I can honestly say I've only had one bad teacher in my entire time spent in school, 2 if I include university studies. The average person has absolutely no comprehension whatsoever what the position entails. There are curriculum changes almost every year. Good teachers don't take the entire summer off. They plan for the next year, catch up on curriculum changes, and in the case of my mother as a primary teacher, plan orientation for the kids and even do some of the cleaning that her lousy school janitor doesn't keep up on. How horrible would it be on your first day of school to walk into a dirty disgusting classroom.
When a child misbehaves, 9/10 the parents side with their kids, which isn't unusual. But the hostility definitely is, and frankly it sometimes is an indicator of possible root causes of the bad behaviour some kids show in class.
Ariadne, I'm not sure where your views originate, but primary educators are not the ones who make poor marks. In B.Ed programs, primary education is a major. The issues teachers are trained for differ greatly between say a primary school teacher and a high school math teacher.
My mother frequently runs into past students and every single one of them loved her. She could be walking through the mall, and a young kid will scream her name and run to give her a hug with open arms.
I agree that there are some bad apples out there, for instance the university kids who go into education because it pays allright, and they get decent vacations. Those who love the job are invaluable as both mentors and the people who help our children grow. To tar them all is completely ignorant of all the good teachers out there, and I think the majority of them are.