The Life of a Teacher: As Told by Wonder Woman

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The notion that teachers should be superheroes is frankly a bit daunting on most days. We are still human, after all. Our patience is no more infinite than our planes are invisible. There are moments, however, that require powers beyond our own comprehension, powers we may not yet even understand how to control.

1. When you finally get a bathroom break after spending the entire morning in testing rooms.


Do Amazonian demigoddesses have to use the bathroom? Well, teachers do. But there’s no room for mortal bladders during testing season. Skip the second cup of coffee, because you’re not going anywhere for the next four and half hours.

2. When you try out the new online gradebook for the first time.


What’s that? Your gradebook unexpectedly “migrated”? Is that a thing gradebooks do? And wheels on shoes? That’s a thing, as well? Because we’re so flexible and adventurous, teachers just roll with whatever comes our way. And we look best when we’re windblown, so… bonus!

3. When final projects are due and everyone left their poster on the bus, or their ink ran out, or they couldn’t finish because last night’s game ran late.


Excuses, excuses, excuses. Teachers see them coming and know how to deflect them without batting an eye.

4. When you’re wrangling the constant sharpener.


Why is it that most kids manage to sit still all period, never needing a thing, while a few regulars are up every five minutes? It never hurts to keep your magic lasso handy for those kids who constantly need a tissue…. And then some hand sanitizer…. And now the stapler. Sometimes the constant sharpeners need to be immobilized, if only temporarily.

5. When you rattle off an entire Lady Macbeth soliloquy verbatim.


Watch their jaws drop to the floor when you casually launch into some original Shakespeare. This will impress them even more than that time you killed a bee with your bare hand.

6. When you’re told you have to cover another teacher’s class during your planning.


What’s tougher than saving a busload of people, dangling off of an exploded bridge? Accepting the news that your one precious, quiet planning period must be spent covering another teacher’s class. You better just hope they left lesson plans.

7. When your students see you outside of school.


What? Ms. Conley SHOPS? For GROCERIES? In patriotic HOT PANTS?? No way!

8. When you try a new look and the kids aren’t buying it.


Sure, you were trying to be fashion-forward. Truthfully, the kids know you wear the same black pants every week, and they find it strangely comforting. Don’t force them out of their comfort zone. Bring back the Thursday pants! We want the Thursday pants!

9. When you furnish all your own supplies.


Oh! You need some paper? And also a pencil? How about a pen? Would you like my last pen? And do you need my tiara, as well? Because I am totally prepared to give you the tiara right off of my head. I was expecting it, actually.


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I'm a public high school teacher specializing in English and Theatre Arts. On any given day, I summon the energy five times in a row to fire kids up about Shakespeare or semi-colons or the virtues of getting to class on time; then I move all of the desks out of the way and rehearse the school play in a building with no actual theatre. I love my kids, and I love teachers, and celebrating them is one of my favorite things in life. At night, I write.

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