the story so far

You Know You’re an Elem.Ed. Teacher When…

  1. You get grammar songs stuck in your head. Overnight.
  2. You arrive at work in the dark, and leave in the dark, and are still taking grading home.
  3. Eating alone is a privilege.
  4. You carry your phone in your pocket as much as possible because it counts your steps and that’s the most exercise you’re ever going to get.
  5. Kids say things to you like, “hmm.. you don’t look like you’ve had your coffee yet” …and they’re right.
  6. When you have a bad hair day an 8 year old will think they’re coming up with a perfectly viable solution when they say, “maybe you should just cut it all off.”
  7. “Dressing up” means wearing a slightly different pair of earrings than the one pair you’ve worn the past three months, and maybe wearing your contact lenses instead of your glasses.
  8. Everyone notices when you wear makeup, because you never wear makeup. If you’re lucky they won’t realize it’s from the night before when you barely mustered up the energy to go out and see adults and tried to look presentable.
  9. Checking emails is a nightmare.
  10. Admin observations are a cause of high anxiety – not because you can’t teach, but because the kids will choose that day to do the most outrageous things they can think of and you’ll be completely stumped and look entirely incompetent.
  11. Staff meetings are about things completely irrelevant to half the staff, so they can be used for naps, but only if you sit as far to the back as possible.
  12. You usually listen to music in the car, but after school the best part of the day is driving home in complete and utter silence, like a sensory deprivation chamber, just to be sane enough for a polite greeting when you walk in your door at home.

I just read a statistic that in some part of Pennsylvania or Ohio or something, 40 first grade teachers in one school district had quit teaching in the first two months of school because the kids had driven them insane. Fourty. I have 100% understanding and compassion for these people.

Really, I don’t know how teachers do it. I don’t know how I do it. People always talk about teaching like it’s some fluff job because teachers get vacations when the students do, and don’t teach all summer… I’m sorry but you do not understand. Teachers need those breaks even more than students do. And believe me, half of those breaks are spent catching up on grading, lesson planning, and writing emails to disgruntled parents who demand answers on Thanksgiving day in the middle of dinner. Even summer vacations are interspersed with teacher training weeks, so much so that it’s even difficult to get a summer job to pay the bills for a couple of months. When you sit in a small confined space with 18-25 eight to ten year olds for weeks on end, come tell me about how you don’t think it’s fair that teachers get weekends and vacation days off… I dare you.

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