Updated August 2018, originally published July 2013
1. Regardless of where you are – shopping, the cinema, in a restaurant, even on a beach on holiday – you’ll almost always hear ‘Hi Miss/Sir’ or hear your name shouted out at you and instantly know that a student is standing in the immediate vicinity. The event of this happening is even more likely when you’re wearing your scruffy clothes and haven’t washed your hair.
2. You are called ‘Mum/Dad’ accidentally at least ten times a day.
3. You’ve learnt not to complain about your job to your non-teacher friends as this will always elicit a ‘but you get three months off a year, you have it so easy’ response from them and you don’t wish to get into yet another confrontation while you’re trying to drink your cocktail.
4. Excitement can be found in the discovery of attractive stationery, and hours of fun can be had purchasing supplies before the start of a new term – ring binders, Post-it notes , biros and multipacks of highlighters are some of the favourites. You also know which are the best whiteboard pens to use and are highly protective of lending them out to coworkers as you know you’ll never get them back.
6. You’ve developed the art of almost inhaling a meal in less than fifteen minutes.
7. You desperately hope that the new, fresh faced Newly Qualified Teachers (NQT’s) don’t become as cynical as you are.
8. You’re capable of working an entire day without visiting the toilet.
9. You have come to terms with the fact that any physical flaw that you have will be highlighted to you at some point. ‘You look really rough, Miss. Are you feeling ill?’
10. Even in your 20’s you’ll be considered old and past it, except by a student’s parent or grandparent who will inform you that you’re far too young and inexperienced to have the job.
11. A child’s behaviour and personality is instantly explainable and understandable after meeting the parents.
12. You consider the work suitability of a garment when clothes shopping.
13. You are capable of correcting the behaviour of somebody else’s child simply by giving them your best ‘teacher face’ in public.
14. You almost consider not having children of your own as you know that the prospect of naming them will be virtually impossible, due to the association that names bring with certain ‘cherubs’ in your classes.
15. You spend Sunday nights on YouTube to find interesting resources for the next week.
17. There is no question that can be asked that makes you blush – you’ve heard them all before. I actually wrote down all the random questions I was asked during a teaching day once.
18. You’ve stopped rolling your eyes when your students almost die from shock at the idea that you actually have a first name, or a family, or own an up-to-date piece of technology, or enjoy music created post 1960.
19. There are no names that could sound unusual anymore, and you know how to spell the same popular name in twenty different ways.
20. It is possible to develop Jedi mind powers and ‘sense’ the presence of a mobile phone in a room, even when you can’t physically see it.
21. The biggest laughs can be found on websites containing compilations of slightly too literal answers to questions on exam papers.
22. Your peripheral vision now extends to 360 degrees.
23. You teach an entire day’s timetable in your dreams.
24. You are capable of rephrasing all of your sentences to avoid any words that may be considered rude (unfortunately music terminology is rife with these sorts of words – I stopped using the words ‘pianist,’ ‘G String’ and flutter tonguing’ after my first week of being in a classroom).
25. A fantastic lesson with a wonderful class, or witnessing a child achieve something beyond what they thought capable, will provide you with a buzz for the rest of the day.
26. You’ve cried in private if you hear that one of your students have experienced something horrible in their personal lives.
27. You’re guaranteed to be ill at the beginning of every holiday.
28. You’re capable of answering four questions at once.
And finally (try not to vomit at this one, but it’s absolutely true)
29. A genuine ‘thank you’ from a child reminds you exactly why you do the job.
Are there any others that you could add to the list?
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