I’ve taught for over a quarter of a century and I absolutely loved most of it. I’ve met and mentored some awesome young people and I’m really proud that I had anything to do with most of them. But there are some things about teaching and teachers that you may not know! Some of them are quite shocking so be warned.
- Growing tea and coffee cups– I’ve seen some cups in daily use by normally sane teachers that have several brown stained rims in and it’s still the favourite cup until a new one is received as a gift. So there you go, that’s a gift idea if you have a teacher to buy for! You’re welcome.
- Clipping heels– yes, teachers actually shout hooray and clip their heels when it’s a teacher training day so no kids are in! We do get tired of having them around sometimes!
- Grease stains– ok, we admit it, we do have your kids’ books sometimes on our dinner table as sometimes that’s the only available space to do some comfortable marking. We make every effort not to get any food marks on but we don’t always have 100% success.
- Ewww, filthy- the staffroom sink does look sometimes like it’s shared by some lousy teens, mostly boys, in a youth hostel! Signs are often posted near the said sink, with instructions for washing up! Can you believe it?
- Smelly breath– not that kind of smelly. The alcohol from the night before can sometimes haunt the teacher’s breath the next day. And yes, I wouldn’t suggest drinking on a school night (nor any night for that matter) but there are some teachers who find it necessary to numb brains on the night before school!
- Blagging it– a teacher is sometimes put on the spot: to cover for an absent teacher who might have gone home unwell or whose child is poorly. When you’re out on the spot like that, and particularly if you’re not very familiar with that subject or specialism, you just have to blag your way. I’m sure you know what I mean. What would you do?
- I prefer my own space– many an argument/disagreement between teachers have been about the use and indeed misuse of the shared workspace, usually a classroom. And that’s why teachers prefer to have their own classroom space. What to do with all the ‘arty’ stuff one teacher made with the kids and left in the room?
- Go stand outside– I’m sure this has happened to quite a few teachers but most aren’t willing to admit it. Here’s the scenario: for whatever reason, Johnny is disruptive and is preventing others’ learning. He is asked (quite politely) to stand outside for a bit to calm down. It’s only when someone pops a head in 25 minutes later and says “can I come in now?” That you remember what had happened and you’re now filled with dread about all that he must have got up to while out there!
- Kid comparison– we all have a child at school that we use as a comparison to see how our own child is doing. That comparison may relate to attainment, behaviour, etc. Don’t know if any teacher is willing to admit it, but we do.
- Sometimes the only way is up– we often give ourselves this pep talk. It is done at times when the term or half-term seem never-ending when a meeting is long drawn out and overly boring when the pile of books and papers we are marking seems to get bigger, not smaller, and when we feel ill and run down.
Have you any confessions to make? Do you know any other secrets that teachers have? Do share, we won’t tell. Promise.