10 Things Teachers Want To Say: As Told By Parks and Recreation

10 Things Teachers Want To Say: As Told By Parks and Recreation cover image

Parks and Recreation is chock full of characters that range from sarcastic to pragmatic to endlessly idealistic. Teachers can be all of those things in a matter of minutes.

1. When the principal says the assembly will start at the same time as your toughest class.


We can’t help it, there’s always that one class that we dread seeing every day. Then out of the blue, an assembly appears out of nowhere like a beacon of light in the sky. Delivering you with at least one day of crazy antics from your most “special” group of kiddos.

2. When your students bring relationship drama into your classroom.


We all know that in addition to being teachers, we also take on many other roles in the life of a child. And once those children hit puberty it seems that one of the roles we tend to fill most often is relationship counselor. Of course, we know most of these relationships won’t make it past study hall, but good luck telling them that!

3. When students second guess what you say, but you prove them wrong.


There is no joy greater in the life of a student than proving a teacher wrong. They are constantly searching for any chink in your armor to call you out on. Unfortunately for them, you have an advanced degree and they are still struggling to understand the concept of proper grammar.

4. That feeling we all get each and every Sunday evening.


Once the school year hits full stride it becomes an exercise in survival. Scratching and clawing to make it to the weekend where we can sleep, lay around in comfy clothes and eat normal meals. Then Sunday evening rolls around and we realize it’s almost time to once again become a productive member of society.

5. When that one parent keeps calling to complain about the same issue over and over.


It might be that you have unfair expectations, like actually completing assignments on time. Or that you have the audacity to make their child do homework at home. Or that you would deign to discipline their precious angel after being warned 50 times. Either way, they want to have a conference about it. Every. Single. Week.

 6. When a student shows you the artwork they made in class, instead of working on the assignment.


There they are, huddled over their desk, writing away. You get a faint sense of pride that they are burying themselves in the work you gave them. Then, they show you a very detailed drawing of you riding a unicorn. It’s great that our students are talented, but even Da Vinci paid attention in Math class.

 7. When you catch a student about to do something really stupid.


Sometimes you just happen to look in the right place at the right time and avert a major disaster in your classroom. Catching the class troublemaker can be as rare as seeing a double rainbow, but it’s a beautiful moment when it happens.

8. When kids can’t tell the difference between science and science fiction.


Every science teacher has to eventually field questions about the ramifications of lightsabers, the extinction of dragons or the properties of time travel. It’s a quick way to derail any actual lesson based in reality.

9. When you’re sick, but preparing for a sub is more work than it’s worth.


We get sick a lot, mostly because we teach in a Petri dish surrounded by carrier monkeys. And when that creeping crud finally comes upon us, we usually ignore the symptoms for far too long and end up looking like an extra on The Walking Dead.

10. When a student excitedly gives an outrageously wrong and bizarre answer.


Teachers love it when kids are involved in a lesson and following along. Everything seems to be going well and then that one student who rarely touches down on this planet raises their hand. You call on them and they spew out an unintelligible line of babble that has no connection to anything you have taught this year or any other.

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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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