Recently, I asked the BuzzFeed Community to share secrets they only know from their jobs. Everyone from nurses to accountants to farmers came through and anonymously shared interesting tidbits about their job. However, these secrets from teachers are everything from intriguing to poignant.
1."Teacher here! The mysterious, fabled 'permanent record' at school is absolutely a real thing. As a high school teacher, I can look up info about all my students and see what they got in trouble for back in first grade, whether their parents are rude to teachers during meetings, or anything else that their prior teachers have noted.
"Sometimes, this info is extremely useful, but I’ve been guilty of treating kids differently if I know that they have a history of behavior challenges."
2."I’m a high school teacher. Admin cares way more about passing rates than actually helping to make sure kids learn the skills they need to succeed ('D' for 'done').
"So many kids are getting pushed into regular education classes that should be getting ESL or special education classes, but we just don’t have enough teachers that are certified in the content areas AND the specialty to provide those classes. The teacher shortage is real, and kids who need extra services are being hurt the worst."
3."I work in higher education. Almost every semester, there are several classes that get assigned to faculty literally days or hours before the first day; many of whom have not taught the course before and were 'thrown' into it as a last-minute schedule fix."
4."Most teachers don’t read the student papers."
5."Teacher here. People always want to tell me that I get so much paid vacation in the summer, but we don’t! We aren’t paid for that time. Our nine-month salary is stretched over 12 months so we don’t go broke.
"And even if we’re 'off' during the summer, we’re still working. Two weeks before your kid starts school, we are back setting up, attending training, and creating materials for the school year."
6."High school teacher here. I control the final grade that gets on the report card. Kids who try and parents who are cooperative will get some added points if it’s close to passing. If you’re lazy and the parents are assholes, the kid gets the grade that the math adds up to. No favors given."
7."I’m a new professor at a large state university. If your professor is 'tenure-track,' they’re likely being pressured from all the university’s higher-ups to be constantly producing research in their field, speaking at conferences, publishing data, etc.
"Most are working over 50-60 hours a week to meet these expectations. Teaching undergraduate students is low on their priority list, so they’re not incentivized to spend too much time on teaching, planning courses, and individually working with students."
8."High school counselor here. First off, your kids tell me everything about you…you’re an alcoholic, drug dealer, a**hole, abusive, and every other secret you would want kept. Second, if you’re rude, condescending, and treat me like s**t, your child is less likely to get the class they want or the nicer teacher."
9."I’m a teacher for young children. If this is the first time you’re separated from your child and you’re worried, we get it. Ask us to send you a picture during the day. We don’t mind, and we try to do this anyway, but we definitely make it a priority for those who ask.
"Also, don’t send your child with things or clothes you don’t want broken or torn. I’ve seen kids use scissors to cut holes in their clothes just because. As long as your child is clean, we aren’t judging if they don’t come to child-model level clothes."
10."As a retired teacher, I am continually appalled by sanitary and comfort conditions in schools. Buildings without air conditioning can reach upwards of 97°, often without even a fan. How can students and teachers be expected to work to the best of their ability in that heat? Cleanliness is also often not up to par. Check out cafeteria tables. The filth can be disgusting."
11."I teach at the college and high school level, so I can answer this. In high school and college, for your required math and science classes, most (there are a few jerks) teachers and professors will pass you if you do all the assigned work.
"Even if you fail all the tests horribly, you will still pass if you do the assignments. The goal is that you learn something and how to think in a logical manner. No college or high school wants students to fail core classes. It looks bad, and there are repercussions for teachers and professors if their students don’t pass."
12."I’m a middle school teacher. We laugh at your kids’ inappropriate jokes inside and are very good at maintaining professionalism."
13."High school teacher. If your parent is a pain in the a**, every teacher in the school knows about it and knows they don’t want you in their class. Parents are not helping their kids by being pushy and mean."
14."I’ve been a high school teacher for 10 years. The 'smart kids' are the absolute worst cheaters in the building because they actually care about failing.
"I’ve had multiple parents tell me their kid is an honor student, and how dare I insinuate they are anything less than an upstanding moral beacon. Yeah, I just found that 'research paper' for sale online. … They’re not even good at cheating."
15.Finally, "I am an early literacy specialist. For musical elitist parents: I know it seems cool that your 3-year-old sings along to Bob Dylan or The Smiths, but traditional nursery rhymes and other simple songs slow language down for toddlers, so they can better hear and replicate the sounds."
20th Century Studios