I Watched Outer Banks on Netflix – This is How I Know I am a Teacher

I Watched Outer Banks on Netflix - This is How I Know I am a Teacher

The young adult, action-packed, teen drama that is Outer Banks is now #1 on Netflix. I’ll admit I was reluctant to watch a show full of teens and often found myself shaking my head at these kids’ antics while muttering, “No way. C’mon now,” at the screen. But by episode 2 I was hooked and had to know what happened. 

If you haven’t seen the show, basically a teenager and his friends go on a treasure hunt related to his father’s disappearance. There are parties, drugs, romances, and fights sprinkled throughout the show too. A beach town where there are two kinds of people: Pogues or Kooks. And there is also me. A teacher and parent. And I have a few things I have to say. 

*Spoilers Ahead*

1. Where are these kids’ parents most of the time? 

Episode 1 I often questioned where these kids’ parents were, but I chalked it up to being one day in the summer. They all probably told their parents they were going to hang out at so-so’s house for the day and evening. I even let it slide when they had an all-out kegger on the beach at night. 

However, by Episode 3 I was screaming at the television, “WHERE’S THE PARENTAL SUPERVISION!!?” One kid had a rager at his house and people were doing cocaine and jumping off the roof. No parents. The party didn’t even get broken up by the cops. These kids just had free reign to do whatever they wanted whenever they wanted. Drive their parents’ boats out into the ocean? No problem. Not come home for days? Parents not too pleased but ok. Cause a scene and run away from a town party? Whatever. Parents will just stand there and meekly call after them. Steal and carry around guns? Sure why not. 

By the end of the season, I was shaking my head in disgrace. No wonder these kids come to school thinking no rules apply to them. They just walk all over their parents at home. Where’s the parent support here? Yeah, I’m definitely a teacher. 

I Watched Outer Banks on Netflix - This is How I Know I am a Teacher

2. I understand their language

I’ve been a high school teacher for nine years. I have taught through the years of YOLO, bae, squad, on fleek, Gucci, lit, throwing shade, that’s savage, turnt, that’s goals, and sippin’ the tea. I usually know the teen lingo long before my friends and family do. 

It came as no surprise then that I quickly caught on to the slang these kids were using while my husband who was watching with me was probably a bit more confused. Macking on, shooting his shot, lowkey, flexing. All of that terminology I got, and that’s how I know I am a teacher. Cue woogity woogity with tongue out. 

I Watched Outer Banks on Netflix - This is How I Know I am a Teacher

3. I could not let go that they got from the Outer Banks to Chapel Hill by ferry

It’s not geographically possible! As a teacher and a lover of geography, I could not accept this error in landscape, which so blatantly points out that there is a waterway from the coast of North Carolina to the piedmont region of the state. There is absolutely not one. I couldn’t even accept it in the name of love and dramatic creativity. I know that it makes a much better story for John B and Sarah to sneak onto a ferry and hide out in I what I assume is the boiler room of the boat where John B becomes so overcome with heat and sweat that he has to remove his shirt, thus, sparking flames and forbidden love (after all she is a Kook and he is a Pogue) between the two teenage heartthrobs. “BUT do not do that in the name of geography”, screams every teacher. 

4. I was rooting for Pope to get his scholarship more than I rooted for John B to find the gold. 

The whole first half of the show Pope incessantly talked about his scholarship, and how he couldn’t screw it up. He complained to the group when they snuck into a hotel room and stole a gun. “My scholarship guys. I can’t get in trouble.” He pleaded with them when they snooped around a house looking for gold. He was so paranoid he would get caught and lose his scholarship when he was talked into sinking the expensive boat of someone who attacked him unprovoked. He about lost it when a member of the gang broke into a drug dealer’s house and stole his money in retribution for attacking the group. 

I didn’t blame him for his fear and for sometimes coming off as a party pooper. He was clearly the smartest and hardest working academically of the group, and the scholarship was definitely a big deal and something he deserved. 

That’s why it was such a disappointment when he walked out of his scholarship interview to help save John B. Teachers everywhere could be heard screaming and pounding their fists, “NOOOOO. This is your future. Don’t waste it!” He certainly had time to finish that interview and then go help his friends. Instead, though, he realized the lapse of judgment and unraveled into smoking and even punching his dad. The sadness I felt as a teacher watching a student squander his potential was palpable and something I lamented over before going to bed each night. 

5. But in the end I realized these were just kids and sometimes all they need is a hug

Things got intense and deep in the last episode. I found it crazy the amount of harm adults wanted to invoke upon these kids. A lot of these characters are going to need some rigorous therapy if they survive their teenage years. Anyway, things go down the last episode and two characters are presumed dead. When the weight of what happens finally settles on the three other main characters, they finally look like the children they are. They are afraid. Exhausted. Overwhelmed. That’s when their parents show up and swoop in to embrace their children. They cry overcome with emotions. 

Teachers can relate. Their students sometimes act all hard and tough. They put up walls and battle you to no end. But really there is a lot going on that we can’t see beyond their hardened exterior. Sometimes all they need is someone to listen and simply hug them and tell them that it will be all right. That’s what I felt in the last episode as I recalled every student who had their own personal struggles who just needed that one teacher. 

That’s the end of Season 1. I am looking forward to the release of Episode 2. What do you think? Did you watch it? Can you relate as a teacher? 

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My name is Lauren, and I was born in New Jersey, grew up in West Virginia, went to college in Pennsylvania, and now live and work in North Carolina. I'm a high school teacher of the deaf and hard-of-hearing by day, a cross country coach by the afternoon, a writer by night, and a mom to an amazing toddler boy full time. I love my faith, running, watching baseball, chocolate, scrapbooking, pretending I would actually do well on the Amazing Race, re-watching The Office, listening to Bobby Bones, inspiring young minds, and as of recently moming it! 

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