughter at something absurd the child said or did, you simply can’t. You have to be the voice of reason and authority.

4. You wish you could avoid the flu

As a mathematics teacher you want every student to be pumped up for your class. But what do you do when every child in the class has the flu and you have to protect yourself from getting sick? You really wish you could just teach them mathematics via Skype or something, from the comfort of your home.

5. You have to keep the students motivated

Students love to feel connected with the subjects and their teachers. You may not just be cut out for the part, but if you want the best from your students you have to keep them motivated. Sometimes this could mean making a fool of yourself or acting stupid to get your message across.

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6. You spend the weekend grading papers

While you would love to go out for the weekend, take someone out for dinner and enjoy your weekend with a well deserved rest, you discover your weekend needs you to grade math tests. It is more complicated than it seems because your weekend just got blown up and you won’t be seeing a new movie or visiting the trendy new restaurant.

7. You have to be a mathematics teacher all the time

Have you heard, “You are the Mathematics teacher right?” That expression comes with the idea that you have to be the one taking extra work on numbers and statistics. Even when you are not in the mood for it, you will always be the guy in charge of the numbers for the school.

8. You are supposed to be the magician fixing every lazy student

Because you are the math teacher should mean that every student in your class has to get an A in mathematics. If any student is coming up short more is required from you. So you are in front of 30 students explaining how to multiply fractions over and over again.

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9. People think your job is easy

Since you have been teaching for a while and you are passionate at making others understand mathematics then your job should be so easy. But they do not understand that you go through mental and physical exhaustion every now and then.

10. You wish you were better valued

Yes it is not about the money. You do are doing it more for the passion. But you are the mathematics teacher and over the years you have influenced and turned a lot of students into geniuses.

Connecting with your students and watching them succeed is great but every month when you look at your paycheck you wish it reflected the late hours in the classroom, grading and planning, and how much hard work you have put in.

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Featured photo credit: http://www.pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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Published on November 12, 2020

5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

What’s the most draining, miserable job you’ve ever had? Maybe you had a supervisor with unrealistic demands about your work output and schedule. Or perhaps, you worked under a bullying boss who frequently lost his temper with you and your colleagues, creating a toxic work environment.

Chances are, though, your terrible job experience was more all-encompassing than a negative experience with just one person. That’s because, in general, toxicity at work breeds an entire culture. Research shows abusive behavior by leaders can and often quickly spread through an entire organization.[1]

Unfortunately, working in a toxic environment doesn’t just make it miserable to show up to the office (or a Zoom meeting). This type of culture can have lasting negative effects, taking a toll on mental and physical health and even affecting workers’ personal lives and relationships.[2]

While it’s often all-encompassing, toxic culture isn’t always as blatant or clear-cut as abuse. Some of the evidence is more subtle—but it still warrants concern and action.

Have a feeling that your workplace is a toxic environment? Here are 5 surefire signs to look for.

1. People Often Say (or Imply) “That’s Not My Job”

When I first launched my company, I had a very small team. And back then, we all wore a lot of hats, simply because we had to. My colleagues and I worked tirelessly together to build, troubleshoot, and market our product, and nobody complained (at least most of the time).

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Because we were all in it together, with the same shared vision in mind, cooperation mattered so much more than job titles. Unfortunately, it’s not always that way.

In some workplaces, people adhere to their job descriptions to a fault:

  • Need help with an accounting problem? Sorry, that’s not my job.
  • Oh, you spilled your coffee in the break room? Too bad, I’m working.
  • Can’t figure out the new software? Ask IT.

While everyone has their own skillset—and time is often at a premium—cooperation is important in any workplace. An “it’s not my job” attitude is a sign of a toxic environment because it’s inherently selfish. It implies “I only care about me and what I have to get done” and that people aren’t concerned about the collective good or overall vision.[3] That type of perspective is not only bound to drain individual relationships; it also drains overall morale and productivity.

2. There’s a Lack of Diversity

Diversity is a vital part of a healthy work environment. We need the opinions and ideas of people who don’t see the world like us to move ahead. So, when leaders don’t prioritize diversity—or worse, they actively avoid it—I’m always suspicious about their character and values.

