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.
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.