20 Things You Should Never Say To Teachers

Recently, The Huffington Post published an article titled 9 Things You Should Never Say to Teachers, and while the writer’s ideas are spot on, there are so many other things you should never say to teachers as well (especially teachers in need of a break).  Whether you’re a student, a parent, an administrator, or a friend, avoid the following at all costs.*  (Unless death by eye daggers sounds like your cup of tea.)

  1. Are we doing anything important today?  Well, actually, you’re in luck!  We aren’t doing anything important whatsoever.  Come on in, kick your feet up, and play around on social media for 59 minutes, or better yet, blast your iPod on volume eleventy million so nobody else in the room can hear themselves think.  Learning’s overrated anyway.  AMIRIGHT?!?!

  2. Can I turn my assignment in late?  Because, uh, what had happened was, my dog ate my homework right after my computer crashed and my grandma died.  Oh my goodness.  That sounds terrible.  I’m going to have to say no, though.  By the way, how many times is it now that your computer has crashed and your grandma has died in the same night?  Are they cats by any chance? Because they just keep coming back to life and dying all over again.  At this rate, I think you have a pretty good reality TV series pitch — Computers and Grandmas: Defying the Odds.

  3. Have you [graded my essay/written my letter of recommendation/scored the tests/gathered my makeup work/completed my application] yet?  Oh, you mean the one you handed to me 42 seconds ago?  You know, I haven’t.  I know.  Lazy bones over here! {maniacal chuckle}  I really need to get my life in order, huh?

4. I need you to email me every single time my student fails to turn in an assignment or scores below a B.  I’d love to, except then I’d have to remember to do it for the other 149 students in my classes, and I can barely remember to pick my own children up from school.  Tell you what.  How’s about you email me whenever you want to discuss the progress report you have access to online 24 hours per day?

  1. I called you one hour ago, and I haven’t heard back yet.  What’s your problem?  Yeah, I saw that call come in while I was teaching class.  These pesky classes.  Always gettin’ in the way.  Can you believe I have to return calls during my own free time?  Nutso, I tell you.  You’ll hear back within 48 hours.  Promise.

  2. We’re [writing, reading, solving word problems, completing a lab experiment, engaging in higher order thinking, taking a test] today?  Ugh.  SO STUPID!  Tell me about it.  It’s just so stupid and dumb and…and…and stupid that we have to actually do learning and stuff in school.  Whose idea was this, anyway?!

  3. I need you to attend 7 IEPs and 4 504s and one staff meeting and 3 professional development sessions and 2 nights of conferences on top of teaching all day in the same week.  That’s not a problem, is it?  No, of course not!  I was just thinking, if there’s one thing I need, it’s meeting on top of meeting morning in and evening out.  I’m sure my kids will understand why the dogs have to raise them until February.

  4. I need to meet with you immediately about my student’s grade.  I’ll be there at 6 pm tomorrow evening.  Yeah.  Here’s the thing.  I’m not available tomorrow evening.  I have graduate classes to take and soccer practices to attend and doctor appointments to keep and dinners to make and children to parent.  Here’s a better idea.  Why don’t we work together to decide on a mutually acceptable time?

  5. My student spends all his time studying and doing homework.  When are you teachers going to realize they need to live their lives, too?  Gosh.  He spends all his time doing that?  Because today in class, I caught him watching YouTube videos of cats baking brownies and stoners laughing hysterically about fart jokes when he was supposed to be completing his essay.  Weird.

  6. You offer extra credit, right?  Sure.  Forget regular credit.  Let’s just inflate the grades with extra assignments.  The point of grades isn’t to assess actual learning, anyway.

  7. You’re cool with sponsoring Video Game Club and organizing the Freshman Ski Trip and chaperoning the Sadie Hawkins Dance and tutoring students in stuff that’s not part of the curriculum in your free time and without a stipend, right?  Totally.  I love to work extra for nothing.

  8. We have a test today? I didn’t know that!  We do.  Sorry about that.  I imagine it was difficult to figure out, what with the fact that I only said it 7 times yesterday and it was written on the board all week and I put it on our online calendar and I posted a reminder on my website.

13.  I know I was 15 minutes late, but it’s OK.  I was with Mr. So-and-So and Mrs. Who’s-Her-Pants.  Definitely OK.  Their classes are WAY more important than mine, anyway.

  1. Why didn’t you tell me my 18-year-old college-bound senior failed that test?  Um.  Because she’s an 18-year-old college-bound senior?????

  2. Does this assignment count?  No, of course not.  I just thought I’d have you do this thing here to waste your time and mine.  It’s not like we have a bajillion state curriculum standards to target in 9 months or anything.

  3. It’s your fault those students aren’t turning in their work.  You need to make them do it somehow.  You know, you’re so right.  Tomorrow, I’ll drive over to their houses and stop their step-dads from molesting them and make them breakfast and supply them with warm clothes and hold the pencils in their hands and force them to write the answers on the paper and follow them home and help them take care of their dead beat parents’ 27 kids and make dinner and give them a comfy bed to sleep in.  In fact, you know what?  I’m just going to adopt all 32 of them and move them into my guest room.

  4. It’s taken you two weeks to get that assignment back.  What could you possibly be doing that it takes you that long?  Question: Do you like your teeth?

  5. I’d like my child to work beyond what the curriculum requires.  If you could develop an individualized curriculum for her, we’ll pick it up next week.  Absolutely!  I’m noticing I have a lot of free time now that I’m down to 3 preps, anyway.  Why don’t I extend that curriculum into next year, too?  It’s not like I’m busy and stuff.

  6. This [assignment, lesson, project, activity] is stupid.  I hate this.  It’s pointless, too.  You’re so right.  Thank God I have you here to put me in my place.  I did not work late into the evening for a straight week making sure I differentiated my instruction and included a number of state curriculum standards and scaffolded the complex tasks and tried to make the work relevant and rewarding as I was planning it.  I didn’t do that just for you.  Not at all.

  7. Are we watching the movie?  I will cut you.

What things would you advise people avoid saying to teachers?  (Psst. To see 20 things teachers love to hear you say, click here.) 

*NOTE: This is straight sarcasm and reflective of some of the things that wear on teachers over time.  It’s not actually how we approach our constituents.  It’s strictly for entertainment and not reflective of the profession in general.  So if it upsets you for some odd reason, just chill out.  I’m embellishing a whole lot here.

Comments

  1. Jennifer Gibbs says:

    I would advise parents to get their heads out of their ass and be better parents

    • Mrs. Sammich says:

      There sure are a lot out there who aren’t very good parents. Makes me appreciate the ones who are so much more!

  2. Love! Love! Love! Lived it! Lived it! Lived it!

  3. Dave Faulkner says:

    I've heard ALL of these while socializing with our teacher buddies! But…..they are all anxious to go back every Fall. Maybe just to plan Spring Break?

    • Mrs. Sammich says:

      Spring break is fun, but it’s because teachers really do love their jobs. Like anyone, they have their gripes, and we can’t gripe on the job, so unfortunately, our friends and family bear the brunt of it!

  4. Of course, LOVE!

  5. I hate it when parents get in my face and say, "I pay your salary!" We4ll, of course you help pay my salary, just as you help pay your doctor's salary. That doesn't give you the right to yell at her or tell him how to do him job.

  6. Katie Hedgecock Smith says:

    This is so spot on! I especially love it when a student is absent, and he comes back the next day asking, "did we do anything while I was gone?" No, we didn't. And it isn't posted online for you to see, either.

  7. Jennifer Foster says:

    Sadly stupidity isn't limited to teachers. I literally just read an email exchange where a highly educated professional asked if he should send a file to a print vendor with no records. Thankfully the girl on my team kept her cool and explained to our friend that it probably wasn't a good idea to send a file with no records.

