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True Life: Teacher Edition

March 05, 2014

It's crazy that this time last year I was wrapping up my days in the classroom. Even though my teaching days are firmly behind me I still find myself defending the profession when people talk negatively about teachers. Once a teacher, always a defender of teachers. The public definitely has a lot of misconceptions about the job, so I thought I would share some of the realities of working as a teacher.

                                              Things Only Teachers Know

  1.  Summer vacation is one of the nice perks of teaching, but you don't get paid for lounging around the pool and getting a tan. Teachers can get a percentage of their paycheck added to a summer account in which they receive a lump sum payment at the beginning of the summer. I can't even tell you how many people used to assume that I got a paycheck during the summer. I knew teachers who actually had to get summer jobs to make ends meet.
  2. Teaching is the only job I know of that an employee has to buy their own office supplies. I shudder to think of how much I spent on paper, pencils, etc on my students through the years.
  3. Overtime is expected and never compensated. You will never have enough time in the day to get everything you need done.
  4. An unsupportive administration is more common than not. If your administrators don't back the teachers in terms of discipline, it will be a bumpy year.
  5. A brand new teacher (without student teaching experience) is often given a week of pre-planning and a set of keys prior to teaching kids.
  6. Teachers are not allowed to sit down for state mandated tests. You are expected to walk around the room for 2-3 hours.
  7. Lunch time usually means having 15 minutes to cram some food down your throat. Some teachers just choose to skip lunch.
  8. Teachers are skilled in making it through without a bathroom break. Good luck trying to find someone to cover your class to make a bathroom run. 


  1. Sounds rough! The summers sound amazing though. I understand that you don't get paid but I really think I'd love that freedom and I'm really good at budgeting ahead so I think I'd be okay. Plus, after a long exhausting school year I imagine you REALLY need that break to recharge.

  2. Fascinating- I did not know any of that (well I got a taste when i substitute taught). I am so surprised teachers don't get paid over the summer! It's really sad these are the people that care for our children and this is a lot of bullcrap (for not a lot of pay).