10 Things Teachers Will Miss While Teaching From Home …and 10 They Won’t!


10 things teachers will miss

It’s going to be a stressful time for teachers who are suddenly staying home because of the outbreak. Most schools across America are shutting down for a few weeks and many will be asked to teach online after that. So as we prepare to engage in “social distancing”, here are 10 things teachers will miss, and 10 things… they won’t.

1. Teachers will miss that daily routine

Teachers are creatures of habit. Throughout the school year, our bodies get tuned to the rhythm of waking up early, being up and about during the day, and getting to bed at a reasonable time. Now we’ll be left without structure to our day, which could be no fun at all.

But… they won’t miss waking up at 4 am

It’s true that routine is important, but you know what else is important? Sleep! Precious, amazing sleep! Teachers can look forward to sleeping in a few more weeks which we all desperately need this time of year. And by sleeping in, I mean until like 7 since we still have to wake up and teach our own kids and/or our virtual classes!

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2. Teachers will miss pulling off a creative lesson

There’s nothing like that exciting feeling of carefully putting together a dynamic, engaging lesson plan and seeing it work to perfection. The look on your students’ faces when they’re really invested in what you’re teaching is something we all live for and we’re all going to miss seeing that in person over the next few weeks.

But… they won’t miss that lesson plan deadline

As exciting as those engaging lesson plans are, they take a lot of time to put together. And if there’s one thing we teachers dread doing, it’s churning out those lesson plans on time every week. Well, fear not teachers. At least we won’t have to worry about those for a while.

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3. Teachers will miss their teacher buddies

Every teacher needs a buddy to rely on. Someone to watch your class when you have to pee, someone to swap insane teacher stories with. Sure there’s Facebook and texting, but getting to see your buddy every day is something we all look forward to. 

But… they won’t miss that teacher that asks questions during a staff meeting

Not every teacher can be your buddy. Sure we all get along but there’s always a teacher or two that gets under your skin. At the top of that list is the teacher that waits until the very end of a staff meeting to raise their hand and say “Wait, I have just one more question.” And rest assured it’s a question that didn’t need to be asked in the first place.

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4. Teachers will miss greeting students at the door before class

There’s a special kind of joy we get when students arrive at school in the morning and walk into our classroom. It’s a great opportunity to welcome them, check up on them, and see how they’re doing. Any good teacher will tell you that those moments are when real connections get made and can make your day go much smoother.

But… they won’t miss having to hold their bladder

Teaching all day is stressful, especially when that second cup of coffee hits and you’re still 3 hours away from your next break. Teaching may be the only profession that doesn’t allow you to pee when you need to, so teachers can rejoice! Feel free to use your bathroom whenever you want these next few weeks.

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5. Teachers will miss bringing Pinterest ideas to life

Some teachers just can’t help being addicted to Pinterest. Spending hours on that website looking for creative ideas and classroom hacks is a time-honored tradition. Now with the prospect of teaching at home for a while, teachers will have no classroom to unleash their creativity on.

But… they won’t miss that stack of ungraded papers

Sure many of us will be teaching from home so there will undoubtedly be some sort of grading that needs to happen. But it won’t compare to the never-ending pile of papers that always seem to follow us around from our desk to our home and back again. We’ll just have an equally large stack of emails in our inbox. See, progress! 

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6. Teachers will miss the opportunity to work with kids one-on-one

A good teacher uses every minute of their day, sometimes at the expense of their own sanity. Planning periods and lunch breaks can be wonderful opportunities to meet with individual students and give them the boost they need to be successful. Those are special moments that just won’t be the same if or when they happen online.

But… they won’t miss rushing to eat lunch

Giving up our breaks is second nature to teachers, and although sometimes it’s for a good reason, it does leave us with very little time to ourselves. Those precious moments of alone time we get are barely enough time to scarf food down our throats before getting back into the fray. So if you’re staying home for the next couple of weeks, enjoy an extra-long lunch break because you deserve it.

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7. Teachers will miss the need to visit Target for school supplies

Don’t misunderstand me, there will still be plenty of reasons to visit Target, like the search for the last toilet paper roll in the city. But teachers are drawn to Target for so many classroom-related reasons. The good news is, whether school is in session or not, there will still be a fully stocked wine section. 

But… they won’t miss having to spend their own money on supplies

Sure we love those trips to Target, but what we don’t miss is the bill that comes with it. And while filling our baskets with cute decorations is a thrill known only to teachers, it’s not as thrilling when we have to buy pencils and copy paper just to make basic learning happen.

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8. Teachers will miss those random classroom moments and “aha” moments

The best days you’ll ever have as a teacher won’t come from a textbook or even a lesson plan. Good teachers know how to travel off the beaten path and lead their students to places they weren’t expecting to go to. When they’re asking questions, and everyone’s engaged it’s truly a joy to behold. Those are the moments we’ll be sorely missing during virtual instruction.

But… they won’t miss the constant classroom distractions

The idea of there being no morning announcements, fire drills, phone calls to your classroom or assemblies is pretty intoxicating. Sure teachers will now have other distractions to worry about, like their own children, or that Netflix series that’s begging to be binged. But at least we enjoy those distractions.

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9. Teachers will miss spirit week

A little school spirit can go a long way. Spirit week brings teachers and students together and gives them something fun to break up the monotony of the year. Wearing silly socks or your school colors creates a feeling of comradery school-wide. Sure you can still wear silly socks at home, it just doesn’t have quite the same effect. 

But… they won’t miss field day

Sure field day is fun. Who doesn’t like spending a little time outside burning a few calories? But for teachers, field day is like basic training. By the end of it, we’re a hot, sweaty mess of exhaustion. Field day is our annual reminder that we are too old to keep up with the boundless energy of our students.

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10. Teachers will miss seeing their students every day

Let’s be honest, teachers are in this for the students. We love watching them grow and change throughout the year. We think of them as “our children” and always will. The most heart-breaking thing about moving to virtual teaching for us will be not seeing them every day and getting to be a part of their lives as much.

But… they won’t miss the disrespect from society

Isn’t it interesting how the tables have turned in just a few short days? Parents around the world are suddenly starting to realize just how much work teachers do on a daily basis. Let’s hope that one of the bright spots in this crisis is that when it’s over, teachers finally start getting the respect they deserve, and the next time parents take issue with how we do things, they’ll look back on this and remember what we go through.

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David Rode

Dave is a middle school math teacher. He's also a musician, a community theater, dad to two amazing children, and he doesn't get a lot of sleep.

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