Educate yourself before you end up in the timeout chair.
We teachers are known for our nurturing, caring spirit, but if you feel yourself falling head over heels, you better be prepared. Here's what you need to know before falling in love with a teacher.
1. We hate making miniscule decisions after teaching all day.
The average teacher makes 1,500 educational decisions a day. That's about four every minute for a six-hour day of instruction. When we get home, the last thing we want to do is make even more decisions. We don't care what's for dinner or what movie we watch; just feed us and don't talk.
2. We know when to turn our filters on and off.
Our job is based around kids. That means we're always functioning at a G-rated level. This is much easier said than done, but come after hours, there's nothing more relaxing than downing a few cocktails and rattling off some inappropriate words. It reminds us that we're adults and helps keep us sane.
3. We have a hard time leaving our teaching hat in the classroom.
We have this public service duty running through our veins. When we see children misbehaving at the grocery store, in the mall, or wherever they're not technically our responsibility, we will still give them "the look." We may even get on our little soapbox and talk about being nice and making good choices. And we have no problems saying this with their parents right there.
4. We can't help but treat you like a child, especially if you act like one.
We deal with kids all day long. We consistently remind them to keep their hands to themselves, play nice with others, follow directions, and everything else under the sun. If your behavior mildly reflects that of a seven-year-old, you will be treated as a child. Don't take it personally. Or do, and grow up. We should only have to ask you once to pick up your socks off the floor.
5. We're consistently carrying around lots and lots of bags.
Teachers lug so many things to and from school each day, it's a wonder we're not professional body builders. Besides our main bag with yesterday's graded papers and our laptop, we're also carrying our purse, lunch bag, most recent purchase from Target, and a crate of supplies for tomorrow's science experiment. Don't judge, just offer help.
6. We spend a crazy amount of hours grading papers.
Breaks during the school day are often few and far between. And once students dismiss for the day, we're busy preparing lessons for the next round. That means we spend plenty of nights grading papers. Feel free to grab a colored marker and help. This will get you major bonus points.
7. We often talk in acronyms.
We spend so much of our day wrapped up in educators' lingo that we forget it sounds completely foreign to everyone else. From the PARCC meeting discussing NCLB and CCSS, to the BOE meeting talking about PD for ELL and SLP educators, we just forget that you have no idea what it all means. Heck, even we can't remember what all those letters stand for. Just smile and nod when we tell you about our day.
8. We spend a lot of our own money on our students.
We don't typically plan on spending hundreds of dollars a year on our students, it just happens. Those coloring supplies and boxes of tissues are essential for the classroom. And that sale at the local book store was too good to pass up. And of course, when we take a trip anywhere, a souvenir is needed to show the students. And ... well, you get the picture.
9. Our hands will forever be covered in marker.
If our hands aren't sporting some sort of color at the end of the school day, it means that we were either stuck in meetings or didn't get to do all the teaching that we wanted to cover. It's like our war paint. And yes, we're very aware of it.
10. We earn our summers off and don't like when you tease us about it.
If you truly love your teacher, then you already understand how hard of a job educating the future of our world is. True, we only “work” for 10 months out of the year, but when we work, we WORK.
We consistently have our craft on our mind. We put in additional hours outside of our standard work day. We use weekends to prep and prepare upcoming lessons. We even use our time off, (AKA summer break) to take courses to make ourselves even more stellar in the classroom. So if you decide to make a snarky comment about how nice it must be to have summers off, be prepared to be in timeout for a long time.