18 Things That Will Make You Cry As A First-Year High School Teacher

Flickr Shelby Steward
Flickr Shelby Steward

1) You wake up at 5AM every morning to be at work for 6:45AM so you can be outside your classroom door at 7AM with a smiling face welcoming your students.

2) Somewhere between writing your objective on the board and warming up the smart board with your “Do Now”, you spilled the coffee that you can barely afford on your “new” (thrifted) dress pants.

3) You’re reminded how you did an extra year or two of school for a master’s degree but still make less than your friends with bachelor’s degrees.

4) A student flips a desk over two minutes into class because you don’t have extra copies of the worksheet he didn’t do and then lost but now wants to make up.

5) You overhear a female student talk about how her boyfriend assaulted her over the weekend but she’s going to stay with him anyway because they’re “so in love”.

6) You don’t know the proper protocol on how to report this incident and you feel equally useless and distraught.

7) A bilingual student and immigrant from Ecuador tells you he doesn’t miss his homeland because the local gangs would try to recruit him as he would walk to school. (Mind you, all communication with said student is done through the Google Translate app.)

8) The same student tells you how appreciative he is of American schools and you wonder why all your students don’t realize how lucky they are. So you plan a project where students will research schools in other countries and they tell you “this is stupid.”

9) Another student, a refugee from Syria, tells you how he received news last night that his hometown was infiltrated last night by ISIS insurgents and he has no idea if his family is safe or not. Now you really feel like an idiot for crying earlier about spilled coffee.

10) A fight between two 250-pound male students breaks out and you’re a 125-pound female teacher.

11) You find out this fight only happened because these students met up the night before to fight and one brought a weapon so they postponed it until the following day where it “would be safer.”

12) Your principal stops in for an informal observation during the worst possible time, every time.

13) So on the fly you try to make your classroom more “student centered” by having students draw images of where they think their American Dreams will lead them in 10 years and one student’s image is titled “Dead or In Prison.”

14) But then another student tells you their dream is to be a successful teacher “like you, Ms. S!”

15) And a student with a 3rd grade reading level (in your 10th grade US history class) is finally able to comprehend the readings and complete the worksheets you spent four hours last night modifying.

16) And a student that you have struggled to build a rapport with all year finally tells you that he thinks you’re cool and you’re “squad” now.

17) You have to Google what “squad” means and you have a quarter-life crisis because you’re officially old.

18) Finally, you realize it’s only 10:34AM. TC mark

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