So everyone knows teaching is supposed to be one of the most rewarding jobs in the world. All those innocent minds, unaware of the world, just waiting for your enlightening wisdom…aaand then you step into your first class room and realize it was all a lie. By about third period you’re either crying in a bathroom stall or handing in your resignation.
If you manage to make it through your first day however, here are some of the wonderful lessons that await you:
1. Being careful with the words you use in front of your students
When you’re dealing with a group of teenage, hormone crazed boys and girls, anything can take on a dirty connotation and reduce an entire class to giggles. So choose wisely.
2. Having to pretend you don’t understand their private “dirty” jokes
The worst part? Having to pretend you have no idea what they’re laughing at. Sometimes you’re feeling disgust, but others it is actual amusement. Under no circumstances, however, can you let them know that you’re capable of following them right down the gutter and know exactly what is on their mind.
3. Deflecting obviously obscene questions and remarks
Sometimes though feigning ignorance just won’t cut it. There will always be those kids who relish in a teachers discomfort and will go out of their way to get a reaction out of you. Nothing works better than calling them out on it and offering to have them repeat the comment in front of their own parents.
4. Managing love affairs and crushes among kids
You’ve got to try and maintain some sort of control all the while not trying to feel like Simran’s father in DDLJ. You know they’re going to be trying their hardest to be in the same group or class, and also that if you let it happen, their collective productivity is going to fall to that of a 5th grader at most.
5. Managing the students who’re clearly crushing on you
There is always going to be one, and its always going to be the most awkward thing ever. Just pray it doesn’t become a class joke or you’ll have a really hard time pretending you don’t know what everyone is teasing them about.
6. Catching students doing something you have to say is wrong but have probably done far worse at their age
You can’t tell them off in good conscience but you really can’t just let it pass either. You’ll find yourself trying to pretend you don’t know whats going on, or just letting them off with a ‘Please don’t let me catch you again’. If you do get them into trouble for it, prepare yourself for bouts of guilt.
7. Having to avoid students when they add you on social media
A big no-no for any professional acquaintance, especially when the acquaintances are impressionable kids with social media stalking skills like you’ve never seen. They will find you no matter what your privacy settings are. And God forbid you add one and then not the rest of the entire school, so its best to just steer clear.
8. Being careful with all the lines and circles you make in diagrams because children have a dirty mind
Same goes for any kind of drawing. Who knew a visual representation of H2O could have such an effect? Free advice, just, please, try and stick to triangles and squares.
9. Dealing with parents who think their child is amazing but you know he is actually the kid from The Omen
The God-awful kid who picks a fight with everyone and anyone, never does any work and makes you want to bash his head into the desk? He is mommy’s little angel. She genuinely doesn’t believe all your lies and is sure the whole school has a personal vendetta against her darling boy. You couldn’t burst that bubble of parental adoration if you tried.
10. Navigating how to tell children when they’re walking all around the school with a wardrobe malfunction
Body odor, open buttons, undone zippers, visible underwear, or lack of underwear altogether. Just a few of the joys of trying to maintain some form of uniform. Some you can point out, some you just have to call the mothers and beg to fix.
11. Trying not to laugh when a student’s baisti of some fellow kid is too funny
Sometimes you just can’t help it. There’s only so much you can control yourself when the roasting is of such a high quality.
12. Trying to make sure your students look and act their age, and not 10 years older
A scary and terrifying ordeal at every colored day is seeing your otherwise controllable khaki-clad students suddenly transform into strutting high-heel wearing, leather jacket toting, perfectly highlighted 20 something’s. Who knew 12 year old’s could be so intimidating?
13. Dealing with extreme awkwardness of seeing your students in public
It’s awkward for them, its awkward for you, nobody’s happy and its just better to try and pretend it didn’t happen.
If nothing else, being a teacher will make your heart go out to all the poor souls who have had to deal with you over the years. You will discover a profound respect for the patience of the men and women who are in charge of grooming and teaching what is essentially the future of our country. You may even find yourself sticking around till 4th period, just to see if you could actually make a difference.
Cover image via: lahoreschoolofeconomics.blogspot.com