Face it: teachers are not saints. In fact, some of them are worse than you. Yes, worse. If your child has the proverbial teacher with her hair in a bun, the flat Aeresol shoes, and an apple on her desk, bend a knee and say a prayer of gratitude. But the rest of you that go to the parent conference and do a double-take at the twenty-something hottie dressed in a pencil skirt and stiletto pumps, this one’s for you:
1. We can’t wait to go to happy hour on Friday. (Or Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.)
More than half of the teachers I work with are borderline alcoholic, including myself. I know this because they often come dragging into work with a slight hangover. During the week. So, while your child is taking a unit Social Studies test, a triad of teachers are copying each other on emails about where to meet for drinks immediately after school.
2. Your kids get on our nerves, too, just like they do yours.
Yes, we love your kids and see the potential in their mighty little hearts. But you know how they can be. Some days we want to twist their heads off like bottle caps. They do unimaginable things at school that they would never do at home for you to witness. We’re the ones that have to deal with it. Even though secretly at night as we settle in our beds, we laugh at their shenanigans. “That little Johnny is too funny ...” Smile and yawn.
3. Some days we come to school not really knowing what lesson we’re teaching that day.
We pride ourselves on being the creative, spontaneous creatures who bring ingenuity to the classroom. There have been many days when I did not feel the inspiration for an engaging activity until fifteen minutes before the first bell. Lesson plans are overrated, especially when they’ve been used year after year after year. Sometimes we like to spice it up a bit. Live on the edge.
4. We are obligated to say nice things about your child on Open House night.
When you go to Open House, your child’s teacher would love to tell you how she has to tell little Tommy five times to shut the hell up before he actually does so, or how she still can’t fathom how little Suzy got promoted to the eighth grade. But the principal put a cap on it. We are trained to be nice to you on Open House. It’s all a facade. Please don’t drive home thinking that your child is really that great.
5. We talk badly about your child in the Teachers’ Lounge.
The majority of our conversations during lunch center around your child’s offensive/passive/immature/disruptive behavior. We can’t help it. It’s in our teacher genes. It’s important to us to have someone to vent to, and no one understands us but our fellow colleagues.
6. We wanted to be something else, but these are the cards that life dealt us.
And we wouldn’t change a thing.