Beyond the




9 Teacher Truths We Try to Hide from Students

Woman hushing to keep a secret.

How many things do you tell your students to do that you don't even do yourself?

Dear students, you might consider us to be celebrities—maybe even rock stars. But while we might appear mythical to some of you, we're human. Sometimes we run to the liquor store in pajama pants or sprint to the bathroom in Target.

Further reading: 10 Tips and Truths of Living with a Teacher

Because we take our position as public role models very seriously, there are a few teacher truths we try to keep hidden. Here are just a few.

1. We Are Hypocrites

Those things we reprimand you for in school? We do the very same things behind your back. We tell you to clean up your language, but we swear like sailors the second you're out of sight.

2. We Have Bad Days, Too

Sometimes we get home and immediately pass out in bed. Whether because of your crazy classroom behavior or the way we worry about what you're getting into when you're not in school, there are days where we struggle to keep it together.

3. We Don't Always Love Your Parents

Honestly? Some of your parents are overbearing and put way too much pressure on you. We wish they'd lighten up. A lot. Other parents are equally as awful for the opposite reason: They're MIA. You matter, and we can't stand it when we see parents strip kids of their confidence and self-worth.

4. We Want to Shop in Peace

Many of us do our grocery shopping two towns over to avoid running into you. We love interacting with you every day—just not while we're price-comparing organic cheeses. Standing in line at the deli is not a great time to discuss your final grade.

5. We Want Our Personal Lives to Stay That Way

Teachers are people with families and issues and challenges, but you often don't realize it because we don't share that part of ourselves. Some of us are really struggling at home, but we could never tell you. That's why it's important to always be kind. Be gentle with us. Heck, be gentle with everyone.

6. We Prepare You for Life, Not the Test

An article in The New York Times notes that some states are abandoning standardized tests because they don't effectively assess student progress or prepare kids for life outside the classroom. And we'd much rather teach you life skills rather than how to beat a test. So when we come down on you for not meeting deadlines or not finishing an important assignment, it's because we want to make sure you succeed after school. Employers value critical-thinking and communication skills, so when you start making six figures, feel free to write us a thank-you note!

7. We Have Favorites

There. I said it. Our favorites change from year to year, but we never forget who they are. Some of you are incredibly hilarious, thoughtful, brilliant, or hardworking. You brighten our day, and we appreciate it more than you know.

8. We Care About All of You

We cry over your failures and heartbreaks, and we celebrate your successes and milestones. We store away the sweet cards and letters you've written us in safe places, and we pull them out when we're having a bad day. You make our job worthwhile. Thank you.

9. You Teach Us More Than You Realize

It doesn't matter that we're the ones in charge of the actual educating—you teach us something every day. The lessons you've taught us about character, perseverance, and perspective are invaluable, and we are better educators—and people—for having learned them.

Further reading: How to Respond to the 6 Biggest Misconceptions About Teaching

These teacher truths are just a few of many that we keep hidden—for your sake and ours. So, students, next time you enter our classrooms, keep in mind that we have our secrets.