15 Things You Only Know If You’re A Teacher

Ever wondered what your teachers really thought of you? To celebrate World Teachers' Day, we gatecrashed a staffroom and found out...

1. ‘Sometimes constructive criticism is hard to get across, and we wish we could say how we really feel about the fact that after a year in our class, you still can’t spell your own name.’

2. ‘Yes, of course we have favourites. Anybody who claims they don’t is lying through their Stepford smile! We also have our un-favourites, but of course we remain professional and pretend we see you all equally.’

3. ‘Parents evening is often a teacher’s worst nightmare. Especially when parents turn up late or don’t turn up at all! Or they do turn up and sit angrily demanding to know why their child isn’t progressing at the rate he/she should and you spend the entire evening desperately eye-balling the nearest senior member of staff to come and rescue you.’

4. ‘After the bell’s gone we don’t all head straight to the pub to get trollied (unless it’s a Friday, obvs). We have to plan for the next day’s lessons, do endless marking (drinking wine is not advised during this process) and all the little things we can’t get done during the day with a classroom full of excitable children demanding attention.’

5. ‘The most surprising thing you often learn on the job is that the actual teaching part often doesn’t feel like your job. Sometimes you can learn the most by just sitting in your classroom, surrounded by children and being able to observe some of the most interesting, funny and curious people you will ever meet.’

6. ‘Children will leave you the oddest presents. You can often return to your desk to a half-eaten pear or a love note declaring you’re the best teacher in the world. Kids often don’t have any tact either. So if you’re having a bad day, don’t expect them to pussyfoot around the subject…’

‘Joanna is crying because her boyfriend dumped her.’

7. ‘The biggest myth is that teachers get in at 9am and finish at 4pm. Most of us have actually been at school since 7am! Don’t even get us started on our weekends… Sundays are usually revered as a day of rest, Sunday lunches and binge TV watching. For teachers, the day is reserved for planning our lessons for the week ahead.’

8. ‘One of the hardest parts of this career is the belief that teaching doesn’t count as a real job with stress and deadlines! Teachers are actually under immense pressure from the government to reach targets, as well the constant threat of privatisation. Let’s also not forget the mammoth task of moulding these kids’ minds! So when something goes wrong it can be very disheartening – until something just clicks, and you remember why you got into this teaching lark in the first place.’

9. ‘More disgusting things happen in a classroom than you would expect, mainly poo related. Five year olds don’t have control over their bowels, and you can often find yourself spending your day sniffing your students to find out the culprit of the unwanted smell that has suddenly invaded your classroom. Try and remember that the next time you find yourself in a boring meeting at work.’

10. ‘Fellow teachers can often become your greatest sources of support. In the jungle of school where you’re severely outnumbered by children, it’s important to stick together and support each other.

11. ‘Rocking up to work hungover is just not an option. Can you imagine anything worse than having a severe hangover with 30 loud, excitable children? On the other hand, sticking a film on is always a go-to option for keeping the kids occupied during unavoidable alcohol related situations, while you try and hide your hangover behind your desk.’

12. ‘Parents often forget that you’re the teacher, not them, and they will force their educational ideals onto you at every opportunity. It’s good to keep the peace though – technically they are sending you their most prized possession every day.’

13. ‘There will be many occasions when you’re going about your daily non-school related life and will suddenly hear children shouting out your name in the street. Of course, this doesn’t happen when you’re nicely dressed and headed out for a meal with your boyfriend’s parents. It’s when you’re arriving home from the night before, looking like a bedraggled Billie Piper from Secret Diary of a Call Girl with mascara smudged down your face and red wine stains round your mouth.’

14. ‘The long holidays are an amazing perk of the job, if you make the most of them, but unless all your friends are fellow teachers, it can mean a lot of Netflix and Jeremy Kyle in your pyjamas. Not that that’s a problem.’

15. ‘Being a teacher is hard work, often with little recognition, and sometimes when your friends are jetting off to a work conference in LA while you’re wiping children’s snot off your top, you’ll find yourself questioning your career decision. But at the end of the day, there’s no job like it and every time something wonderful happens, you remember why you got into it in the first place and that you’re making a difference. The six weeks off every summer (and indepth knowledge of the Netflix catalogue) don’t hurt either.’

Images: giphy.com

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