  8. Lorri Hilbert Weimer says:

    My favorite is "Why do you have an attitude?" after you have asked four times for them to be on task.

  9. For embellishment, you sure touched on a lot of reasons my wife left the profession (even though she loved teaching and was good at it.

  10. This happened too when I taught Higher Ed. talk about surprises.

    • Schnickel Fritz says:

      Yep – me too. Commented just yesterday about the high school mentality of some of the students in my classes. Just love the “I pay your salary” comment from some 18-year-old. “Not enough of it, you don’t” is my response, or, alternately, “Really? You pay property taxes?” (Laughed out loud at #2 and #9, btw. Often thought I should sent out a nation-wide media alert every time a paper is due, as inordinate numbers of extended family members die, end up in the hospital, lose limbs, spontaneously combust, etc., on that day.)

      • I actually had a student to have the same grandmother die three times in one year. I actually met her at the Spring Concert. I told her that she was in wonderful health for a corpse. I would have loved to have been in THAT household that evening!

  11. This happened too when I taught Higher Ed. talk about surprises.

  12. Well I should make it clear that the parent stuff didn't happen but the student stuff did.

  13. I should add this was also my experience teaching high school in AZ.

  14. Andy Pasillo says:

    I love when parents call and leave a message saying, "I saw that you marked my student absent today. Can you call me back and explain why they we marked absent?"

    You see, they were marked absent cus, uh…. They weren't in class. Didn't know I would have to explain the definition of absent for ya.

    • Mrs. Sammich says:

      Yeah, I’ve had a few of those. If it’s a mistake, I’ll gladly correct it, but otherwise, pretty self-explanatory.

  15. Megan Jones says:

    My favorite is when they are absent and then ask "Did I miss anything?" the next day. No…. of COURSE not. Once we realized you were missing, we just sat around. We couldn't possibly do anything without you there.

    • Mrs. Sammich says:

      A lot of people have added this one. It’s so funny because they do seem to expect that nothing important occurred when they were gone.

    • I like to respond that the majority of our work is inclass activities, so while they don’t have a lot of “make-up” work to do they did miss a LOT of learning.

  16. Virginia Adams-Parks says:

    "What time does the bell ring?" It's rang at the same time everyday, but I'm not sure what time it will ring today. Let's wait and see.

  17. Oh my gosh Virginia Adams-Parks, exactly!

  18. Cindi Jones Conzatti says:

    I really didn't see much embellishment. These are pretty much typical comments and requests. The teacher's awesome responses, though, are merely interior monologue. We bite our tongues until they bleed more often than not.

  19. Rachael Monica Cini says:

    I agree with pretty much everything on this list. A lot of students aren't very respectful nowadays.
    The only exception is when I turn in an assignment/test/essay, it's not 42 seconds after I ask if it has been graded. It's WEEKS after I ask for it back…close to a month.

    • Mrs. Sammich says:

      Sometimes it takes weeks to grade, which I know seems like a lot of time, but when you think about it, multiply however long it took you to do the assignment by however many students the teacher has for that prep — 30, 60, 90, 120, 150? And remember that teacher have to do all this grading during stolen time at school or on their own time at home, and many of them are also planning the next lesson and taking graduate courses and working a second job and raising families. Time is limited.

  20. One of my personal favorites was, after several questions of the" this is stupid/is this for a grade" variety, someone would invariably ask "Are you in a bad mood?" – I wasn't, until just now :-)

  21. Tonie Goodin says:

    Wisdom & respect goes both ways! Please don’t ask me to be a room mother for your class and give me a list of “likes” of favorites for shopping & dining out because its your birthday or Cristmas! I like things for “my” special occasions also but I’m not going to hand you a list of what to buy for me! Poor taste & not to mention most likely I’m not going to collect gifts or money for you like the Madision,, MS county school teachers think parents should!!!! Yes! This happens every year ! If you font give they don’t want your child’s name on the card either! Guess my pet peeve! But no taste for those that pull this on room moms!!

    • Mrs. Sammich says:

      That is crazy! You’re supposed to buy the teacher presents?! Oh, man. I’d be mad about that, too. I know that would never fly where I work. So bizarre!

  22. I am a university TA and my mom is an elementary school teacher. I can relate to a lot of this. But in a lot of ways I think the poster has a crappy attitude about teaching. A lot of this stuff (IEP meetings, advising extracurricular activities) is indeed a part of the job and isn't something you should be resentful about if you signed up for the job.

    • Mrs. Sammich says:

      Oh my goodness, come on. You’ve never had a bad day or week and needed to vent? That’s all this is. I don’t have that attitude in my classroom. In fact, that’s what allows me to be successful — the ability to vent outside the classroom and bring my best self into it.

      • Schnickel Fritz says:

        Why of course she hasn’t ever had a bad day or week or needed to vent. She’s Little Miss Perfect and knows everything, and clearly has the years of experience from which to pass judgment.

    • I get what Hillary is saying here. Bad attitudes can be contagious. Just because you need to vent doesn’t mean somebody isn’t reading this, getting more discouraged than anything, finding it harder and harder to have an optimistic and respectful attitude at all times. I realize that teachers are overworked for the most part. And that many got into this profession because of passion, not salary. And that teaching can feel thankless on a daily basis. But if you, the writer, are going to do your part to inspire teachers to lifelong commitment to their passion despite the endless crap you put up with, you will need to take the higher road. Because hearing you complain just shortened someone’s teaching life by a year or two. I bet that was not your intention. But that’s what just happened.

      • I strongly disagree! I’m a also teacher and it’s refreshing to read and laugh about things like this with other teachers… It’s what keeps us sane! We teach because we love it, despite everything that comes with the profession- as listed here. And the reason we can continue to do so is because we can laugh about it afterwards!

        If you can’t read an obviously overly-sarcastic blog post with a humorous mindset, don’t read it at all.

      • shut up, tan. that is all. come back when you have been teaching a few years. until then, shut up.

  23. I am a university TA and my mom is an elementary school teacher. I can relate to a lot of this. But in a lot of ways I think the poster has a crappy attitude about teaching. A lot of this stuff (IEP meetings, advising extracurricular activities) is indeed a part of the job and isn't something you should be resentful about if you signed up for the job.

    • Well, I understand some “other” tasks. But how about being required to spend better than four hours once or twice a week to run the concession stand at EVERY home basketball game, dances, homecoming, etc., because that is the only way the class you sponsor will earn money to pay for the senior prim?
      Does my bad attitude about this seem justified, oh young grasshopper who hasn’t seen the abuse that teachers endure?

  24. You haven't been around long enough to realize how many additional meetings and requirements have been added. What teachers do today is 20x more time-consuming than 20 years ago. Yes, it's part of the job, but that job keeps growing bigger and bigger and bigger and doesn't even include the number of preps in a given day, individualized learning plans, and simply teaching. We do it because we love teaching and we love kids, but "and you also need to…" list is incredibly extensive now.

  25. What do you do with all that time off in the summer?

    • Yeah, it isn’t filled with professional development, graduate school coursework, textbook adoption training, or anything like that. . I like to spend my eight weeks at my beach house on the North Shore-said no teacher ever.

  26. I'd guess 'Is that going to be on the test' isn't a fave either ;)

  27. I'd guess 'Is that going to be on the test' isn't a fave either ;)

  28. Carrie Birch Herman says:

    That's what I say to them! Every day someone asks this question and I always ask them what time the bell rings every day. I love the part about keep working and we'll see. I'll try it tomorrow, I'm sure! :) They are so funny!

