6 Things About Being A Teacher That No One Warns You About


Your students are weirdos

God bless my former teachers who dealt with my friends and me and managed not to give us looks full of wonder, confusion, and disgust every day. The other day, I overheard this gem of a conversation:

Student 1: “Hey, y’all know how horses breed?”

Class: “How?”

Student 1: “They get on each other’s backs and go at it!” Class laughs. “I’m not even jokin’! They really do!”

Student 2: “Yeah, I saw a couple cows doing that across the street earlier!”

Like…what? That’s not a conversation normal people have. Granted, I’m in the Dirty South, but every area has its own variation of these students.

Your students are hilarious

Before a quiz or test, I tell my students that if they straight up don’t know an answer, they shouldn’t waste my time with B.S. answers. You know it’s wrong, I know it’s wrong (and since I’m at a Catholic school right now, God knows it’s wrong; Catholic Guilt: check), so you might as well save both of us some time and not put fake answers. Just leave it blank; if you really must put something, draw me a picture, say something nice, or tell me a joke. This is a student’s response to that:

He failed, but he got a point for his wit. And this is just a drop in the ocean.

The teacher doesn’t always know the answer

Almost everything I’ve taught this year I’ve learned the night or two before. I mean, yeah, I understood it enough already but not enough to teach it. If you’ve ever asked a teacher a question and her response was, “Dig a little deeper. I want to see what you can come up with on your own, then we’ll talk about it later,” chances are she was internally cursing you for asking such a hard question. I don’t know why this is such a famous modernist poem if even critics have a hard time understanding it I mean it encompasses everything that was happening at the time and just be quiet and let me have this okay? If nothing else, teaching has made me a wizard at thinking on my feet. Clearly.

Very little of what you learn in your education classes will help you

Classroom experience is all that really matters. Learn how to deal with that punk who desperately needs his classmates’ attention and you’re golden.

You have a negative amount of time

Do what planning you can, get your classes in order, remember to give them homework, remember to decide on the homework, go to the faculty meeting, go to the department meeting, let students make up quizzes tests projects any homework you ever assigned, make up tests, give tests, grade, come up with point values, come up with a unit, redo the unit because of time, take care of extracurriculars, make copies, plan with other teachers, plan field trips, coordinate field trips, hate yourself because of the field trips, and a thousand other things. No, learning about Piaget and Vygotsky in Human Development 101 did not help me with this kind of insanity.

You’ll get attached faster than you can say “Do your homework”

I’ve been with my students for about four months now, and I will absolutely hate to leave them in a couple weeks. I never would have expected to get attached to a group of annoying punks, but it happened. The second you see them using something you taught them, you’re done. You’ll have fallen through the best rabbit hole of your life.