15 Struggles Only Teachers’ Kids Understand


15 Struggles Only Teachers' Kids Understand

We all know long days, exhaustion, bringing work home and not getting paid nearly enough are all part of teacher life. But what about teachers’ kids? They often think having a teacher as a parent is cool and fun when they’re younger. They like helping out and being at school after hours. The novelty starts wearing off by the tween years and they’re completely over it by the time they start middle school. Having a parent who is a teacher should earn kids college credit or at least an extra five minutes at recess. Teachers’ kids have their own collection of burdens and inconveniences -but also some perks. 

Here are 15 things every child of a teacher has experienced:

1. Being at school before and after other students. 

Some kids get to sleep until half an hour before school starts, roll out of bed, throw on some clothes, grab a Poptart and get dropped off just before the bell rings. Teachers’ kids have already been up for hours before the bell rings manning the copy machine and delivering coffee. 

Other kids get to go home and grab a snack after school. Teachers’ kids are there until their mom/dad finishes meetings, which could be hours. They roam around the school checking the vending machines for loose snacks and forgotten change, peeping in windows and eavesdropping while being told “Go get started on your homework” by every adult who sees them because… teachers. 

2. Extra parental embarrassment.

“MOM! Please stop telling my friends to ‘use their indoor voices!’ It’s embarrassing!” Teachers’ kids don’t appreciate their mom/dad using the same language with their friends at their 16th birthday party as in early childhood classrooms. They also don’t like them telling their friends to “make safe choices,” “use our walking feet” or yell out random chants to quiet down a room. Almost all kids are embarrassed by their parents, but being a teacher’s kid has the potential to take parental embarrassment to a whole other level. 

3. Providing free classroom labor on school holidays. 

Teachers’ kids spend lots of school holidays and Saturdays in their parents’ classroom. They dust shelves, sanitize desks, scrape gum, put together bulletin boards, rearrange furniture and more. Teachers’ kids are like the Oompa Loompas in “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” without the catchy songs. They do so much work and don’t even have access to a chocolate river. 

4. Grading tests before doing their own homework. 

Teachers’ kids are grading papers far above their grade level as soon as they can read. They quickly become pros with red pens and answer keys before they even know what GPA stands for. 

5. Having no privacy. 

Teachers talk. And they’re friends with teachers at other schools. Even if their kids attend a different school from where they teach, they have eyes and ears everywhere. They’ve already heard about their kid’s scraped knee, their trip to the principal’s office, or their awesome presentation before the school day ends.

6. Teachers know all of their friends. 

They’ve taught many of their friends and judge them based on what they were like in the classroom, no matter how long ago. “No, you can’t go to homecoming with Jeremy. I had him in kindergarten. He eats glue sticks and throws dirt at people when he loses at kickball. I don’t trust him with a car.”

7. And their friends know them. 

Unfortunately, teachers’ kids get judged based on their parents’ reputation as a teacher. Sometimes this works in their favor and sometimes disgruntled students take out frustration with their parents on them. They also have to hear smack talk and rumors about their parent.

8. Getting called the wrong name. 

“Colton, Jade, Kristen, Marcus…ugh! Whatever your name is!” Sometimes the names teachers say most often in the school day are the only ones their brain can spit out at home. Their child has to just stand there waiting to see if their parent will remember their name today. 

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9. There’s no food at home. 

Teachers are too busy and tired to cook most nights, so cheap pizza, takeout and cereal are in heavy rotation for dinner.

10. They get used to having mom/dad pouring all their energy into other people’s children.

Teachers’ brains are fried and they have limited resources left to give their own babies at the end of the day. Sometimes teachers’ kids are jealous students get so much of their parent’s attention. And sometimes it’s kind of nice to not have the focus totally on them.

11. Their summer vacations get cut short for classroom preparation! 

Teachers’ kids are on a different summer vacation schedule. It starts a week after everyone else due to staff meetings and ends a few weeks early for classroom preparation. The end of summer means painting classrooms and rearranging desks for teachers’ kids.

12. They understand the sacredness of pencils. 

Other parents say “money doesn’t grow on trees.” Teacher’s kids grow up knowing the value of pencils. A big portion of their childhood has been spent sharpening dozens of pencils at a time.

13. They’re constantly reminded to use hand sanitizer. 

And their parent stashes bottles everywhere: in the car, in every room of the house, in their backpack, in their lunchbox – and even in their Christmas stocking.

via GIPHY

14. The smell of freshly-melted plastic from the lamination machine reminds them of home. 

The scent of freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies or a Sunday pot roast reminds some kids of home. Teachers’ kids are comforted by the aroma of melted plastic and the warmth of the laminator. 

15. They can’t go anywhere without running into someone who knows their parent.

There’s no such thing as a quick trip to the grocery store with a teacher for a parent. Past students, their parents or grandparents, and other school employees are everywhere and they all want to say hello and “You sure are growing up fast!”

Let’s hear it for the teachers’ kids! Teachers are exhausted and make so many sacrifices, but so do their kids. Is that fair to them? No, not really. But hopefully, it builds character and life skills. Plus one day they’ll inherit a huge collection of apple salt and pepper shakers and “World’s Best Teacher” coffee mugs, so they have that going for them.

Also Read:

15 Struggles Only Teachers' Kids Understand


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Rachael Moshman
Rachael Moshman, M.Ed. is a mom, educator, writer, and advocate for self-confidence. She’s been a teacher in classrooms of infants through adult college students. She loves pizza, Netflix and yoga.
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