  29. Dondi Williams says:

    No, you did NOT embellish at all!!!!! ALLL TRUE!!!!!!!!!!

  30. Leia Swiggett says:

    Go to trainings, meetings, plan for the school year. It's not just sitting at home. Many teachers work second jobs during the summer too.

  31. Does it mean then that I can demand a significant pay increase? Yeah, I didn't really think so.

  32. 200 papers, 15 minutes per paper – Teaching from 7 am to 4:00. Running a theatre program with 8 full shows per year – so, also have a production schedule, adopting new curriculum, heading up a subject level of teachers that I am responsible to get information to about common core, which hasn't been written yet, creating new tests/assessments/tasks/lessons every day/week/year/Oh yeah – family, sleep, commute. Give your teach a break, or offer to help with some of the crappy grading and they may get the hard stuff back quicker. BTW – this is only a few of the things I do.

  33. I love it all! I must hear these daily – And the responses come straight out of my mind – fortunately most never came out of my mouth. I always love the "Now, what are we doing?" the second my mouth closes from giving directions. Just today I did respond with the, "Oh no, we didn't do anything yesterday, because you weren't here…"

  34. I love it all! I must hear these daily – And the responses come straight out of my mind – fortunately most never came out of my mouth. I always love the "Now, what are we doing?" the second my mouth closes from giving directions. Just today I did respond with the, "Oh no, we didn't do anything yesterday, because you weren't here…"

  35. Dave Faulkner Because they love their kids and want to help. And they force themselves not to hold grudges. And they know how important what they do is, even if no one else does, and certainly no one else acts like it.

  36. Dave Faulkner Because they love their kids and want to help. And they force themselves not to hold grudges. And they know how important what they do is, even if no one else does, and certainly no one else acts like it.

  37. You failed me last year.

    Yes, it was me who didn't do any of the assignments, and I purposly gave you F's on your tests just because I don't like you. No I just put in the scores that you get. You are the reason that you failed last year. (And your parents)

  38. Rita Tyler-Aguilar says:

    I teach high school Speech Communications, and when a student is finished with his/her speech I get the “since I’m finished with my Speech can I go work on my art/history/science/band/theatre/elective project?” Why? Like I don’t already know the answer…here it comes. “YOu mean I have to sit and listen to everyone else give their speech?” No, buddy it’s okay. You are the most important person in this class and it is an honor and privelege to listen to your incredible speech you wrote in just 5 minutes today when I gave you time yesterday to write it, and you entertained everyone with your witty retorts.

  39. Rita Tyler-Aguilar says:

    I love it at the end of the day when a student asks to go to the nurse because their stomach/head/foot/arm/leg/ has been hurting them all day or for a couple of days. REally? Wow. And you just now figured you should go to the nurse during my class? Well, my other teachers are mean and won’t let me go. REally? Wow. So since I’m a push over I should let you leave since going to the nurse during lunch would have been out of the question.

  40. Kareen Farrell Kakouris says:

    Why did Johnny get an A-. He is really upset tht he didn't get an A+. (Johnny didn't read the target requirements and omitted a few items.) When did A- become a bad grade?

  41. Kareen Farrell Kakouris says:

    We're taking Johnny out of school for a week of skiing. Can you put together a work packet for him (exclusively) so he won't miss anything?

  42. Patricia Hays Toy says:

    That "What time does the bell ring?" sends me into a frenzy! Glad I am not the only one. Really? This is your Life Schedule at the moment — why not bother yourself to figure it out?

  43. Maggie Barnes says:

    One of my favs when they get something wrong on a test: “I wasn’t here when you covered that.” Oh, okay. That’s right – I should tailor each test to only include the things I know you were here for. Because Lord knows I can’t expect you to do anything to find the material on your own time. (Head slap)

  44. I make up for all the times i couldn't go to pee.

  45. Dr. Procto says:

    By now everyone knows what comes with the job!!! If you cannot handle it go do something else! We do not need you in the education business. So stfu and do the job that YOU chose to do! No one is forcing you to be a teacher be glad you have a job. This makes me sick, and I am an educator and a coach and I sponser clubs, go to many meetings and have a family of my own! This is why no one respects teachers any more

    • Mrs. Sammich says:

      Oh for God’s sake, get off your high horse and get a sense of humor! My goodness. You sound like a real fun kinda guy. It’s sarcasm. Get a clue.

      • How’s YOUR health? Between the job demands/exoectatuibs and my personal life, my health paid a hefty price. I love teaching but it ain’t the same anymore. I had to retire early.

    • Dr. Procto,
      Apparently you rely on your ‘students’ to help you spell. You are obviously not an educator; you are a troll though. Go away; “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

  46. Kim Willis says:

    I reply "My mood is good. My tone is terse."

  47. john vella says:

    a facebook page i found a while back that chronicles just these sort of craziness:
    https://www.facebook.com/Shit.My.Students.Say

  48. Perhaps if you figure out the % of your salary they pay and give them that much time for their comments…

  49. I answer " We had a party, had pizza and a movie ! It was great ! "

  50. There's a picture I've seen that I can't find right now, it shows parents 30 years ago angry with their child "Explain these bad grades!", and then shows parents today angry with their child's teacher still saying "Explain these bad grades!". Because now it's all the teacher's fault.

  51. Karen Lenerville says:

    We are going on vacation for 2 weeks. Can you write out the class assignments, homework assignments, tests and anything else he/she might need? I hope it's not too much so it does interfere with our fun time, after all, we are on vacation.

    Of course I can get it all together for you, as long as you know that your child will receive a zero on the class participation, oral exams, and the 2 book reports that are due while you are gone. The ones I told your child about last week. Quite a coincidence, isn't it?

  52. Averill Kelley says:

    Hi Hillary, I agree with Denise. I am in in my 5th year of teaching high school and our profession changes from when the bell rings at 8 and then at lunch and then at 3. I love my job and I do not need a reminder, but I would love for people to allow me to do what I need to do and kids to follow simple request. I am tired of hearing college professors and/ or TA's saying these kids are under prepared when I think you do not understand the realities of the classroom. For example, students with constant absences, not work and always beenig told you did it right, but now that is wrong. Welcome to teaching! If you want to way the poster is resentful I would counter to say she loves her job, but frustrated at the little nuances with the job. Thank you!

  53. Averill Kelley says:

    Where do you work? At least you warned about a kid missing.

  54. How about the infamous,"wait, what?" right after you spent 15 minutes explains the assignment.

  55. How about the infamous,"wait, what?" right after you spent 15 minutes explains the assignment.

  56. Explaining, I meant. Sorry.

  57. Oh yeah, especially when you have to do this about every other week!!

  58. Wonderful, what teacher hasn't experienced these? You've exposed my internal monologue when on the outside I'm smiling sweetly and going Oh really…while I try to think of a suitable response.

  59. Lets see, attend classes, go over the common core standards so that every block of my day is identified, read books on how to teach children, go to many teacher stores where I can buy (out of my own pocket) more books, labels, name plates for desks, folders for writing assignments, stickers for their work, name tags for countless reading bags, borders for the bulletin boards, oh, and then I get to take ALL the bookcases, bins, and anything else I could fit on the shelves so the custodians can wash the floors so that I can come in and take everything down so I can decorate the room so my students come into a happy room where they can feel comfortable enough to learn and start copying the papers, assessments and workbooks that our District can't provide for us. Yes! I love summer!!!

  60. Any question that starts: Is it OK with you if I………….? Answer: "Is it OK with you if I say no?"

  61. Donna Rueth says:

    Jennifer Foster Not sure what you mean by "stupidity isn't limited to teachers" who are you calling stupid?!!

