What Teachers Think vs. What We Actually Say

Can’t read my teacher face.

Educators walk a tightrope of respectability narrower and longer than most other professionals. Our reputation and the relationships we build can make or break our careers, which is why so often we must bite our tongues until they bleed! There have been countless times I’ve wanted to say something I couldn’t, so instead, I heed my kindergarten teacher’s advice: I zip it, lock it, put it in my pocket. But that doesn’t mean I’m not firing back in my brain. I give you: what teachers think vs. what we actually say…


When a parent insists the 36 assignments her child turned in on the last day of school be graded immediately to determine if he passed …

What teachers think: You’re killin’ me, Smalls! Where have you been all year?! Couldn’t return my calls or emails, but now you care?! *puts student’s 36 assignments at very bottom of to-do list*

what teachers think

What teachers say: I appreciate your concern and will do my best to get these graded.


When a student who has earned a 5 percent for the marking period asks for extra credit …

What teachers think: How about completing the work that was actually assigned—that’ll give you some credit!

What teachers say: It’s great to see you’re motivated!


When Coach asks if his star athlete can “get eligible” for the big game …

What teachers think: Absolutely! Just have him come to class and learn like everyone else. That’d be great, mmmkay?

What teachers say: I’m sure the team needs him; I’ll see what I can do.


When an administrator proposes last minute changes to curriculum …

What teachers think: You haven’t stepped foot in the classroom in over a decade, but sure—go ahead and use us as guinea pigs for your next big idea.

What teachers say: I look forward to learning more about your idea.


When the school counselor asks to speak to your class and gives you zero notice …

What teachers think: AWESOME! I just love unexpected interruptions and a blatant disregard for my time.

What teachers: Sure, we’ll make it work.


When an absent student returns and asks “Did we do anything while I was out?” …

What teachers think: Not a dang thing! Why waste time teaching if you’re not here?!

What teachers say: Please check the absent folder for your work.


When a student’s parents interrupt your dinner at a restaurant to discuss Susie’s progress in your class …

What teachers think: OMG are you kidding me right now? Do I have spinach in my teeth? Do they know this is my third glass of wine?

What teachers say: *Whatever will make them go away the fastest*


When your colleague repeatedly “drops in” on your plan period …

What teachers think: I just cannot with this. Do you not see me avoiding eye contact? I AM BUSY!

What teachers say: *keeps eyes low* Mmmmhmmm. Uh huh. Wow. Fascinating.


Posted by Stephanie Jankowski

English teacher by trade, smack talker by nature, Stephanie Jankowski loves words and has a knack for finding the funny in everyday life. A mother of three in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Stephanie subscribes to the mantra: “Life is too short, laugh!” Visit her site, WhenCrazyMeetsExhaustion.com, for more!

Leave a reply

25 FUN FAMILY NIGHT IDEAS! Free Printable to Share With Families! Snag It >>