Being a Teacher’s Kid

Yes, it involves as much construction paper and glue as you’d expect.

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       I’ve been a teacher’s kid since birth. I’ve literally grown up in school, and I have more years in the education field than many tenured employees. Ask any child that has grown up with at least one parent who teaches, and they will tell you teachers’ kids are a different breed of human. Those like me who have spent a lot of their time in school with a parent who teaches know this truth particularly well.

What a lot of outsiders (in this case those who do not live with an educator or actually teach themselves) fail to realize is how much time teachers (and subsequently their children) spend at school. If you’re a dedicated teacher, it’s not the 8-to-3:30 job of assigning chapters to read. A normal day usually begins around 7:30 at the latest and ends at 4:30— and that’s on a good day. And the teacher’s kid is there the whole day, everyday until they finally reach the age that they can drive themselves (!!!). And if one of your parents has worked on a Masters or National Board certification, you know the absolute horror of primarily living at school (I’m only slightly kidding about that, too).

Teachers’ kids are not allowed to skip school. This is probably the most universal rule for us. I could probably count the number of times I missed school between kindergarten and graduation on one hand. You have a cold? You’re okay. As long as you’re not throwing up, you’re going to school.

Being a teacher’s kid means you are more likely to get along with adults than people your own age. It’s not because you don’t know how to interact with your peers, but rather you are around adults more often and find them more comfortable to be around. I’m certain this never wears off because my list of friends in high school included many of my teachers (called by their first names, not last) at the top.

You also learn to accept you are the prime helper with crafts/projects. You can assemble models, dioramas, and locker decorations like no one’s business. I’m actually still recovering from an incident in August in which I cut out way too many construction paper cellular organelles with left-handed scissors (and I am definitely NOT left handed).

You learn how to do tasks that would qualify you to be an excellent secretary in any office by age ten. I can scan, copy, and print papers like it’s my job. I knew how to answer phone calls professionally and transfer them before I knew how to multiply. And yes, I can use a fax machine.

You know what your teachers are like outside of their “school mode” when you’re a teacher’s kid because you’ve been to every faculty social/Christmas party/end of year celebration held. You know that part in Mean Girls when Janis says, “Oh, I love seeing teachers outside of school. It’s like seeing a dog walk on its hind legs?” Yeah, I don’t get that.

The blood-born pathogens video is permanently etched in the teacher’s kid brain, and you will never un-see those images. I’m not going into a lot of detail with this— it’s too terrible to explain. Just know this: don’t play around with a commercial paper cutter. This tip sponsored by teacher’s kids everywhere.

Being the child of a teacher, you begin to recognize the “teacher voice.” It’s a very distinct, clear, and loud voice that your parent uses when they have phone calls with parents or talk to their students. The average person or teachers themselves would probably not notice the difference, but the teacher’s kid hears it (and maybe cringes at the sound).

Finally, being a teacher’s kid means you have little to no privacy. Most recently I walked into my mom’s classroom, and the first thing a student said to me was “we saw your selfie of your alfalfa.” Yes, my “I woke up like this” selfie of my crazy hair had been shown to her entire classroom. Strangers even ask me informed, personal questions about myself/school all the time because their student is in my mom’s class. They’ve seen my picture (or embarrassing selfie), but I have no idea who they are. I just go with it now and hope they’re not going to kill me later with information I give them.

In the end, it’s all worth it for summer vacation and holidays off with your parent (though you’ll be in school for at least part of that time). It also means I have someone who is educated in different areas and can help me in various ways. In my case, I have a personal editor for everything I write, and someone to discuss which area of science is the most interesting.

If you don’t believe all of this is true, go to Twitter and search #teacherskidprobs. You’ll see.

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