A lot of people wonder why anybody would put themselves through the stress of teaching. I love teaching and I especially love teaching teenagers. Here are some of the reasons why teaching high school is the best job ever.
1. They get your sarcasm and jokes.
In fact, they love your sarcasm and jokes—even when your jokes are terrible. They may pretend they don’t, but you know deep down they eat it up. You can also get away with picking on them, just a little bit. The best comeback is an unexpected comeback from a teacher. There’s not much that’s more satisfying than when a whole class shouts, “Ooooooooh… she got you!”
2. You know the latest trends (good).
If there’s a new style or trend you need to know about, you can guarantee your students are on top of it. The latest style in clothes, the new fad in makeup, and the must-have accessories. Granted, sometimes it’s a trend you’re going to want to avoid (unless it’s Birkenstocks with socks, because let’s be honest—it may look hideous, but it’s comfortable when you’re on your feet all day, and if the kids are doing it, you can too).
3. You know the latest trends (bad).
The Tide pod challenge, vaping, the horrors of Musical.ly, mom jeans… just like the good trends, the less desirable trends will also hit teenagers first. This can be especially helpful if you have children of your own. I’ve had friends ask me to explain something their teenager was into, knowing that I might have some knowledge because I’m a high school teacher, and I’m usually able to help them out.
4. They can help with your technology issues.
How do I make sure my iTunes account transfers to my new computer? If a student follows me on Twitter, is it weird if I follow them back? If I don’t want to pay for AirPods, what’s another good brand? How do I check my daughter’s Snapchat account? All questions I’ve asked my students, and gotten immediate answers.
5. Endless supply of babysitters.
Every year, I have a handful of kids asking me if they can babysit my kids. Not only do you have dozens of potential sitters to choose from, but you get to know them first! No surprises—you know which ones are responsible and trustworthy, and they’re easy to get a hold of when you need them.
6. These kids are talented!
Whether it’s sports, music, art, or technology, these kids are incredible. What’s more exciting than watching a team of kids you know and love come back from a huge deficit to win a basketball game? Have you ever been to a high school music concert? The talent you see at the high school level would amaze you. Art shows, school musicals, robotics competitions, and more. If you’re not going to these, you’re missing out!
7. You benefit from their side hustles.
Your student works at the local ice cream shop? Be prepared for your child to get the biggest ice cream cone they’ve ever seen the next time you go. I’ve also had students bring me coffee, donuts, and treats from various businesses where they work. A chocolate glazed donut before first hour starts? Apples are overrated anyway.
8. They are independent and responsible.
Really, they are! If you need to run to a different classroom to ask another teacher a question, there’s no worrying who will supervise your classroom. They’re fine. Send a student on an errand, and for the most part, they’ll take care of it and come back to class pretty quickly. No need to help with bathroom breaks, tie shoes, or stuff their folder with what needs to go home.
9. They’re like… real people, and you enjoy their company.
They have a wide range of emotions (and I mean WIDE… over the course of just a few seconds sometimes), and they like to express them. You can have deep conversations about life and the future. You can talk about current events, or plans for the weekend. You actually have some things in common with them. Teaching can be very isolating—you can go hours without talking to another adult. It’s nice to know that sometimes teenagers can not only fill that void, but they have a whole different frame of reference that can be very refreshing.
10. You are their part of their final chapter as a teenager before they begin their adult lives.
You are one of the last secondary school teachers they will ever have. You will see them walk across the stage at graduation and know you’re part of the reason they’re there. Many of them will keep in touch with you for years to come, and will visit during breaks from college. You have a huge impact on them, and they won’t forget it.
Share your thoughts—why is teaching high school the best job ever? Or maybe you’d put another grade at the top of the list. We’re chatting about this topic and more in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.