The Life of A Teacher: According to Modern Family

modern family teacher life cover image

The day to the day life of a teacher is thrilling, rewarding, maddening, and exhausting. Thank goodness for our friends over at Modern Family who brilliantly capture what it is like to be an educator in this day and age.

1. When your principal calls for an all-staff meeting and talks about something that only affects two out of twenty people…


What is the point of this time-sucking meeting? Why was it important that all of us attend something that A.) doesn’t apply to most of us, and B.) could have been emailed? Last time I checked, we were all literate. Continue to waste my time and I will continue to treat these meetings as a farce.

2. When you try to stay relevant to your students…


Look at me using some urban dictionary slang! Look at the reference I made to a movie that just came out! Students, I know I’m embarrassing like your parents, but at least I’m trying to meet you halfway!

3. What we’d like to say to our state government and our school board…


Thank you so much for the lack of funding, the enormous class sizes, and the incredibly low salary. And that new asinine policy you just added even though you have never set foot in a classroom your whole life? What a blessing! You really are the gift that keeps on giving.

4. What a co-worker says to you when you tell him/her that you received a passive-aggressive email from a parent…


It’s nice to know that we are not alone when we, too, receive a complaint regarding our discipline style (ie: holding students accountable for their actions). So, it’s not just me? Mrs. Smith has attacked your teaching as well? Thank you so much, dear colleague, for reassuring me it isn’t me who’s off her rocker.

5. When your alarm goes off before 6 a.m. on a Wednesday morning…


It isn’t the weekend yet?! Dear Lord, how is it still only hump day? I am bone tired and I do not want to leave the comfort of my warm, safe bed. I do, however, want to DoorDash and watch Netflix movies all day. Someone get a sub, stat!

6.  When you are leaving the faculty lounge, but hear a good piece of gossip…


What was that? One of our most beloved co-teachers got pulled into the principal’s office for doing what benign thing? That newly married, young teacher threw up for the second morning in a row?  Someone alert the media, stat!  For some reason, insider teacher info always gets passed around over a nearly empty tray of stale muffins.  We’re basically CIA agents trying to put together pieces of a puzzle with whatever information individuals dump on us.

7. When you turn around from writing something on the board…


As teachers, we see all kinds of interesting things. Why is your hand jammed inside that instrument? How did you magically get on the floor in the .2 seconds I turned my back on you? We do a really good job of keeping a poker face while internally dying of laughter.

8. When we are SO CLOSE to winter, spring, or summer break…


So close yet so far! We keep nurturing and mentoring students until that final bell of sweet freedom rings. We love our students, but we certainly need time to recharge throughout the year.

9. When we are sick, but don’t want to deal with having a sub…


Being on our deathbed at school is preferable to doing sub plans.  We are used to holding in our pee and scarfing down lunches in 5 minutes, so we can definitely handle feeling like crap for a day or two.

10. When we see a struggling student finally have a lightbulb moment…


We love to see students get a concept after weeks of struggling with something. We will forever be their biggest cheerleaders, standing on the sidelines, yelling inspirational words when we see their resiliency.

teacher Life _ Modern Family

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Abigail Courter is a fifth year music teacher at a K-8 private school in California.  She has taught general music, band, music technology, and performing arts.

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