1. They stay late and arrive early to grade all of those papers that we think ended the moment we turned them in at the end of class.
2. They often pay out of pocket for things for the class — from Kleenex, to “Good job!” stickers, to prizes for the in-class games.
3. When a student can’t afford lunch (and doesn’t want to tell anyone), it’s often the teacher who will help them get something to eat.
4. Calling each and every student’s house who is struggling is just par for the course, even if they know they sometimes won’t get any answers.
5. They have that swaggy “teacher handwriting” that no one but a teacher can ever reproduce.
6. Their job is to make things interesting for a group of people who are often completely open about the fact that they want to be anywhere else in the world.
7. While they may not let you go to the bathroom, that means that they aren’t going to the bathroom either (and thus must have bladders of steel).
8. Often, they are the only advocate that certain students have.
9. Sometimes they have candy reserves and give out little bits of candy for a job well done, and it’s the best feeling ever. No candy tastes better than congratulatory teacher candy.
10. It should go without saying, but they’re not doing it for the money. And it’s become a cliché, but the kind of hours they work for the money they are paid deserves way more respect than just a couple of platitudes.
11. They have the uncanny ability to answer the same question 13098203852 times without going insane.
12. When it comes to holding smart phones until the end of the class if a student can’t stop taking it out, they have resolve of steel.
13. They make the unpopular decisions that make us resent them in the moment, but which are ultimately for our own good.
14. They have no qualms with showing ridiculous levels of school spirit at pep rallies, much to the embarrassment of their students in the stands.
15. Many of them don’t get to enjoy their summer breaks because they have to have jobs during that period time, as well, even if it’s just tutoring.
16. They have magical abilities which permit them to see what’s going on behind them while writing on the chalkboard.
17. When a parent isn’t going to push their kid, a teacher has to step in and do it themselves.
18. Often they will run clubs and after-school programs for little no extra compensation, just because they love doing it.
19. When it comes time to set up holiday decorations, it’s up to the teachers to do it themselves.
20. They adapt to things like social media in order to be more accessible and functional for their students. (Big ups to the teachers who are active on Twitter!)
21. Most teachers got into it because of love and, despite the difficult moments, stay in it for that very same reason.