7 Ways Teaching Is Completely Different From Other Jobs

Teaching different from other jobs cover img

Aside from the obvious fact that teaching involves being responsible for 30 to 40 loud, obnoxious, sometimes foul-smelling, disrespectful children or adolescents, at a time, there are several other major differences that most people might not be aware of. Here are a few that really stand out from the crowd!

1. Bathroom Breaks

Leslie Knope needs to use bathroom

TEACHERS have approximately 90 seconds to go to the bathroom. Those 90 seconds include finding a colleague to watch their students, running down the hall to the closest bathroom, and running back to class before the transition bell rings.


OFFICE WORKERS can read an entire magazine during a bathroom visit.

2. Lunch Breaks

Tina Fey scarfing down meal

TEACHERS have approximately 5 minutes to eat lunch. Although 20 minutes is the usual allotment, that boils down to 90 seconds to go to the bathroom, 90 seconds to check an assigned in-school mailbox, 5 minutes to read and respond to emails, 5 minutes to return phone calls and complete paperwork, 2 minutes to heat up lunch, leaving 5 minutes to attempt to eat… on a good day.


OFFICE WORKERS can get their hair done during their hour-long mid-day break, or even take a beauty nap.

3. Noise Breaks

Woman massaging head, headache

TEACHERS have to listen for everything, particularly noises that might lead to classroom catastrophes like back-of-the-classroom conspiratorial whispers. But it’s not the whispers we need a break from. It’s the pencil sharpener, the fire drills, the end-of-period bells, the PA system, the screeching chairs, the tattle-tells, the room phone ringing, slamming locker doors, and hallways filled with loud, extremely loud children.


OFFICE WORKERS can listen to Pandora through their earbuds without any concern for the distinct sound of paper being formed into a spitball.

4. Coffee Breaks

Man drinking out of coffee pot

TEACHERS grab day-old coffee from the Teacher’s Lounge and attempt a few sips between classes, but end up getting interrupted and drink it after it’s cold and nasty.


OFFICE WORKERS discuss the daily news with colleagues, over a delicious latte, around the office Nespresso machine, during morning, afternoon, and periodical breaks.

5. Exercise Breaks

Teacher dancing while teaching class

TEACHERS are on their feet all day long, between morning bus duty, walking students to the cafeteria, monitoring recess, and pacing around the classroom. Sitting is a concept we get to explore only on the commute to and from the circus (aka school).


OFFICE WORKERS rely on Apple Watches and Fitbits to remind them to stand.

6. Work Days

Man collapsing on floor, exhausted

A TEACHER’S DAY doesn’t end when school is over. After-school tasks typically include writing lesson plans, making copies, preparing materials for the next day, collaborating with colleagues, and meeting with parents, even if that means staying at school until late at night.


AN OFFICE WORKER’S day ends at 5:00 p.m. Punch the time card and be in their car by 5:03 pm. Any unfinished work waits until the next day.

7. Sick Days

Man sanitizing with 2 sprays

TEACHERS show up at work with life-threatening illnesses since preparing sub plans for a substitute teacher, and fixing whatever issues may occur under their watch, take too much effort.


OFFICE WORKERS use “sick days” to catch up on sleep, Netflix, or go shopping.

7 Ways Teaching Is Completely Different From Other Jobs_Pinterest_BoredTeachers

Like it? Share with your friends!

Kathy Mansfield

Kathy is a retired Kentucky educator who spent 27 years as a school librarian, middle school social studies teacher and state department of education consultant. She currently writes children's books and inspirational books. Find her resources and blog at www.andapoem.com.

Choose A Format
Share your amazing stories, tips, opinions, and other stuff that matters.
Upload your funny, inspiring, DIY, or informative video(s) for the world to see!
Personality quiz
Leave the serious quizzes at school, these are strictly fun! You make the questions and pre-define the results.
Trivia quiz
Time to test your friends' knowledge! You choose the subject and have fun seeing who scores the highest!
Pose any question to millions of educators by creating your own polls/surveys, whether for research, for fun, or for the sake of curiosity!
Share your classroom decor, costumes, funny classroom antics, silly grading moments, or other teacher life shenanigans!

Get the best teacher newsletter your inbox has ever seen!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Get the best teacher newsletter your inbox has ever seen!

Don't worry, we don't spam