  62. Nancy Hausbeck Jordan says:

    How about "You don't teach us?". While you were busy throwing paper and pencils and calling the the kid next to you names I taught an entire lesson and explained the assignment everyone else, but you completed the assignment. Argh!

  63. Linda Rizio Boyle says:

    Ummm I don't know…in my mere 14 years of teaching I would say they are pretty on target, no embellishment. Get a clue parents, get a clue.

  64. Linda Rizio Boyle says:

    Ummm I don't know…in my mere 14 years of teaching I would say they are pretty on target, no embellishment. Get a clue parents, get a clue.

  65. Linda Rizio Boyle says:

    Yes it is all part of the job.However, when administrators don't seem to make time for it, as in get me a coverage to meet during the day so I don't have to come in an hour early or stay an hour late, It makes us feel overworked and unappreciated. When I stay for three hours after school for parent/teachers conferences and only 5 show up and then adminstration calls a meeting for after school the next day, something is wrong. I come 45 minutes early every day and stay at least an hour afterwards….everyday. And then I go home and work some more. So yes, I get the responsibility, but how about a little appreciation. No one else works as hard.

  66. Jenny Hodge says:

    What time do we get out of here? Uh, when the bell rings, get back to work!

  67. I homeschool

    • marlyn Newhouse says:

      Dear One,

      Bless you

      After all I was reading, I read your statement and got such a chuckle1

      adorable, Thank you

      Started teaching in 1971

      marlyn

  68. Quite interesting…and true sadly. Judy Trimble Sauve, you recognize anything here? smh

  69. Lol…….nope…….never heard anything like that.

  70. Anthony Kaiser says:

    Some people create those problems. Some play the hand they're dealt by work.

  71. Allison Wetz says:

    Is this for a grade?
    When is lunch?
    When is P.E.?
    How much longer til 3:30?
    Can I go to the bathroom for the 5th time today?
    Do I have to do the whole paper?
    How many sentences do I need to write for my story/paragraph?

  72. Pam Simpson says:

    When am I going to use this in real life?

  73. My absolute favorite: "It must be nice to have all that time off!"
    I spend so many hours a day sitting down and marveling at how much free time I have.

  74. Andrew Girouard says:

    Or how much free time you don't have…

  75. Looks like someone needs to go to a few comedy classes.

  76. Krista Guerrero says:

    How about when you stay after school for an extracurricular event and the end time is 4:30, but parents just decide not to show up until after 5:00… or 5:30. Excuse? I was running errands, I forgot about the time, Or just a flippant "sorry I'm late." I know you just decided to let me be your babysitter while you worked until 5 or finished watching your afternoon movie while you had the house to yourself. Guess what? That made me have to work out alternative pickup with mine because I couldn't get to them because I was babysitting yours. Be punctual people!

  77. Gwyn Skindzier Reece says:

    This isn't a question, but definitely one I hear over and over and over: "It's snowing!" Yep, it's a miracle. Probably never going to happen again, so why don't you all run over to the window to check it out?

  78. Hillary Chamberlain says:

    Recover from the 23 hours days I put in 9 months a year.

  79. (Band Class) " Do we have to come to the concert?" Ofcourse not! You signed up for band, learned the music, and are an important part of the ensemble, but you can stay home.

  80. Better one….. "Why did i get a 0 on my practice grade?" Because you didn't practice or write down on your practice chart that you did.

  81. Vanya Glyr says:

    I had an assignment once that had bonus points built in for going above and beyond. A parent came in and said, "My child made a 100+ but could have made 100++…I will punish her! She should have had EVERY point available." You do realize that she made over a perfect score? Hello?

  82. I remember doing that!

  83. I remember doing that!

  84. Barry St Pierre says:

    It's not the snow, it's the hope that you will get a day off from school because of a snow day. Isn't that why you run to the window and press your face to glass?

  85. - Only for you.
    - Same time as yesterday.
    - Again, same time as yesterday.
    - 10 hours (always, no matter what time it really is).
    - Can I say "no" for the 4th time?
    - No, you can leave out the stuff in the margins.
    - All of them

    Thanks, Allison

  86. Kendra Siple Wyniemko says:

    Awesome post!! So spot on to our crazy career!

  87. Gwyn Skindzier Reece says:

    Not EVERY time, Barry St Pierre. I'm talking even when you can barely tell it's snowing. Or how about when a bug comes into the classroom? Mayhem, I tell you! Now, to be fair, a yellow jacket did land on a student's neck last week and there was the time that a dragonfly the size of a bird flew into the room lol

  88. Jill Wells Baggett says:

    Very enlightening good for students to read but kind of weird to make a joke about molestation

  89. My child never lies to me. Lol

  90. Ona Jewell Chapman says:

    My all-time favorite from a middle school student…"Mrs. C, do you work?"

  91. Vicki Allen says:

    And the work won't be done anyway.

  92. Tara Kempf Lussier says:

    Probably my favorite of all time: "Your definition of late is different than my definition of late." Uhh… if your comes in after school starts, they're late… even if it's your fault for dropping them off late. Where's the room to disagree here?

  93. Tara Kempf Lussier says:

    I also love it when kids are working on an assignment and ask, "Do I have to do this question?" No, I put it on there just to take up space. Uhhh… Yeah, you have to do it! Or in June, "Where do I put this?" How about the same place you've put all your other finished work for the last 9 months.

  94. Tami Kalbrier says:

    I am not a certified teacher but I sub at our small town school! I overheard a conversation between a student and teacher that I found amusing. Student: Is this an open book test? Teacher: No that would be a work sheet! This is a test!

  95. Brittany Adams says:

    "The study guide was nothing like the test", oh really, let us get a test and a study guide and compare them to see how many questions were not covered on the study guide.

  96. Karen Poore says:

    How about all of the above with no prep time? #privateschoolteacherslife

  97. Debbie Rubi says:

    The article is true but funny. I enjoyed more the comments at the end. My friend Cherry Abbott should read this too.

  98. Cherry Hastings Abbott says:

    Been there Done that!!

  99. Julie Shields says:

    I always tell my students who aske if they have to do it all, I tell them they don't have to do ANY of it! At which point they look at me with a curious look on their faces. I tell them they don't have to do ANYTHING in my class, Just turn it in and I'll grade it appropriately…Of course, at that time they pick up their pencil and get the project done

  100. Julie Shields says:

    or when they tell ME that it's time to clean up…I guess they haven't figured out yet that I want them out worse than they want out! lol

  101. Jennifer Myers Starns says:

    I have made that call before! Got notice my 4th grader that I dropped off at school and walked in was absent! What the heck where is my kid! In class of course she was marked absent by mistake. Scary few min for me

  102. Melinda Raiford Buchanan says:

    Yep. And I pay for the fire department. Doesn't mean they let me come down to the station and drive the truck.

  103. Kimberly Keech says:

    I can't tell you how many times I have responded with that or something like it, Megan. Since you were not here, we just decided to sit around and miss you. We decided we just couldn't go on without you. We took a vote & decided that we didn't want you to miss a minute of what we were doing so we just sat and stared at the walls.

  104. Kimberly Keech says:

    Had a kid stay once & it was made known that he was to stay until 3:30 He showed up in my room just after the busses left with his permission slip where his dad had written, "I work in __, and don't get off until 4:30. You may keep him after 3:30." Really, joy & rapture for me. It's not like I have my own kid here (that has to get to school at 6:30am b/c I teach) waiting to go home, and the only reason he is waiting is b/c your kid needs to make up the assignments he wouldn't do in class. Dad didn't show up until 5:20. I love my job, but disrespect like this really gets under my skin.

