Top Ten Things People Say When They Find out I’m a Teacher

10. I could never do what you do. (Of course you can’t. I am highly skilled.)

9. Some inappropriate double entendre. (Apparently some people have a thing for teachers.)

8. Some inappropriate joke. (Yes, I am a male teacher of young children. No, you are not going to hear about me on the news.)

7. I wanted to be a teacher at one time. (Couldn’t hang?)

6. You should get paid more. (Duh!)

5. I have a lot of respect for what you have to go through. (When was the last time you voted in support of public education?)

4. You must love the schedule. (If I could get a day off where I was not doing something education related, it would be a miracle!)

3. I bet the kids love you! (Umm yea. I am highly lovable!)

2. You must have a lot of patience. (Yes and you’re testing it!)

1. Aww that’s so cute! (Sigh.)

You know what’s sad about this list? I have never heard anyone ever comment on how intelligent I must be, or how creative or innovative I am. In the book, Teaching 2030:What We Must Do for Our Students and Our Public Schools…, the author comments that many Americans think that patience and persistance, not professional knowledge, make a great teacher. I have yet to hear otherwise. Have you?



Donnie Dicus

Donnie Dicus

Tucson, Arizona

My name is Donnie Dicus and I have been teaching in Arizona for 12 years. I came to Arizona from Southern Illinois to attend the University of Arizona in Tucson. I graduated in 2003 and began teaching second grade. I taught second grade in Tucson for 8 years before moving to Phoenix. I now teach third grade. I achieved National Board Certification in 2012 and I received my Master’s Degree from Grand Canyon University in 2015. I achieved a National Board Certificate in Middle Childhood Generalist in 2012. I’ve been teaching mainstream and SEI 3rd grade classrooms in the Cartwright School District in Phoenix since 2013. I taught 2nd grade and was a math interventionist in Tucson in the Amphitheater School District. I’ve been a technology coach and have helped teachers apply technology to improve instruction. I facilitate coaching cohorts for teachers going through the National Board process and organize peer groups at my site to pair new teachers with experienced teachers. In 2010 I was nominated as a Rodel Semi-Finalist for Exemplary teaching in 2010 and featured as a Teacher Leader in February 2016 by the Arizona K12 Center.
I have class pictures of every single student I have taught behind my desk on my wall. After 12 years, that is approximately 350 students. My students know that this is my Wall of Accomplishments. I am so proud of the difference I made in their lives. I became a teacher to make a difference and I strive to do so every day.

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