15 Types of Teachers You See When You Go Back to School

types of teachers at back to school cover

The new school year will be here before we know it and it looks like teachers in many areas will be back in their buildings. This year might look a little different for most of us, but the types of teachers you run into at the beginning of a new year never change. As you head back to your school for a new year, here are fifteen types of teachers to keep an eye out for.

1. The Vacationer

Any conversation with this teacher inevitably begins with “This one time in Costa Rica…” and is characterized by poor attempts at an accent and references to the suntan they got while you were working your summer job. This year, their vacation probably didn’t take them any further than their backyard, but be prepared for an overload of sunset photos anyway.

2. The Defector

The Defector just moved here from another school in the district. They are the one to accidentally yell “Go Panthers” in faculty meeting while everyone else is cheering for the Spartans. Their car is easy to spot in the parking lot because of the word “Traitor” spray-painted across the windshield in their old school’s colors.

3. Summer Lovin’

This teacher just can’t accept that summer vacation is over. Summer Lovin’ shows up on the first day back in shorts, flip-flops and sunglasses and drives their convertible with the top down to school well into September. They refuse to play anything but the Beach Boys in their room, keep a stash of popsicles in the faculty room freezer and tell everyone about the beach trip they’re going on as soon as the weekend hits.

4. The Retiree

A.K.A. “The Walking Dead.” This teacher is only here this year because retiring during a lockdown meant no going-away party. The Retiree taught both you AND your mother in school and plans to do nothing this year but show films because “What are they gonna do, fire me?”

5. The Interior Decorator

The Interior Decorator has every square inch of their classroom covered in adorable decorations (mostly featuring kittens) and is slowly expanding her sphere of influence to include the walls in the hallway. Her classroom is hard to miss due to the glow of the sun bouncing off a thousand posters and the smell of laminated paper.

 6. The Newb

This young man was hired out of college two weeks before school started. He shows up in a shirt and tie, has no idea what’s going on and spends most of his time furiously searching for educational rap videos to use in lessons. After the first real day of school, you can find The Newb lying on the floor, shell-shocked, staring at the ceiling and muttering over and over the phrase: “I could have been a plumber…”

7. The Star

Teaching is only The Star’s backup until the world recognizes their talent. Every year he tells the whole school he won’t be back next fall. Last year they were quitting to move to L.A., the year before that their reggae band was about to hit it big and the year before that their YouTube origami channel was really taking off (11 subscribers, double digits!). This August The Star is back in the classroom for another year of teaching, but only until his spy novel series finds a publisher.

8. The Mover

After fifteen years The Mover finally got out of the basement room next to the boiler and into a room with an actual window, but their new digs come with a price. They spend every spare moment unpacking boxes, hanging posters or arranging desks. When the first day rolls around, chances are their students will be mobilized to finish putting books on the shelves and organizing filing cabinets.

9. The Babysitter

On those precious prep days before the students officially arrive, most teachers are working quietly in their rooms and the school is at peace. But not once The Babysitter arrives. Suddenly there are six to eight elementary-age kids playing tag down the halls, trying to break into the vending machines and making the custodians very, very nervous. 

10. The Scheduling Error Victim

Due to an unfortunate problem in the counseling office, this poor teacher’s smallest class size is 63. They can be usually be found skulking around the office begging for schedule changes or knocking on classroom doors searching for extra desks.

11. Coach

Coach teaches history…or is it health? Biology? No one seems to know, because Coach spends every waking moment in the gym doing tryouts or on the field running practices. Coach has a classroom somewhere, as well as a home, but rumor has it he sleeps in the locker room.

12. “Best Year Ever!”

This bubbly individual loudly proclaims “This is going to be MY year!” They sign up for every activity and take a chair on every committee. Before the school year starts, they will completely re-design their entire class, blowing their classroom money in a single day on state-of-the-art classroom technology and fancy new hands-on lesson plans. Everyone wants to remind this teacher that they did the same thing last year, but no one has the heart.

13. The Popular One

The party don’t start ‘til they walk in. The moment this teacher pulls into the parking lot, an intercom announcement is made and the whole school congregates at the front door. The Popular One has several student-made fan pages on social media and wears out several pens a year signing yearbooks.

14. The Besties

The Besties played golf together all summer and went from colleagues to the best of pals. Neither one can get anything done because they’re always in each other’s rooms chatting. They have matching t-shirts and communicate almost entirely through inside jokes, making it very difficult for the uninitiated to have a conversation with them.

15. Smells Like School Spirit

Smells Like School Spirit (SLSS) shows up in school colors with the letterman jacket they had when they were an officer back in the ‘80s. They have plans for at least twelve different fundraisers and a notebook full incredibly corny school dance themes. SLSS greets everyone with the phrase: “It’s a great day to be a (insert mascot here)!” They are the only person left in the school who actually knows all 5 verses of the Fight Song.

So there you have it, the fifteen types of teachers you’ll encounter when you head back to school next month. How many of these teachers do you know? Are YOU one of these teachers?

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Andrew is a Jr. High Spanish teacher. He loves rock 'n roll, Chinese food and collecting military antiques. When he's not teaching teens that "¿Cómo se llama?" has nothing to do with Peruvian quadrupeds, he can be found hanging out with his family, playing drums, buying old Russian helmets and plotting the downfall of internet translation apps.

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