  105. I hate when class is going great and someone says, "Look, it's raining/snowing out"…like they've never seen it before. Then it takes 5 minutes to get them back on track because they want to know what the weather is going to be like the rest of the day/week.

  106. Ellen Marshall says:

    did the kid answer the teacher when she called roll?

  107. Leslie Sebastian says:

    Hi, Hillary – I just wanted to add my two-cents here – or rather my $1.22 because that's what I make PER HOUR when you add in all the unpaid extra-curricular activities, meetings, professional development, phone calls on my own time, tutoring after school, before school, during my lunch, planning, grading and then the time I put in tutoring the kids that graduated and are attending your college/university because that's not part of YOUR job. And FYI — I'm a 10 year veteran, LOVE LOVE LOVE my job and wouldn't trade it for the world — and I also LOVE LOVE LOVE the inner sarcastic monologue that gets me through the day when students/parents/and college TAs say things that make no sense at all.

    • Sabrina Allen says:

      Really Leslie? $1.22 an hour? Are they letting people teach who can’t do 5th grade math? If you worked 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year (which I think we all agree is impossible) you would make $10,657.92 per year. Seeing as the starting salary where I live in Dallas/Ft. Worth for teachers is 50k and the national average is right around 40k you are making a whole heck of a lot more than $1.22 an hour.

      In fact, just for fun, to make my wonderful 5th grade teacher happy, let us see what the basic hourly for a teacher is. Lets say you work 50 hours a week (9 hour days M-F with 5 hours of prep/grading time on the weekends) for 40 weeks (when really, it is 180 days of instruction, which works out to 36 weeks, but we all know there are more working days than that a year for teachers) out of the year. If you are making 40k a year, you are making $18.18 an hour. And that is without figuring in the benefits package that teachers get which most people have to pay out of their salary, including greatly subsidized heath insurance, 2 weeks of paid time off during the school year (in addition to the 12ish weeks teachers get off for summer, fall, winter and spring breaks), and the pension program (which is where the real boost to your income comes).

      Now, I am not saying that being a teacher is not one of the hardest jobs of all time, or that teachers are not greatly undervalued and overworked – I am saying that while $18.18 an hour isn’t a whole ton of money, it is a lot more than many MANY people make doing manual labor or other jobs that are likely as hard (in different ways) as being a teacher. So don’t try and use some shock value number for your hourly rate that pretty much insults everyone.

      In other news: I love this article! Sooo true. As a former nanny and current sub (I wanted a flexible job schedule and I sure did get one!) I can say that these are hilariously true! I can’t even imagine how the teachers I sub for deal with some of those kids every day when they make these kinds of excuses when I am there for one!

      • First I do want to say that 1.22 was probably an exaggeration and was not meant literally, but I do want to add my 2 cents to your numbers, because teachers are paid different amounts in different states. For example, I make approximately 38,000 a year (gross). I work 12 hours a day. I get there when security unlocks the door and I leave when they all call so they can turn the alarm back on. I also work about 5 hours on the weekend. I wont even factor in week night evenings or weekends when I am prepping for something like a tier 3 RTI meeting. So this means if I am paid 26 times per year, I gross, about 1461. After they take out the chunk to hold to pay me for summer break (no I do not get free money. They take several hundred out each pay check and then give it to me over the break), taxes, pension (100% of my pension is paid BY ME), and insurance (Again, this is not heavily subsidized. I pay over 500 a month for health insurance and it is crappy! I have a 6,000 deductible before they pay ANYTHING for my family and then it is only 80%) I bring home about 850 every 2 weeks or roughly 22,000 a year.

        We do not get a stipend either. If my class needs pencils, I buy them. If we need hand sanitizer, I buy it. If we need tissue, I buy it. This list could go on and on. I am not even talking about construction paper, cleaning wipes, crayons, markers, …. Before someone says, Oh students bring those…They don’t. I have a class of 100% free lunch students. They walk out of their shoes, they have one uniform, 2 if they are lucky. These kids barely have paper for school. This eats up another GOOD 1000 a year and I am not exaggerating. I keep the receipts so that I can write off a whole 300.00 on my taxes and get about 35.00 back.

        This all breaks down to me bringing home about 811.00 every two weeks OR about 6.23 an hour (811 divided by 2 divided by 65 hours per week) The only exception is the 6 weeks I get for summer break when they give me my money back. Assume I am not taking classes or doing ANY continuing ed at all (I took an 80 hour course on a reading program be picked up this year, last summer) that is the equivalent of me being given back 81.00 of my money (money I have already earned) a day for 30 days.

        I’m not saying there are not jobs just as hard or jobs that are even harder, but I work my tail off and sometime days/YEARS it is in a VERY tough environment. I makes me so mad when people say that we make “good” money and act like we are in a Disney movie every day. I am not directing the “it makes me mad” comment at you, but everyone seems to think that we make WAY more than we do. Especially in some states. We do not all have the benefits of unions. Where I am, we are a right to work state, there are laws against collective bargaining AND against salary negotiations. Unions here are lame ducks with absolutely no power.

  108. Leslie Sebastian says:

    What is this thing you call "free time"? bahahaha

  109. Leslie Webb Holloway says:

    I was beginning to think I was the only one who caught that. That was disturbing. I hope if teachers know a child is being molested they will take time out of their schedules to protect the child. It sounded like teachers take a "not my problem" attitude toward child molestation.

  110. Deb Jackson says:

    It must be nice to only work 9 months a year. –or– it must be nice to be off work at 3 pm

    • Why not try it out for yourself? See what working 9 months a year is all about If you are any good at it, you may help improv the education system. That’s whatI did after working 35 years in high level positions in the high tech business world. I could not understad why the American education system can’t provide educated, productive gaates to meet business needs. Boy, did I get an education. It’s easy to make comments without any unerstanding. If 9 months sounds great – jump in.

    • Since when do teachers only work 9 months a year?! Obviously I’m in the wrong school system because last I checked we only had 2 months off in the summer, and by “months off,” I mean a frantic summer where my teacher-husband and I try to accomplish all the projects that we are not able to do during the school year, since we generally work 9.5-10 hour days and spend our free time on the weekends grading papers and planning lessons (same for all our holiday breaks, by the way). I work summer school, too, because you forget that we only get paid for 180 days of work, too.
      Oh yeah, and just to let you know, I arrive at work at 6:45am, leave at 4:15pm, and, including my commute time, get to spend exactly two hours per day with my own 2-year old. And I can’t just call in sick to work- I have to secure my own sub and write out lesson plans and assignments for them. Sometimes I just go to work sick because it’s less effort…

  111. Jes Malar says:

    Glad to see #20…. Similarly, I was going to add, "Didn't they make a movie about that?". Yes, sweetie, and after they made "a" movie about the Civil War, they actually fought it…? Also, here's one from students that I haven't heard but many have: "You know, I could get you fired."

  112. Those are the worst comments! Surprised they were not on the list.

  113. Why can't we do fun things?

  114. We know your in it for the huge pay, lol

  115. Fayne Winter says:

    "The marking period ends tomorrow? Can you give me all the work I missed so I can do it and hand it in tomorrow?" Uhh, no, not happening. It's due when it's due, no make-ups!

  116. Fayne Winter says:

    "The marking period ends tomorrow? Can you give me all the work I missed so I can do it and hand it in tomorrow?" Uhh, no, not happening. It's due when it's due, no make-ups!

  117. Erica Dieker Larson says:

    WOW! When I was a GTA, I had a student e-mail me asking me to send them resources for their class project.. . .isn't part of the point of the project to locate their own sources? It isn't so much the actual questions they ask (though they can be very bad) but the fact they lack the social know to know better.

  118. David Habig says:

    These are great. I think I have heard them all!

