While you’re still trying to get your life together, you are now responsible for the lives of the 100-200 kids you see a day/a week in your classes. You are responsible for educating America’s future to make good life choices and teach them the tools they will need to be successful as they grow and mature. Every child is unique and as a group, they all have their own quirks and annoyances that, as a teacher, you must deal with and work through. However, I have noticed that in one days worth of classes, which in my school is 8 periods from 7:50-2:45, there are so many other things that you need to worry about.
1. The student who is absent from your class, but is in school that day.
Like where could this kid possibly be? Maybe he/she has a band lesson or stayed late in their last period class. Regardless, that student who is supposed to be in your class is not there; you are responsible for their safety and they are nowhere to be found. You tell yourself they’re probably in the office or at the nurse or some place where there is adult supervision. However, you can’t help but think of that lecture you’d get about knowing where your students are at all times in the case that student does something or is somewhere they’re not supposed to be.
2. That email from That Parent about their child’s grade.
“Dear Ms. You Are Incapable Of Doing Anything Right, My Son/Daughter Is Literally God’s Gift To The World So How Dare You Give Them A C On Their Essay?” That’s what the email loosely translates to. And what you really want to reply back with is, “Dear “concerned parent”, your son/daughter is the most annoying child I have ever had in my class. They don’t listen to instructions, feel entitled to call out, and frankly they are pretty stupid. I did not “give” your kid a C, they earned it because they think they’re too good to proofread or write anything remotely related to the assignment.” But you must put on a smile, reply back that you’d be more than happy to discuss their child’s progress in your class further if they would like, because there is nothing that brings a teacher more joy than a parent meeting.
3. When the discussion topic makes a complete 180.
A great example of this is when I taught my puberty/growth and development unit to my Health class. (That alone should be its own article). We talked about a lot of the changes their bodies are going to go through during puberty. As we were talking about the hormones (testosterone and estrogen), one kid asked if males could take estrogen pills. Then before I had a chance to reply, another kid bursts out talking about Caitlyn Jenner. Then another kid chimes in talking about “tranny’s” and before I knew it, the discussion had lost control and taken a complete nose dive into a topic that was not age appropriate for a 5th grade Health class. Have you ever tried to regain control of fifteen 5th graders? It should be considered an Olympic sport.
4. What to eat for lunch
This may easily be the most exciting and important part of your day. No children, no thinking, just food. But to get to this part, you need to make some decisions; do you buy lunch at the school or pack your own lunch? If you’re going to pack your own lunch, do you bring leftovers from dinner the night before? Do you make a sandwich in the morning before you leave? What if you don’t have any lunch-worthy food in your house? Then you have to leave earlier than normal in the morning to stop at the grocery store to get something. Or you have to leave during your prep or lunch period to get food. OR you can muster up a bunch of snacks and space those out throughout the day. So many choices.
5. The copy machine is always broken
Whether you try to get to the machine before school, during your prep period, or afterschool, somehow the copier is ALWAYS broken. Even if it’s a brand new machine, top model, someone always finds a way to break it, leaving it unusable for the other 40-50 teachers in the building. So you have to print out an insane amount of copies from the printer in your room or office, leaving you with hardly any paper or any ink at the end. Good thing it takes about two weeks for your request for more ink and paper to be processed and received. In that time span, the copier will have broken at least ten more times.
6. The entire class failed your test
Not only did you teach the material with great detail and necessary modifications, but you also gave them a study guide to review all the information that would be on the test. There was nothing that was on the test that was not on the study guide. You did everything you could to set them up for success, but the end result was complete and utter failure. Does that mean there’s something wrong with you as a teacher? How else can you teach the material to make sure the students understand it? Now you have to create new assignments to bring their grades up. Even when you think you have a plan, somehow something always happens to throw you off course.
7. Planning your pee schedule
As funny as it sounds, this may cause teachers the most stress during the day. In an 8 period day, for example, a full teachers’ schedule will consist of 5-6 periods of teaching, 1-2 periods of prep, and a lunch. In my day, as another example, I have one prep period in the morning and one prep period in the afternoon, not including my lunch. With that being said, I have trained my body to pee once in the morning and once in the afternoon, if need be. God forbid I’m too busy during my prep period or I don’t have to go, then I have 2 teaching periods in a row where my bladder feels like it’s going to explode. There really is no other time during the day to go because, for the most part, you are the only form of adult supervision in the room. If you’re not familiar with the teaching profession, it’s pretty much highly frowned upon to leave children unsupervised in class. So on top of lesson planning for every class, you must also pee plan for everyday.