30 Things All Teachers Do but Will Never Admit

I plead the fifth! 🤐

Paired images of teachers doing things they'll never admit

Society expects a lot from those in charge of educating children. That often means we need to be on our best behavior … or at least look like we are. Alas, not everyone is perfect. We all have several teacher secrets we keep hidden from those outside the world of education. But we can definitely share them with you all! #SorryNotSorry. How many of these secret teacher acts are you guilty of?

1. We’ve all considered throwing that stack of ungraded homework away.

Maybe we’ve done it. Hard to say.

2. We’ve all taken our sweet, sweet time replying to a less-than-friendly email.

“I need a response by the end of the day” is a surefire way to make sure I schedule “send” for 11:52 p.m.

3. We’ve all copied things we weren’t supposed to copy.

OK, but in my defense, what do I do when my school won’t buy class copies? Write it out with a quill by candlelight?

4. We’ve all had to wear weird stuff from our closet when we’re behind on laundry.

Hello, bridesmaid dress from three years ago. Bet you think you weren’t going to be paired with a jean jacket and tennis shoes today.

5. We’ve all had that split second of hope that our on-campus injury is slightly more serious than it really is.


Will tetanus from a staple-remover scrape get me workers’ comp?

6. We’ve all been momentarily terrified that we sent an email to the wrong person.

“Aaannd send. Wait, did I ‘reply all’? No, no, no, no. Please tell me I didn’t ‘reply all’! Oh, OK, whew. That would have been bad.”

7. We’ve all checked for inclement weather while hope soars in our hearts.

“All right, I know I checked 10 minutes ago, but weather changes, right? I should just check again. Maybe another weather app would have a more up-to-date prediction?!”

8. We’ve all made grievous spelling errors when writing on the whiteboard.

“OK, OK, calm down. I meant to write ‘skit.’ Your skit is due tomorrow.”

9. We’ve all had a coworker or student walk in while we were in the middle of absolutely slamming lunch or a snack before the next class.

*holds up pointer finger indicating “Hold on” while chewing for 20 seconds* “Hey. What’s up?”

10. We’ve all tried to draw something on the board only to have it end up looking somewhat questionable.

“It’s a thermometer. What? Why are you all laughing?”

11. We’ve all played some version of a game with our students that’s only true purpose is to keep them quiet.

“Whatever you call it—Sleeping Lions, Graveyard, Secret Spies, or Who’s the Best Carrot?—the only real rule is, if you talk, you’re out. And if you get out, you have to sit silently until the end of the game. I don’t make the rules.”

12. We’ve all spilled something on papers we’re grading.

With a little help from a black pen, your coffee stain can become a cute little kitty cat in no time.

13. We’ve all grabbed a (clean!) pencil to use as a stir stick.

Haven’t we?!

14. We’ve all failed to be the “grown-up” in an argument with a student.

“Talking while I’m talking is so not a vibe.”

15. We’ve all sent that student out on errands just to get a break.

“Can you take this to Mr. Faherty? He’s in the M hall on the other side of campus. I don’t know what room number. You’ve never heard of him? Don’t be silly.”

16. We’ve all called in sick … without really being sick.

“I don’t have a fever, but my mind is broken. Does that count?” (Yes, yes it does.)

17. We’ve all shown a movie or instituted a surprise silent reading day because we needed a break.

“OK, today I’ve decided out of the goodness of my heart to give you class time to catch up on your reading for The Odyssey. No, I most definitely did not see Taylor Swift last night. This is glitter from … home.”

18. We’ve all taken class outside just because the weather is beautiful.

“Just … work on your essay in your head.”

19. We’ve all realized something really embarrassing way too late.

“My skirt is tucked into my tights? But I haven’t been to the bathroom in hours. …”

20. We’ve all been happy when certain students were absent.

“Oh, Michael has strep and is going to be out for the rest of the week? Hallelujah. Oh, what’s that? No, I said ‘call Tallulah.’ She’s a, uh, strep doctor.”

21. We’ve all had favorite students.

We’ll never tell.

22. We’ve all feigned genuine interest while receiving questionable admin feedback.

“I will absolutely think about how I can implement that idea. Thank you so much!”

23. We’ve all rolled our eyes when asked to do icebreakers at staff meetings.

What would I get on a vanity nameplate? Is “IHATEPD” too many letters?

24. We’ve all wanted to lovingly tell that one colleague to tone down the drama.

“Mm-hmm. Yes, our AP forgetting to approve your work order for your projector bulb is definitely a personal attack. You’re right—I’m sure this goes all the way to the top.”

25. We’ve all “borrowed” (or at least thought about borrowing) that drink or snack from the faculty fridge.

That Diet Coke is calling my name. Literally. (OK, figuratively.)

26. We’ve all regretted something we’ve said to our students.

“Did I seriously just tell a group of fifth graders lined up for recess to hold onto their balls until they were outside?!”

27. We’ve all wondered what other jobs we could do with a teaching degree.

“I could be a truck driver. Just me. Driving alone. No one calling my name a million times a day. Listening to whatever music I want. Or not. I could just sit in complete silence.”

28. We’ve all behaved just as badly during a faculty meeting as our students do in class.

In my defense, I have a disease that forces me to laugh if a situation expressly forbids it.

29. We’ve all found ourselves saying things we could have never predicted in our teacher prep courses.

“I love seeing your beautiful face today, but you have to put a shirt on. Yes, you have to have a shirt on in class. That’s right. Even though it’s hot. No, it’s not discrimination.”

30. We’ll never tell our friends, but we’ve all been secretly glad we don’t have a corporate desk job.

Yes, we have a long way to go before teachers are given a living wage, respect, and what they need to do their jobs.

However …

A sense of purpose

+ not having to pretend like our work is meaningful

+ staying on top of all The Youth trends

+ the hilarious things our students say

+ having a gigantic “office” (even if most of the time it’s packed with tiny people)


A pretty dang good gig if you ask us.

What teacher secrets did we forget to reveal? Hop over to our WeAreTeachers Facebook group and tell us!

Plus, check out surprising things you never thought you’d say until you became a teacher!

Even teachers have those #sorrynotsorry moments. Here are some of those teacher secrets that we've all thought or done from time to time.