You Know You’re A Secondary School Teacher When…


You know you’re a secondary school teacher when:

1. You start to feel nervous in the middle of August…And have to remind yourself that it’s not actually your exam results that you are getting.

2. Excitement levels rise when you get your hands on your new planner for the next academic year.  You fail to remember if you ‘mixed it up’ and went for a spiral-bound one instead of a loose-leaf one this time so just take whichever is handed to you.  

3. You worry about other people’s children nearly as much as you worry about your own.

4. You have a regular supply of cups of tea and biscuits throughout the day.  In fact a lot more than any of the days when you’re not in school.  

5. You speak fondly about old exam specifications and reminisce longingly about past GCSE syllabuses gone by.

6. You find yourself having conversations about whether or not a skirt is ‘knee-length’ on a regular basis.

7. And would also be a LOT better off if you’d been given a pound every time you’ve told someone to tuck their shirt in.

8. One word fills you and your colleagues with dread – OFSTED. 

9. People ask you about ‘catchment areas’ as if you are some sort of expert…in reality you are as clueless as everyone else about the admissions criteria to local schools.  

10. You repeatedly have to correct yourself when talking to students/parents/colleagues.  No longer is it about the C/D borderline or how to reach an A*, it’s all about 7s, 8s and 9s.

school slogan

11. You do about a million and one things, as well as eating your lunch, during your supposed lunch break.

12. Sunday night means one thing and one thing only – MARKING.  Or teacher feedback or student-teacher dialogue or whatever it is it’s being called at the moment.  

13. You wonder if you are more worried about their exams then the Year 11s are.

14. …And then you look at their faces and realise that some of them are really worried and wish you could magically take the worry away for them.

15. You’ve attempted to have meaningful interactions with around two hundred people in a six hour window.  

16. You feel more comfortable in the presence of teenagers than most adults do. 

17. You have flashbacks to your own teenage years when snippets of conversations about 18th Birthday parties and going out at the weekend are overheard.

18. …But you pretend, when questioned, that you NEVER did anything foolish or stupid when you were growing up.

19. You get to the end of term and promptly get the cold that you’ve been fighting for the last three weeks.

20. You reflect that no day is ever dull and, although you get to the end of each of them exhausted, you feel that at some point, in some way, you made a difference.

Thank you to my blogging buddy Sophie from Old House In The Shires for inspiring me to write this post.  She suggested I wrote my version after I read this post based on her experiences as a primary school teacher.

handwritten Hayley

Bringing up Georgia

Letters to my Daughter


  1. March 21, 2018 / 3:36 pm

    Never mind August, I get nervous after the December mocks!!
    And I always do my marking Saturday morning (joke, it’s Sunday night like everyone else).

    • onamindfulmummymission
      March 21, 2018 / 8:10 pm

      Ha ha ha – we’re just like the kids leaving it all to the last min. Thanks for commenting! xx

  2. March 22, 2018 / 11:21 am

    Not sure about the tea bit, I make them but never get to drink them! #fortheloveofBLOG

    • onamindfulmummymission
      March 23, 2018 / 7:41 pm

      Ha ha – yes a fair few of mine are half drunk but I am naughty and do have them on my desk during lessons! xx

  3. March 22, 2018 / 10:01 pm

    Number fifteen for sure! And the new planner one too. #fortheloveBLOG

    • onamindfulmummymission
      March 23, 2018 / 7:40 pm

      🙂 xx

  4. emptynestmummy
    March 24, 2018 / 7:12 am

    Another great post! Does being a secondary school teacher allow you to stay younger for longer? Is hanging out with ‘yoofs’ the secret to eternal youth? Are the school drinking fountains actually the fountains of youth? You’ve really got me thinking. And it’s only ten past seven am!