  119. Kathy Shelton says:

    He did WHAT? So what did YOU do to provoke him!?

  120. Kathy Shelton says:

    He did WHAT? So what did YOU do to provoke him!?

  121. Kathy Shelton says:

    He had a personality conflict with those teachers!

  122. Kevin Manning says:

    The teachers at Caroline's elementary school are there an hour before school and over an hour AFTER school, I was impressed!

  123. Oh yes!!!! I lived that for 43 years. How many times I have wanted to make just such responses verbally.

  124. Nisha Vyas-Myall says:

    "It's snowing!"
    "No it isn't- it's 17 degrees centigrade outside. Get away from the window"
    "But it really is!"
    "That's rain."

  125. Diane Wilson says:

    I was a long-term sub last school year for about 8 weeks. I heard almost all of these. What I didn't hear, my teacher friends have over and over. Teachers are not villains!

  126. This is the best one. Are parents really this dumb? YES!!!!!!!.

  127. Sandy Deason says:

    My son's favorite question from students– "Can I go to the bathroom?" I don't know. Can you? Are there kidney or bladder problems in your family?

  128. Alice Britt Dills says:

    Actually, as taxpayers, we pay our own salary, too. Does that make us self-employed?

  129. Ronnie Lay says:

    I really appreciate those that have dedicated their lives to be teachers. In my opinion the future would be lost if not for such individuals to care about passing on knowledge to the next generations. I had a few that had such an impact on me to in which their kind words of encouragement and their willingness to reach out to a disruptive and disrespectful child which had a troubled home life would change the man I am today. I am very thankful and know i was truly blessed to have them as part of my life. Now I am a parent and I try my best teach my children morals, life lessons and so much more. I also work 12 hour shifts and have to come home and cook, go over homework, clean and more since I am single father. From my prospective it seems as if the teachers of today are so overworked and under payed that a couple years in they are burned out and turn into robots trying to program children to score high a standerized test or babysitters who play on their phones and teach enough to give out work that will keep the children silenced. From my experience, Teachers keep saying parents are not involved enough with their children academic studies but I say you ask the man that has just as much on his plate as you and whom did not get training for several years to do your job. As i mentioned before I do respect teachers but I also respect Farmers and other trades to in which the world would not be so easy without but I do not see them asking teachers to come home after they leave their jobs to finish what they could not get done.

  130. My mom/dad forgot to grab my homework or My mom forgot my folder etc. etc. etc.

  131. “Can we have a free day?” – My response is always, ” You can have two: they are called Saturday and Sunday.”

  132. Here’s one to add-
    Student: Will you just tell us the answer?
    Teacher: Sure, why would i want you to figure out the answer? I realize it takes too much time and you might have to exert some brain energy when i can just give the answer to you.

  133. My all time favorite:
    “Why did you GIVE me an “F” on my paper/test/project?”
    My standard reply:
    “I didn’t GIVE you anything, you earned it fair and square.”

  134. Senior Secondary Student ” May I leave the room to go to the bathroom?”
    Me “No, you always ask to go to the bathroom.”
    Student “But I really have to go.”
    Me “Alright, you can go but you have to make up the time you are gone, after class.”
    Student ‘Then I don’t want to go.”
    Me “You said you really have to go and I don’t want you peeing your pants so I am demanding that you go.
    Student ” I am not going and you can’t make me.”
    Me “Oh okay you win”
    Hahaha

  135. Wow. Such whining.

  136. My favorite was “When will we ever use this in the real world?” Response: this IS the real world, and the test is on Frisay!

  137. My favorite was “When will we ever use this in the real world?” Response: this IS the real world, and the test is on Friday!

  138. “Why did you give me/my kid a [any grade below A-plus-with-a-gold-star-on-top]?”

    Response 1: Tee hee, I didn.’t! In fact, don’t tell the superintendent or anything, but I don’t actually bother to “give” grades at all! I don’t mind doing the little stuff, like clarifying learning expectations, providing experiences to guide students toward that learning, and cultivating a classroom environment conducive to the learning… But the grading thing? Nah, I don’t give grades; the Lazy in me won’t let me do anything more than record the grade Junior earned. What a cop-out, huh??

  139. Then the teachers wonder why students don’t ask questions in class when they have something they don’t understand. It’s probably because of the answers that they get to all their other questions. I have people asking me directions all the time. If I responded to “Where is (insert building/street)?” with “Where it always is.” there would be problems. Sure they’re kids, but how about we treat them with the respect that any human deserves. Just because you’ve been doing your job (The one you chose to accept, might I add) for years doesn’t mean the children know everything that you do.

    • Exactly. I am so grateful that child has not encountered much of the snarky from teachers yet…but it did start this year. She’s in 3rd grade. And though most teachers know better than to respond harshly, some do not have self-control, or any kind of a filter. This is all funny until it starts coming out of your mouth in a moment of impatience. And it’s human nature: the more you “vent” like this, the greater the odds you will slip ip some day soon.

  140. I know that this is a rant and I know that much of it is justified, buuuuut as a working (as it appears you are) single parent, I’d like to point out that 24-hour access to the online grade book isn’t all that helpful when parents don’t know how often its updated. (see #4 and #17). I have a 13 yr old who is notorious for not turning in assignments and, as much as I work with (meaning withhold privileges until they’re done) him to do them, I can’t force him to turn them in. I can, however, make his life hell until he does. Unfortunately, I don’t know if they’re turned in until later – sometimes much, much later.

    Obviously I have no criticism of you personally, but I am frustrated when teachers use the “24-hour access to assignments” as an excuse for not talking to parents when there’s a clear issue with a certain child. The online system is only helpful when teachers are diligent about getting things logged in consistently and isn’t a cure-all for every grade question a parent has.

    • Out of date online grade books are completely unhelpful, if not misleading. I am a parent who does check, and confronts my child, not the teacher, when assignments are missing. But when he says it is turned in and it stays ungraded for weeks, I do check with the teacher. The problem with this article is not any one response or excuse. It is the overall tone of an us versus them setting. I’d like to work together WITH the teacher and not have every question or request treated as a challenge or interference. I am a professional as well. I accept as part of my profession that my clients have questions and are entitled to understand how and why I do the things I do. I don’t see their questions as an attack, I see them as an opportunity for us to better understand each other. That is what is missing from this article.

      • Exactly. I hate that teachers think all parents are stupid because they aren’t teachers. I’ll tell you, I had a LOT of dumb teachers. Ones who didn’t know basic material, like the date of Pearl Harbor. Or who had to change the math problem to accommodate their wrong answer because they couldn’t do it right. As a babysitter and tutor, I have come across countless issues with my kids’ homework assignments where the teacher-made content makes no sense or is incorrect. And as for the commenter who wrote that it’s bs when parents say a student had a personality conflict with a former teacher: I was targeted for my political beliefs in high school. I had several teachers who would go off topic during election years, preaching their ideology. When I countered, I was punished and called names. In modern terminology, I was definitely bullied by a few specific teachers, to the point where other students were aware. Teachers are people. They are not perfect. Sometimes, people just don’t click (and, yes, sometimes it’s the teacher’s fault).

        I’m tired of the “teachers are saints” thing. They’re not. Everyone else works just as hard. BUt these people never left school so they don’t know what the business world is like. Instead, they, like their students, need a gold star every time they do what’s expected of them.

