Teaching is it's own culture. The only people who really know what it's like to be a teacher are actual teachers (current and former). Your friends and family are super supportive, and understand to the best of their ability. They may buy you sparkly pens for Christmas, or text you when they find a great deal on card stock, or *gasp* may even help you cut out laminating, but no one REALLY knows what it's like to be a teacher unless they are or have been one. (Sorry politicians.)
So here's a few ways to know if you really are teacher:
Oh, I love shoes. You wouldn't know it by looking in my closet because I only wear comfortable shoes to school, and I am always at school. Comfort seems to equal expensive. Because I am a teacher, I have a teacher's salary. Expensive shoes are not very budget friendly so they are not purchased often. Oh, how I wish that that cheap pair I saw at the mall had more arch support 'cause I would be all over that. (No, I'm not that old, I just walk that much.) Teaching in high heels is not for me.
I have a love/hate relationship with glue sticks. As a tool, they are phenomenal—very little mess, easy to use, don't take up much space, But no matter how much we practice using a "just right" amount and securely putting the cap back on, we go through them like crazy. I have a membership to Sam's Club just so I can buy them in bulk. During parent orientation I mention the constant need for more glue sticks and parents bring them in sporadically throughout the year. But we still...run...out...
Before I began teaching, I never really thought about staplers. But the topic of staplers has been known to come up during our weekly PLC meetings on occasion. Because, you know, that $30 pink easy-touch stapler is a hands down better choice than the school supplied one. I even have a half of one that broke while trying to put up a bulletin board, but I kept it. I didn't want to break another one, so it's my stapling-into-the-wall stapler, and my expensive, easy-touch is for papers only. I'm pretty sure this is a teacher-specific issue. Am I right?
Raise your hand if you know anyone who works at Office Depot, Office Max, or Staples by name. Or if you personally know the delivery guy who brings the supplies you order online daily directly to your doorstep. I'm guilty, too. No shame in it. School supplies start showing up on the shelves around mid-July here. Part of me wants to run, hide, and plan another vacation, and the rest of me wants to grab two carts so I can really stock up for the year. You know you can't have too many sparkly pens, Ticonderoga pencils, crayons, markers, spiral notebooks, or Pink Pearl erasers. And don't, under any circumstances, forget the glue sticks. Just don't.
I can't even remember the last time I pinned something that wasn't school or kid related in some form. Food pins for my personal kids might be the only exception. 99% of my lesson plans come from Pinterest, either directly or in modified form. How did teachers teach before this?!
I mean always. Yes, you take a break and go home. Yes, you take vacations. Yes, you do things with your own family and friends. But somewhere in your mind, you are thinking about how those leaves on that tree behind the person you are so attentively listening to would be perfect for your next science unit. Or how the cool park/playground/zoo/museum you are at with your own kids would be perfect for a field trip with your class. Or, and this is my favorite, you'll just jump on Teachers Pay Teachers for a minute…
Maybe you've been invited to "choir practice," "book club," or "ice cream." For you non-teaching peeps, these are code for "teacher happy hour." Because you can't tell the class you and Miss T are going for margaritas after school. Teachers don't drink right? Of course not! We have "book club."
You can give "the look" to any child anywhere and see immediate results. I have watched a child have a meltdown in a store. As soon as I gave them "the look," they stood up and stopped. Mom was shocked. For those of you that doubt, "the look" is a real thing that can work wonders if used properly. The same goes for "the teacher voice," which has worked not only on small children, but also on adults acting like small children. Need to get something done? Find a teacher. She'll show you how to perfect both.
End of summer: Denial that summer is ending and a new school year is beginning
Back to school: The excitement and anticipation of a new year takes over. This year will be the best year ever!
Fall: Fall is wonderful—look at the leaves! I've forgotten how much work we did at the beginning of the year to "train" our kids! We have so much to do still!
Holiday time: Must. Scrape. Kids. Off. Ceiling. I think I can, I think I can.
Winter: We're halfway there. We've got this!
Spring Break: Oh yeah! Testing's almost done and it's all downhill from there!
End of the school year: We did it! I'm going to miss them so much!
Summer: Yeah, baby!