Limiting your workforce to one type of person is bound to prevent organizations from growing healthily. But even if your work environment is diverse in general, the management might prevent diverse individuals from rising to leadership positions, which only misses the point of having a diverse work environment in the first place.

Look around you. Who’s in leadership at your company? Who gets promotions and rewards most often? If the same type of people gets ahead while other individuals consistently get left behind, you might be working in a toxic environment.

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However it manifests in your workplace, keep in mind that a lack of diversity is a tell-tale sign that “bias is rampant and the wrong things are valued.”[4]

3. Feedback Isn’t Allowed

Just as individual growth hinges on being open to criticism, an organization’s well-being depends on workers’ ability to air their concerns and ideas. If management actively stifles feedback from employees, you’re probably working in a toxic environment.

But that definitely doesn’t mean nobody will air their feelings. One of the telltale signs of toxic leadership is when employees vent on the sidelines, out of management’s earshot. When I worked in a toxic environment, coworkers would often complain about higher-ups and company policies during work in private chats or after work hours.

It’s normal to get frustrated at work. That’s just a part of having a job. What isn’t normal is when dissent isn’t a part of or discouraged in the workplace. A workplace culture that suppresses constructive feedback will not be successful in the long run. It’s a sign that leadership isn’t open to new ideas, and that they’re more concerned about their own well-being than the health of the organization as a whole.

4. Quantifiable Measures Take Priority

Sales numbers, timelines, bottom lines—these metrics are, of course, important signs of how things are going in any business. But great leaders know that true success isn’t always measurable or quantifiable. More meaningful factors like workplace satisfaction, teamwork, and personal growth all contribute to and sustain these metrics.

Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, and they shouldn’t be the only concern. Measure-taking should always take a backseat to meaning-making—working together to contribute to a vision that improves people’s lives. If your workplace zones in on quantifiable measures of success, it’s probably not prioritizing what truly matters. And it’s probably also instilling a fear of failure among employees, which paralyzes employees instead of motivating them.

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5. The Policies and Rules Are Inconsistent

Every organization has its own set of unique policies and procedures. But often, unhealthy workplaces have inconsistent, unspoken “rules” that apply differently to different people. When one person gets in trouble for the same type of behavior that promotes another person, workers will feel like management plays favorites—which isn’t just unethical but also a quick way to drain morale and fuel tension in the office.[5] It only shows how incompetent the leadership is and indicates a toxic workplace.

For example, maybe there’s no “set” rule about work hours, but your manager expects certain people or departments to show up at 8 am while other individuals tend to roll in at 9 or 10 am with no real consequences. If that’s the case, then it’s likely that your organization’s leadership is more concerned with controlling people and exerting power rather than the overall good of their employees.

How to Deal With a Toxic Work Environment

The first thing to know if you’re stuck in a toxic work environment is that you’re not stuck. While it’s ultimately the company’s responsibility to make positive changes that prevent harmful actions to employees, you also have an opportunity to speak up about your concerns—or, if necessary, depart the role altogether.

If you suspect that you’re working in a toxic environment, think about how you can advocate for yourself. Start by raising your grievances about the culture in an appropriate setting, like a scheduled, one-on-one meeting with your supervisor.

Can’t imagine sitting down with your supervisor to air those problems on your own? Form some solidarity with like-minded colleagues. Approaching management might feel less overwhelming when you have a “team” who shares your views.

It doesn’t have to be an overtly confrontational discussion. Do your best to frame your concerns in a positive way by sharing with your supervisor that you want to be more productive at work, but certain problems sometimes get in the way.

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Final Thoughts

If your supervisor truly cares about the well-being of the organization, they will take your concerns seriously and actively take part in changing the toxic work environment into something more conducive to productivity.

If not, then it might be time to consider the cost of the job on your well-being and personal life. Is it worth staying just for your resume’s sake? Or could you consider a “bridge” job that allows you to exhale for a bit, even if it doesn’t “move you ahead” the way you planned?

It might not be the ideal situation, but your mental health and well-being are too important to ignore. And when you have the opportunity to refuel, you’ll be a far more valuable asset at whatever amazing job you land next.

More Tips on Dealing With a Toxic Work Environment

Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com

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