        • I’m sorry that you were treated so poorly by so many teachers. There’s no excuse for that. We’re there to teach, not to subject our captured audience to our personal views. I also agree that teachers aren’t saints and can say I have never met one that thought they were.
          I do feel the need to tell you though, you made a statement in your last paragraph that annoyed me…I worked 15 years in the business world…I know many, many people who are on their second and even third career as a teacher. So to say we never left school is unfounded. I agree that many people work hard, but i would disagree with “everyone else works just as hard”. I’ve seen multiple sides….as a teacher and in the business world. Have you spent any time as a teacher? Until you have, I’m not certain you can make that claim. I promise you, I’ve never worked harder in my life and unlike I thought it would during my first year of teaching, it has not gotten easier…quite the opposite. In fact, many of those teachers that came from the business world are trying to go back to the business world. Why? Because teaching is one of the toughest careers out there. I don’t need a gold star for doing “what’s expected”, but respect would be nice. In addition, that “expected” list continues to grow and grow each year. And as you pointed out, I am not a saint, just a mere human that only has 24 hours in a day and no matter how hard I try to be the best teacher I can be….to do what I love and to do the only thing I’ve ever really wanted to do…I am feeling constantly kicked and disrespected by society, the government, parents, etc. Another reason teacher are leaving the profession.

        • Don’t you mean WHEN the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred? That wasn’t really clear in your post. Additionally, I come from the business world and teach business. Having been on both sides of the fence, I can tell you that being a teacher is exponentially harder. I wasn’t a low level employee either. I was management. Until you redo the same work multiple times to accommodate all children’s needs, until you become all things to all people you work with, until you spend more time taking care of others’ needs more than your own, until you sit in the cold drizzling rain to take up money for a ballgame or make sure students get off the bus safely, and the list goes on and on. Then no, you have no legitimacy in your opinion and it is simply a one-sided opinion.

    • @JH…I appreciate your insight and tone, so I don’t mean for this to be snarky in any way…just providing another view point. As a teacher and a parent, I have a love/hate relationship with the online grades, as it often leads to more questions and uncertainty for the parents. I love that it can provide a snapshot for parents, but it is frustrating when parents don’t utilize it, or end up questioning every single grade that they don’t like, or when it leads to an expectation of turning work in late. (The zero in the gradebook is not an indicator of what can be made up. It is the child’s score.) At any rate, I do wodner why people/parents get angry and/or frustrated with the teacher when the grade book isn’t “updated” according to what they view as a reasonable time. It causes me to think, “What did we do before electronic gradebooks?” When I was a kid, we received a report card one time in a six week period. I don’t recall my parents ever questioning the teacher “Why didn’t you tell me before now that she was failing?” My parents held me accountable. Something that I think is the most frustrating to teachers (at least for me anyhow), over the years, teachers are being held more and more accountable…even for things out of their control, while accountability for parents and children is decreasing.
      I’ve had parents question why it takes so long to get grades in and all I can say. is “I’m sorry.” But in my head, I want to say, “Because I have a life, too.” I get just about an 1 1/2 hours a day to do all the things i’m supposed to do…outside instruction…and the majority of that is take up with meetings, hall duty, paper work…like professional growth plans and documentation, tutoring, detentions, pulling work together for absent students (from illness, to suspensions, to week long vacations), covering classes for other teachers, calling/emailing parents (who I usually can’t get in touch with), uploaiding notes, power points, etc. to the class website, setting up labs, etc. etc. Most often my papers and planning that includes creating power points, writing tests, researching new ways to teach a lesson, etc. get done at home on my own time. When I’m home, I have my own children and husband that need my attention. Sometimes, I’m sick. Sometimes, I just need to sleep. Sometimes, I want to do something for myself and sometimes, I just can’t bare to spend one more moment grading papers. Sometimes, it’s a choice between, do I plan the lessons for the week or do I grade papers? Yea, lesson plans win every time. That’s the reality. So yes, sometimes, it takes a couple of weeks to get papers graded…especially if you want them to include comments and suggestions for improvement (which is usually a waste of time…since students rarely utilize the notes…at least in my experience). However, n the several years we’ve been utilizing online gradebooks, I have only had a couple of parents (out of hundrends and hundreds) offer to come in and help me…with anything. With that being said, I think the article was solely intended to provide an insight to those things that frustrate us. Like any job, there are frustrating things. It’s nice for teachers to have someone to share and vent those frustrations and to laugh at those things that we all have in common. It’s nice to know we’re not alone.

  141. One thing I loathe is when I tell a parent something that the child has done wrong and s/he turns around and asks the child what happens, as though I’m not telling the truth or what I say isn’t good enough. Thanks for that message; kid and I both received it. Or when they insist that there were NO issues with last year’s (read: better) teacher, or that the child has NEVER had the problem before (really? Because the records we HAVE ACCESS TO tell another story). Or when they say you never give homework, despite all evidence to the contrary. Or the work is too easy, or that the work is much too difficult…. Should I go on?

    • First I do want to say that 1.22 was probably an exaggeration and was not meant literally, but I do want to add my 2 cents to your numbers, because teachers are paid different amounts in different states. For example, I make approximately 38,000 a year (gross). I work 12 hours a day. I get there when security unlocks the door and I leave when they all call so they can turn the alarm back on. I also work about 5 hours on the weekend. I wont even factor in week night evenings or weekends when I am prepping for something like a tier 3 RTI meeting. So this means if I am paid 26 times per year, I gross, about 1461. After they take out the chunk to hold to pay me for summer break (no I do not get free money. They take several hundred out each pay check and then give it to me over the break), taxes, pension (100% of my pension is paid BY ME), and insurance (Again, this is not heavily subsidized. I pay over 500 a month for health insurance and it is crappy! I have a 6,000 deductible before they pay ANYTHING for my family and then it is only 80%) I bring home about 850 every 2 weeks or roughly 22,000 a year.

      We do not get a stipend either. If my class needs pencils, I buy them. If we need hand sanitizer, I buy it. If we need tissue, I buy it. This list could go on and on. I am not even talking about construction paper, cleaning wipes, crayons, markers, …. Before someone says, Oh students bring those…They don’t. I have a class of 100% free lunch students. They walk out of their shoes, they have one uniform, 2 if they are lucky. These kids barely have paper for school. This eats up another GOOD 1000 a year and I am not exaggerating. I keep the receipts so that I can write off a whole 300.00 on my taxes and get about 35.00 back.

      This all breaks down to me bringing home about 811.00 every two weeks OR about 6.23 an hour (811 divided by 2 divided by 65 hours per week) The only exception is the 6 weeks I get for summer break when they give me my money back. Assume I am not taking classes or doing ANY continuing ed at all (I took an 80 hour course on a reading program be picked up this year, last summer) that is the equivalent of me being given back 81.00 of my money (money I have already earned) a day for 30 days.

      I’m not saying there are not jobs just as hard or jobs that are even harder, but I work my tail off and sometime days/YEARS it is in a VERY tough environment. I makes me so mad when people say that we make “good” money and act like we are in a Disney movie every day. I am not directing the “it makes me mad” comment at you, but everyone seems to think that we make WAY more than we do. Especially in some states. We do not all have the benefits of unions. Where I am, we are a right to work state, there are laws against collective bargaining AND against salary negotiations. Unions here are lame ducks with absolutely no power.

  142. This article is a great example of why it’s so important to cultivate a flexible personality. My dad and most of my extended family (including both my little sisters) are teachers, and like any job, it frustrates them from time to time. I grew up hearing versions of these comments – less vitriolic, but with the same sentiments, *especially* towards administrators – and I have immense respect for the teaching profession, especially public school teachers (my dad’s taught public high school classes for going on 30 years). But whereas some teachers can barely contain their frustrations and get picked on by students who can see they’re trying to control themselves, my dad’s so well-liked by his current and former students that actually has a (totally unsolicited) Facebook fan page dedicated to him, with many dozens of members. His secret is simple: he’s mild and flexible. He lets everything that might affect a rigid teacher personally just slide by, and separates the necessary response to bad classroom behavior from a personal attack on his ability as an instructor. He basically stayed like a blade of grass, bending in the breezes instead of toppling like a stiff tree. You could also describe his approach as liquid: forever moving towards the actual destination, simply flowing around things that might trip up something more solid and inflexible. He just kept his eyes on teaching his classes as best he could and providing his students with a classroom atmosphere that stayed centered squarely on learning, instead of letting unreasonable people and perennial teenage trolls rattle his cage all day long.

