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    Feb 25, 2020

    19 Secrets About Being A Teacher Anyone Who's Ever Been In School Should Know

    Teachers definitely hear the mean things you whisper about them in class, FYI.

    We asked the BuzzFeed Community what secrets people should really know about being a teacher, and they didn't disappoint! Here are some of the best responses:

    1. It's really, really hard for teachers to keep a straight face when a student does something funny that they aren't supposed to do.


    "Sometimes my middle schoolers say or do things in class for which I must sternly reprimand them, but secretly I crack up about it later. It's hard to keep a straight face when a kid has just stuck gum in her belly-button in the middle of standardized testing."


    2. A teacher's workday definitely doesn't start and end when school does.


    "No, I do not work from 7-3. If it’s an easy day I’ll leave around 4:30. If it’s a bad day it’ll be a little later and I’ll go home to cry into my ungraded papers."


    3. A simple "good morning" or "hi, how are you?" can make a teacher's day.


    "I can’t speak for everyone, but it does sting sometimes when I say good morning or hello to my students and they just walk past without so much as an acknowledgement. I’m often genuinely happy to see my students and I get that they have a lot on their mind, but I think sometimes they forget that we are people and not robots. Just a smile or a wave is really nice!"


    4. Teachers can hear all the mean things you say about them in class, and it definitely hurts their feelings sometimes.


    "I wish students knew that we can hear the things you talk about during class. So we hear all the rude and snide comments that are aimed at us and it keeps me up at night. When a student is trash talking you within earshot it's really demoralizing and it makes us feel awful. Some students seem to forget we're humans with feelings and the things they say really sting and harm our mental health."


    5. Going to the bathroom during the workday is basically impossible for a teacher.


    "You literally cannot go to the bathroom during most of the day when you teach elementary school. While the kids are at specials classes (like art and PE) you usually have meetings, so the only time you can pee is during your 30 minute lunch. That 30 minutes includes walking the students down, getting everyone through the line, etc. Some days, it was either eat or take a bathroom break, not both."


    6. The teachers' lounge isn't nearly as fun as movies and TV shows made it out to be.


    "Nothing exciting or mysterious ever happens in the teachers' lounge! TV and movies make it seem like the teachers’ room is the hottest spot to be. There’s literally a paper slicer, random sugar packets, expired Good Housekeeping magazines, and four lonely coffee cups in ours."


    7. Teachers never really get to have bad days.


    "We’re in a job where we don’t really get to be vulnerable or have a bad day. We put on a face for our students, even if we are in a lot of physical or emotional pain. Sure, sometimes it’s good for them to see that adults have to work through things too, but it’s not like we get to tell anyone to leave us alone or to give us space until we are feeling better."


    8. Teachers have to learn to be realllllllly good actors.


    "Unfortunately, sometimes you just hate a kid. When you’re trying your best to help your class and they tell you to f*** off, throw things at you, and say that they’re going to tell everyone that you hit them so you get fired, you can’t help that hatred coming up. You just have to hide your facial expressions, take a deep breath and smile. On the flip side, I would say I’ve become a pretty good actor."


    9. Teachers don't really get the laid-back summer vacation most people probably think they do.


    "We don’t actually have summers off! We can pick to have pay withheld during the school year so then we get a check over the summer still but we aren’t paid for that time. Summers are mostly spend at conferences or in classes, so it's definitely not just a paid vacation."


    10. High school cliques aren't just for students. Teachers have them too!

    Paramount Pictures

    "In high school, the teachers are grown versions of the student cliches. In my hallway area we have the class president, the student council president, the cheerleader, the jock, the theater fan and the geek. They call me the 'Geek Whisperer' when I deal with the students! And yes, we can be 'mean girls' about other staff members, too."


    11. Teachers have to be mindful of everything they do, like erasing the board a certain way so their butt doesn't jiggle in front of the whole class.


    "We are always performing. Every motion, gesture, and word has an effect, and we have to know exactly what that effect is, so we can get the results we want and avoid unnecessary distractions. For example, one of the first things I learned in my credential program is to ALWAYS erase the board vertically. Erasing horizontally will make your booty shake in front of the whole class."


    12. They rarely get raises.


    "Teachers never get raises. Yes, we get what’s called a “step” each year that’s supposed to cover cost of living increases. I’ve been at my school for 6 years and next year I’ll make a total of $73 more than I did my first year. My spouse is a teacher and makes $100 more on his paycheck than when he started 13 years ago."


    13. On top of that, they have to pay for almost everything in the classroom out of pocket, too.

    Paramount Pictures

    "I’ve personally paid for most things in my classroom. Out of pocket, I’ve had to buy books, pencils, erasers, cleaning supplies, markers, storage bins, pencil cases, glue, binders, and paper. I also bring in snacks and fruit for my students. And we only get a $250 tax deduction a year!"


    14. The highest form of praise is when their students offer them some of their snacks.

    20th Century Fox Television

    "My high school students asking me if I want one of their chips is the highest display of respect and I love it."


    15. A lot of thought actually goes into those ~random~ pairings teachers put their students into.


    "When we often do 'random' pairings for classwork, they're not very random at all. We just want the kids to think they are. Often times, we attempt to pair stronger students with weaker students, or kids who we know work well together. We will also NEVER attempt to pair up kids who either get along too well (i.e. spend the entire time talking and never get any work done) or who can't get along at all."


    16. Teachers have developed some clever hacks to deal with annoying parents.


    "When kids have annoying parents, I give them the most obnoxious prizes I can find. 'You had a great day Johnny, here's a whistle. Make sure you blow it loud and proud to show mommy what a good boy you are!'"


    17. One of the most important parts of being a teacher is being a shoulder to cry on for students going through something rough.


    "The toughest is the emotional toll the compassion fatigue takes on you when your students are going through trauma and dealing with serious issues — poverty, homelessness, drug addiction, teen pregnancy, suicidal thoughts, etc. I spend more time being a therapist-figure to my students than teaching my content. It’s impossible to not bring your work home. Your students really become your kids and you never stop caring about them."


    18. Teachers definitely want their past students to drop in and say hi after they've graduated!


    "When we say keep in touch, we mean it! We never stop loving and caring for our students. Many a young teacher experiences the closest emotions to that of motherhood with their student being their first 'babies'. So when you leave us and we never hear from you again, it is hard. Send us that email, FB post, or letter. Even better, stop by if you can. It will make our whole day!"


    19. And in the end, teachers are actually a lot more like students than most students probably think!

    Adam F. Goldberg Productions

    "I've got a few lighthearted secrets! We have interdepartmental snapchat groups to troll each other in class. Also, 'poetry reading' is code for 'drinks' in staff emails."


    Did we miss any big secrets about being a teacher? If so, let us know in the comments below!

    TV Land

    Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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