10 Teacher Perks You Will Never Have in Any Other Profession

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As teachers strike across the country, and more and more educators leave the profession in frustration, it’s important to remember some of the perks of teaching that we often take for granted. 

1. Fringe Benefits

Ok, so there may be no significant pay raise in your – well… forever, and you may literally never receive a promotion as long as you live, but let’s not forget those little extras that you may not get with another career. I’m talking about complimentary bagels (up to TWICE a year!); I’m talking about lamination; I’m talking about a DOOR! There are people whose working conditions are so poor, they are confined to cubicle half-walls with wide, open entrances and virtually no privacy. Meanwhile, your office is positively expansive and fully furnished. Your own private* sanctuary!

*to share with rotating groups of 30+ young people all day long

2. Humility

via GIPHY

There is no place for divas in the field of education. After just a few months of teaching, you will stop expecting the luxuries of restroom breaks and adequate time for chewing your food. You will trade your cute shoes for quiet, comfy ones, and mostly you will show up to work with your hair in its bathtub bun. Your car will be modest and often dusty. Truly, teachers keep it real. And, frankly, there is something to be said for the authenticity that comes with a virtually glamourless career.

3. Enthusiastic Minions

While you may sometimes feel like it’s you against the world, the fact is that teachers are surrounded all day by happy little helpers who are just waiting to be asked to run an errand for you, or decorate your bulletin board. Send a kid to your car to grab some poster board for your class, and you will make their whole day! Take advantage of this, friends! It’s a win-win situation for all parties. I have an aide who comes by every day after school to water my Chia-pet. I like to think it’s a Zen moment for her, and it’s one less thing for me to fool with.

4. Rock Star Status (within a 15-mile radius of your school)

via GIPHY

I know some teachers who refuse to visit a drive-thru in the vicinity of their campus, for fear their food will be tainted out of revenge for some old office referral. I have found, however, that teaching has afforded me a sort of celebrity status that often gets me surprise discounts and extra fries. Past and current students are downright amazed to discover us out of our classroom habitats and eager to do something nice, even for teachers they may have challenged in the classroom. 

5. Teacher Friends

Friends are critical in any profession, but there is nothing like a teacher friend to keep you going when times are toughest. No one else can understand precisely what you’re going through, and no one else knows exactly how to make things better. At my school, when one of us is struggling, there’s a good chance that sausage biscuits will show up for my whole friend group. For us, a Toblerone left anonymously on a keyboard has become a symbol of friendship and fortitude. Whatever kind gestures your own alliances have adopted as tradition, you know that these tokens of goodwill can make all the difference when you feel like giving up. 

6. Snow Days!

via GIPHY

What a GIFT! Snow days are so much better than planned holidays, in the same way that hearing your favorite song on the radio is sweeter than deliberately streaming it from a music app. The beauty of a snow day is in the surprise, and the anticipation of it is just as exciting as the day, itself. You haven’t seen a phone blow up with giddy activity until you have seen a teacher’s phone, hours before the official snow day announcement is made. If you have school-aged children, a snow day is especially sublime. No worries about impromptu childcare, just mid-morning hot chocolate and cuddles with your kiddos. 

7. Summertime

It’s true that teachers work in the summertime. We write lessons, we go to workshops, sometimes we take students on summer excursions, and some of us continue to teach summer school or work a different full-time job. Still, let’s be honest: summertime is FABULOUS. As hard as the school year may have tried to knock us down, the summer always swoops in, with its natural wake-times, sunshine, and naps, and restores us to our former, more balanced selves.

8. Job Security

While many in other professions fret constantly over sweeping lay-offs and downsizing, good teachers are always in demand. And, while testing pressures and other shifting expectations can be stressful, the bottom line always remains: the kids need you, and the kids are why you are there. 

9. Daily Lessons in Flexibility and Patience

via GIPHY

We all lose our cool from time to time, but, over time, teaching has made me a generally more patient person. It has taught me perspective. It has constantly forced me out of my comfort zone and made me more adaptable. Teaching has made me better at living. 

10. The Joy of Expanding Opportunities and Changing Lives

This is what it’s all about! You can’t get this from any other career. And what could be more important? Often, when we’re bogged down in the daily grind of planning, teaching, grading, calling, testing, etc., it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. Take a few steps back, all you dedicated educators, and look what you have done and keep on doing, every day!

It’s pretty amazing. 

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SallyWhite

Senior Member

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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