HomeSpecial EducationSpecial EducationThings Teachers Do That Non-Teachers Don’t Understand

Things Teachers Do That Non-Teachers Don’t Understand


As a teacher, you experience unique day-to-day challenges that the general public may not understand. Sometimes the things teachers do can be perplexing!

The demands of managing a classroom, planning lessons, and being responsible for the growth and development of young minds require a level of skill and patience that can only come from firsthand experience. While non-teachers may recognize the importance of educating our youth, they may not fully comprehend the intricacies of what goes into being a teacher. Here are some things that teachers do that non-teachers might not fully understand.


Things Teachers Do

Adjust Bathroom Habits

As a teacher, you can’t always go to the bathroom when you need to. You have to adjust your bathroom habits and needs to fit the schedules of those around you.

Providing Emotional Support

When students are struggling, teachers step up to bat and help provide that emotional support that they need in order to get through.

Asking for Permission for Just About Everything

Want to run to your car to grab something you forgot? Make sure you ask permission first! In fact, for just about everything you do as a teacher, you need to clear it with someone else first.

Eat Lunch in 10-15 Minutes (If At All!)

While other professions may have a half-hour to an hour-long lunch break, teachers are lucky if they get 10-15 minutes to scarf down their lunches.

Reminding Others of Hygiene Habits

When was the last time your lawyer or auto mechanic had to ask someone to stop picking their nose and wiping it on the table? Chances are that’s not in their daily routine. For teachers, though? That’s just a typical Tuesday morning.

Coming In When Sick Because Staying Home Is More Work

When others are sick, they call out and stay home to watch tv. When teachers are sick, sub plans need to be prepared, a sub needs to be arranged, and the amount of work and effort to do all of that is often more hassle than just going into school.

Waking Up in the Middle of the Night Worrying About Someone Else’s Child

The care and concern teachers have for their students doesn’t end when the bell rings. It stays with them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Worry About Having Enough Copy Paper

The struggle is real when it comes to having enough copy paper as a teacher. Most schools limit the amount of paper teachers can use, and they guard it fiercely.

Bringing Work Home Because You Can’t Get It All Done at Work

Spending countless hours at night and on the weekends grading papers, preparing lessons, and getting things ready for the next day or week is commonplace as a teacher. Why? Because there simply aren’t enough hours in the workday to get everything accomplished and teach students.

Sunday Night Anxiety

Forget about the excitement of Sunday Night Football, there’s nothing like the anxiety and dread that fills a teacher’s soul on a Sunday evening.

Using Your Own Money to Buy Things for Work – And Not Getting Reimbursed

Forget about getting reimbursed. As a teacher, you buy things for your classroom and your students to supplement the lack of things that the school provides. Teachers can spend thousands of dollars each year on their classrooms and lessons.

The Importance of Pencil Brands

Teachers know that Ticonderoga pencils are the best, and the rest will be broken quickly.

Not Wanting to Talk for Hours

When teachers are on their way home, chances are the radio is off, and the sounds of silence are being blissfully welcomed. If they don’t have to talk to anyone for hours after their contract day ends, it could easily be considered nirvana.

Feeling Like Your Own Kids Come Second to Everyone Else’s

It’s not easy being a teacher and a parent. Many teachers often feel like their own children come second to the students in their class – not by choice, but by necessity.

Going to Bed at 8 pm

Teaching is exhausting, and most non-teachers do not understand why an 8 pm bedtime – 9 pm if you are feeling really awake – is so appealing to teachers.

Putting Your Life in Danger Daily to Protect Your Students

Teachers are heroes, and when confronted with situations where they need to protect their students, they do. In an age where active shooter drills are commonplace, teaching has become a dangerous profession.


Being a teacher is a challenging and rewarding profession that requires a wide range of skills and expertise. From managing a classroom of diverse learners to creating and implementing effective lesson plans, teachers have a lot on their plates. While non-teachers may not fully understand all the things teachers do, it’s important to recognize the hard work, dedication, and passion that educators bring to their students every day. By supporting and valuing our teachers, we can help ensure that our future generations receive the best education possible.

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