    Sure, teaching is a terrifically stressful job, and sometimes it can seem thankless. But remember, whenever a few students, a handful of parents, or irate administrators try to ruin your day, that the overwhelming bulk of those students, parents, and colleagues do and will continue to appreciate your dogged focus on what’s really important, and your ability to stay centered on that when a few cranks try to rattle your cage. Be soft and flow around those problems – don’t stop and try to beat each one down.

  143. Ha haaaa! I love your post. I’ve been around teachers my entire life so I can appreciate your fictional teacher’s sarcastic answers. It’s everything any teacher from the last 40 years of American education would love to say and which many have actually stated, in their own ways, in order to put kids and parents back in their places.

    In fact I remember regularly hearing teachers give responses like #3, #6, #9, #12 and #13 as I was growing. God bless our educators.

  144. Ha haaaa! I love your post. I’ve been around teachers my entire life so I can appreciate your fictional teacher’s sarcastic answers. It’s everything any teacher from the last 40 years of American education would love to say and which many have actually stated, in their own ways, in order to put kids and parents back in their places.

    In fact I remember regularly hearing teachers give responses like #3, #6, #9, #12 and #13 as I was growing up. God bless our educators.

  145. glenna seeley says:

    After 37 years of teaching, the one that makes my neck hair stand up is: “this isn’t fun’ or ‘this is boring’ My inner respons: ‘I am sorry I am not Big Bird, Ernie, Cookie Monster or Bert… if you want to be entertained, perhaps u should stay home tomorrow and talk to them…”
    My

  146. glenna seeley says:

    After 37 years of teaching, the one that makes my neck hair stand up is: “this isn’t fun’ or ‘this is boring’ My inner respons: ‘I am sorry I am not Big Bird, Ernie, Cookie Monster or Bert… if you want to be entertained, perhaps u should stay home tomorrow and talk to them…”
    My real response: You never know til u try…. :)

  147. Sigler A. Couch says:

    My Bride taught for 43 years, 1 of those was homeschooling. I think she heard everyone of those almost every year. Not all of them the year of homeschooling a Junior in high school. Sad as it was we would still manage to laugh when she shared them.

  148. nery delgado says:

    My favorite and one I heard just about every day!
    Are we doing any work today? I responded with:” Yes we are having a domino tournament”.

  149. “Can we just play games instead?” yes, let’s! and, watch cartoons all day! aw hell, I’ll just sit over here and drink beer until I fall asleep and you guys can play and play and play!

  150. Love the post! So dead-on.
    My favorites..#8 When parents say, “Well, i can’t meet with you until I get off work at 5:30″ I wonder, do they tell their doctor that? Sorry Dr., but I need to you see me at 5:30, so I don’t have to take off of work. Yeah, that would go over like a lead balloon.
    #4…I’ve learned to say, “That’s a nice idea, but honestly, that’s not going to happen. But you can always email me if you have a concern.”
    I also hate when parents ask, “Why does little Johnny have a zero for x-assignment?” I so badly want to say, “”Why do you think?” or “I’ll give you two guesses” One, he managed to miss every single question or two, he didn’t do it. Seriously.
    I think every single teacher can relate to the top 20 and many of the comments. It’s nice to be able to blow off a little steam…with laughter.

  151. As a former high school educator of 40 years, you all should find new jobs. Your attitudes and sense of entitlement are diespicable! I cringed with every comment I read! Someone even posted that parents are supposed to give gifts to the teachers. What? Do your spouses who work in the private sector receive gifts from their customers or business associates at the end of every year for doing their jobs? If, like myself, you entered the teaching profession to change the lives of a child, then drop the attitudes and do that! You are not going to reach every single child. There are plenty of obstacles along the way, whether it be the parents, lack of funding or a child who you just can’t reach. However, a great teacher keeps going with out complaining! Teaching is not the only profession that has obstacles and that is difficult. I am married to a surgeon and I can tell you, his job is far more strenuous that our job! He is on call 24 hours a day and often has to stand in surgery for up to 8 hours at a time! My son is an accountant and let me tell you, from Januray until April he puts in 12+ hour days and doesn’t get any extra money for it! Neither my husband nor my son complain because they knew going in that it would be part of their job. My nephew just returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan where he got little to no sleep, his life was in danger 24/7 and he makes less than $25k a year, yet he says he would do it all over again if needed. He is proud of his job and he knew what to expect when he enlisted. Either all of you had an unrealistic idea of what your jobs would be when you became teachers or you are just ungrateful whiners who don’t deserve to be teaching! We have amazing jobs! A true teacher is not in it for the glory, the thank-yous, the end of year gifts! A true teacher chooses education to touch the lives of children and to help mold them to be future leaders, doctors and accountants. Sometimes we put in more than 40 hours a week, but honestly, please tell me who actually does that! As a high school CA teacher, at one of the best schools in New York, I rarely put in more than 40 hours per week. I never worked in the summers. My friends who did work in the summer did so because they got bored sitting around for 3 months. Some did for extra money for Christmas or for a big family vacation. None did it because they had to. Quit complaining and remember the real reason you are all teachers or find a new profession!

    • John the Baptist says:

      With all due respect, I am happy to read that you are a “former” administrator. I was an Army combat medic, a civilian paramedic and lastly a firefighter/firefighting instructor before I went into education, and I can tell you that teaching is the most physically and mentally exhausting career of all of these. I am an educational administrator now, and try hard to keep in mind all these elements mentioned here, every single one of which I personally experienced in one form or another.

      My personal “favorite” not on this list was the parent who told me, in every meeting we had over the course of two years, that she thanked God every day that her oldest child “didn’t have to suffer” under me as a teacher; the ironic part was that I *had* taught that child, and she was nothing but complementary of me that year.

      You are correct that professional teachers do not complain, at least openly or to those outside the family, and I do not think that is being promoted in this humor column. They do, however, have limitations and human feelings, and undoubtably think all these things at least once a day. A decent administrator would keep this in mind, and do what they can to help relieve the pressure, not heap on more abuse or compare themselves favorably to someone else’s situation..

    • While I do not think that MOST of the commenters are complaining, I will agree that some are. Others are just looking for some comradery and someone to laugh for a moment. As for working more than 40 hours a week and “who does that”, teachers like me that do not work in “one of the best” schools…I work at one of the worst and spend those hours devising plans, interventions, small groups, centers, modifying lesson plans, etc… for my 20 students. I have a 12 year old repeating for the 3rd time in the third grade. I have 3 students that read on a kindergarten level. 90% of my class is below grade level in math, 60% are below in reading. I do not teach SPED. These are our every day students and I work my tail off to help them reach a level that they need to be to pass the state test and move to 4th. Please do not cookie cutter teachers and what they do. I work at least 65 hours a week (school and extra on the weekend) so that I can help my kids be successful. I realize that I am (in some of their cases) the ONLY adult they see every single day. I know that I am the ONLY one helping them succeed.

      I am not trashing my parents, most of them work HARD and several jobs. This is why they are not involved in their kids education. They are too busy trying to keep a roof over their heads, food in their bellies, and clothes on their backs.

  152. Student: Coach how did I get a “D” in your class.
    Coach: Because I like you!

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