    • onamindfulmummymission
      March 25, 2018 / 9:34 pm

      Ha ha ha – not sure that I feel very youthful at the moment – more like haggard! But yes i can see that it can help keep you young at heart xx

  5. March 24, 2018 / 7:16 am

    I work ( as a HR Manager) in a secondary school and although I’m not actually teaching I have a good understanding of the demands and well as the stress of exam results day! And the ‘put your blazer on’ ‘keep on the left’ ‘don’t leave your bags in the corridor’ instructions! #TheSatSesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      March 25, 2018 / 9:33 pm

      Ha ha ha – yes all of those ‘diktats’! xx

  6. emptynestmummy
    March 24, 2018 / 7:16 am

    I forgot to say #thesatsesh !!

  7. March 24, 2018 / 2:52 pm

    YES! Yes to all of these, No 5 made me LOL and NO 19 is also so, so true. Great idea for a post! #thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      March 25, 2018 / 9:30 pm

      Thanks Jenny xx

  8. March 24, 2018 / 6:55 pm

    Great post. It reminded me of my time at secondary school where one poor teacher would repeatedly tell me all day to roll my skirt down (so it was knee length again before I hoiked it up) and to tie my hair back. I am sure Mrs Jacobs can currently be found in a nursing home somewhere just repeating: Tie your hair back and pull down that skirt!

    • onamindfulmummymission
      March 25, 2018 / 9:29 pm

      Hee hee hee this made me laugh! xx

  9. March 24, 2018 / 6:56 pm

    Whoop! Just like an errant teenager I forgot to complete my work and add #satsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      March 25, 2018 / 9:28 pm

      Ha ha ha = this made me laugh! xx

  10. March 25, 2018 / 9:33 am

    I hope that a all the teachers of my teen were like that.. I know he was blessed with some that definitely were #thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      March 25, 2018 / 9:27 pm

      So many are – thank you xx

  11. March 25, 2018 / 11:00 am

    Great post! I’m not a school teacher so it is interesting to get a glimpse of what it is like to be one. #thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      March 25, 2018 / 9:24 pm

      Thank you xx

  12. March 25, 2018 / 11:21 am

    This is insightful to understand the roll of the teacher X #thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      March 25, 2018 / 9:24 pm

      Thanks xx

  13. March 25, 2018 / 1:47 pm

    I teach elementry school….always coming home with a lego, crayon or some random item in my pocket. #thatsatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      March 25, 2018 / 9:24 pm

      Ha ha ha xx

  14. March 25, 2018 / 9:10 pm

    I loved number 20! 2, 3, & 4 sound very familiar even as a Primary teacher. Thank you for hosting #thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      March 25, 2018 / 9:23 pm

      Thank you xx

  15. March 26, 2018 / 2:16 pm

    It’s lovely to read that there are teachers who really do care about their students. #fortheloveofBLOG

    • onamindfulmummymission
      March 26, 2018 / 9:17 pm

      Oh there are lots and lots! xx

  16. March 27, 2018 / 6:16 pm

    You definitely do make a difference! The life of a teacher sounds pretty tough going. Thanks for sharing with #fortheloveofBLOG

    • onamindfulmummymission
      March 28, 2018 / 8:08 pm

      Thank you! xx

  17. Lucy At Home
    March 28, 2018 / 11:11 am

    This is fab! High school teachers don’t get enough credit – I know it’s a job that I could never do. I trained as a primary school teacher so I know a little of what it’s like but I rarely had to deal with any back chat or raging hormones! Haha. You can really see through this post how passionate you are about your job and how much you care for the teenagers you work with. Thank you! #blogcrush

    • onamindfulmummymission
      March 28, 2018 / 8:07 pm

      Awwww Lucy that’s so kind of you to say. Thank you xx

  18. March 29, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    hahah reading the word OFSTED made me go cold. Im totes more comfortable with teenagers than adults and Im also stationary happy, this is the most exciting aspect of September – plus new shoes 🙂

    • onamindfulmummymission
      April 9, 2018 / 9:00 pm

      Oh yes you and your shoes 😉 xx

  19. April 6, 2018 / 5:16 pm

    Teachers are heroes in my book, and you deserve a medal! Tuck your cape in for us mere mortals! #TheSatsesh xoxo

    • onamindfulmummymission
      April 9, 2018 / 9:00 pm

      Thank you – you are so lovely Lisa xx

Leave a Reply