30 realities of living with a teacher

10 October 2017 | By

Life with a teacher, whether they’re your spouse, parent or friend, is…interesting. It’s definitely one of those professions that don’t just remain in the “workplace”, but instead, it encroaches into your home and your life! Keeps things interesting and entertaining, that’s for sure.

Teaching definitely runs in my family. My husband is a high school science teacher, my mum was a primary teacher, my dad taught college mathematics and my grandmother was a chemistry professor.

I’ve always been surrounded by teachers, even to this day being married to one!

Here are 30 things you’ll relate to if your spouse (or parent, or maybe you yourself) is a teacher:

  1. Their work extends well beyond the school grounds and definitely doesn’t end when they get home at night. There’s always marking to be done, lessons to prepare, admin work to complete, and emails to parents, students and other teachers to send.
  2. You have the wonderful advantage of having a free on-site tutor! Rest assured that your child will be taught good study habits from your spouse.
  3. When you ask them a question, sometimes they’ll slip into “teacher mode” and become super descriptive, animated and, well, teacher-like. I’m always entertained when this happens.
  4. There will always be someone to mind the kids during school holidays (as long as their schedules match up). Hopefully they won’t be driven mad by the end!
  5. Going away for a vacation can only happen on school holidays – during peak time when the prices are highest and the destinations are busiest. Avoid going away on weekends unless you want to be slapped with mega-inflated accommodation costs.
  6. The end of the summer holidays will be crazily hectic. The “two month long prep period” actually means leaving all the prepping until the last week or so.
  7. Sickness will be more frequent than most people would consider normal. It’s a little inevitable when you’re trapped with loads of germy kids for 6 hours every day, until you build up a mega-resistance.
  8. You could probably become a stationery retailer with the amount of exercise books, folders, papers, pens, etc. that you have around. You’d never believe the places I’ve discovered a red pen around the house.
  9. Dinner conversations will be filled with hilarious stories of kids and class-time happenings. You’ll get totally into the school ground gossip.
  10. In fact, by the end of first term, you’ll feel like you know all the students by name. And you’ll remember a whole heap of random facts about these kids that you’ve never even met before. The annoying kids, the smart ones, the class clown, the queen bee – you’re in the know.
  11. Don’t expect them to cook on Friday nights – they’re super buggered by then. Friday pizza/movie nights are a good idea.
  12. You’re known as “the wife/husband of Mr./Mrs. X”. So many people I’ve met have kids in my husband’s class, so to everyone I’m “the wife of their kid’s teacher”! To the kids themselves, you’re mysterious significant other they probably all wonder about.
  13. During school breaks of any kind (whether it’s the weekend or term break), do not initiate school-related talk unless your partner brings it up first. They’re relishing these breaks, don’t ruin it for them.
  14. Don’t make plans on a Sunday night. Even if you don’t have school-aged kids, the “school’s tomorrow!” reason still applies.
  15. Preferably no plans on a Sunday afternoon either. That’s when all the marking and preparation for the week gets crammed in.
  16. You’ll listen to their science/history/math/english/”whatever they teach” rants. Just nod and acknowledge them every so often while they tell you the “fascinating” details about the water cycle or multiplying fractions. It’s kinda cute how into it they are.
  17. When they say “my kids” – realise this doesn’t necessarily mean their direct offspring. but is probably a reference to their students.
  18. There is no greater stress than the end of term – exams, reports, kill me now.
  19. You’ll come to love looking over their shoulder while they’re marking papers, just to spy on the funny answers some of the kids leave on tests.
  20. You’ll occasionally need to step in and get them to take a break, whether it’s a day off or setting the books aside for an afternoon. Their students mean a lot to them, and it’s easy for them to become overwhelmed with striving to get everything perfect.
  21. They are or will be amazing parents, and are great with kids. Every day, they work to bring out the best of dozens of kids, providing unwavering support and guidance in endless ways.
  22. Coffee takes on a whole other meaning for them. It’s a life force, a necessity for their daily survival.
  23. The entertainment value of their day will always outshine yours. Kids are funny, wild and weird, and your partner is the lucky one stuck with heaps of them all day long.
  24. When people say “oh you’re so lucky they’re a teacher – they must be home by 4pm!” you mentally facepalm. Oh if only that was true.
  25. They’re totally in with the latest trends that are the cool with the kids these days. It’ll make you feel old.
  26. They’re experts on topics that you were convinced would never matter to you in the long term – algebra, Shakespeare, the structure of an atom. But these things matter to them, so just let it be.
  27. Weeknight dates are out of the question. They’re just not happening.
  28. Christmas is the best time of year. Be ready for them to bring home loads of chocolate gifts and “best teacher” mugs.
  29. They’re creative. Every day is an effort to be engaging and interesting, and this means discovering creative solutions and approaches to the things they do.
  30. They’re loved by so many people, from the parents of that kid who they taught to believe in themselves, to the girl they motivated to become anything she wanted and the boy they guided to chase his dreams. They command respect, enlighten and inspire the future generations.

Teaching really is an incredible vocation, which most people definitely aren’t cut out for! Huge pat on the back to all the teachers out there, I hope they all get the praise and acknowledgement they deserve.

Anyone else’s partner is a teacher? Does the above resonate with you too?

Isabelle xx

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  1. I used to manage the before and after school activities at a grade school. It’s funny how I forget about that job and then I read this post and all those memories coming rushing back. I can remember so many of the kids’ names and details about their families. I remember the teachers in the school and meetings we’d have. And all of these things are so true!

  2. I’m not a teacher, nor do I believe I ever will be, but I do work at an after-school program and help children with their homework. Meaning I do work with children everyday and the stories are hilarious. Right now, I work with twin kindergarteners and they are so cute! They like to sing on the bus a lot. They legitimately sound like minions. It’s so crazy!

  3. I love this, I had giggles, smiles and so many emotions since my Mom is a teacher and I could have witnessed all these situations. Even asking a simple question, many times led – to those lectures but yes being her kids, we were grown up with utmost importance to studies and discipline in life.

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