We have all heard of the new TikTok trend of girl math. Well, enter the world of teacher math, a captivating fusion of educational expertise and humor that has become part of our teacher code. There are so many times when we make our own set of rules and standards that guide our behavior in order to survive.

Take a look at these 20 teacher math calculations that guide our “can’t make this stuff up” experiences every day. 

1. Buying a set of 20 glue sticks equals having zilch, zero, nada.

Where the hell do they all go? Are students using them for lip gloss? I think they must be partying with the pencils somewhere. 

2.  3 or 4-day weeks are really 15 days.

“Yay, we have a short week” turns into “That was the longest, never-ending, train wreck of a week of my ever-loving life.”

3. Creating an intricate seating map where talkative students are sitting by quiet students.

Yeah, this never works. We fail every time because the talkative student brings the quiet student over to the dark side, and then we have to sit the new talkative student by another quiet student, only there are none of those left. Everything falls apart.

4. The weekend is really only 24 hours because…Sunday is just a chaotic mess of stress and lesson plans.

I mean, how can you, in good consciousness, call this a day off?  We are writing lesson plans, worrying about how we are not prepared for Monday, and not sleeping a wink.

5. Half of the time at parent/teacher conferences will be spent listening to life stories.

I just get my data right out there in the beginning before the convo takes a sharp left turn down “When I was in school” Lane.

6. Passing educator peers in the hall and calling out the number of days left until the next long holiday (progressively getting louder and louder)

“10 days until Winter Break!”

“2 days left – High five me!”

ONNNNEE MOORRE DAAAYY!- literally screaming

7. Professional development equals one hour of teacher TikTok.

This is like a two-fer: self-care and professional development all rolled into one. We are actually multitasking here.

8. Adding a half hour into your lesson plans for the time it’s going to take to repeat directions.

The lesson will be exponentially longer because there will be so many times you will have to answer the question, “What do we do?” in more detail each successive time.

9. Counting down how many times you have to do teacher tasks until you retire.

3 more Standardized tests until I retire

2 more Halloween parties until I retire

1 more teacher evaluation until I retire

Ah ah ah ah ah! (in the tone of the count from Sesame Street)

10. When your behavior problems are absent, it is a free day.

I mean we love all of our students, but some make our jobs 100 percent more difficult. The only problem is that these particular students usually have perfect attendance.

11. Planning not to wear your good outfit the week before to save it for your principal observation.

We usually plan our outfits accordingly. We have the “Teacher Squad” t-shirt and jeans for Fridays. Then, there is the tie-dye clothing for days we are doing art projects, so if we spill it just blends right in.

12. Leaving at contract hours is leaving early.

I mean, everyone makes us feel this way. If we don’t stay after until at least 5, we get the look from the dinner hour teachers.

13. Showing an educational movie is 100 percent necessary, so you can get your grading done on a Friday.

Bill Nye is educational, and we have to be timely with our grading so…

14. One student going to the bathroom means all students will be asking soon.

Is it the power of suggestion or they just forgot they had to go until someone else reminded them?

15.  Taking multiple sets of paper home amounts to one set being graded and the rest being filed in a circular file, or just bringing everything back to school.

I mean everyone says, “Don’t grade everything.” We are just following instructions.

16. They keep talking about practicing self-care: so by my calculations, Starbucks and retail therapy need to be written off as a school expense.

Frappuccinos are for real self-care. This is a necessary step in order to function without taking it to the next level of crazy.

17. Teacher potluck food has no calories.

We have to try one of everything so teachers don’t get their feelings hurt and then become passive aggressive. It is necessary for morale. Bring on the zero calorie food!

18. Taking a sick or personal day adds 100 hours of work to your week.

Yeah, we have to be near death to actually call in sick. When we get back, our rooms are in complete disarray with the desks of misbehaving students moved to all corners of the room.

19. When you grab a whiteboard marker, there is a 50 percent chance it will be dried out, and you will have to get another one.

These things don’t last long, people. It seems like one hearty math lesson, and SEE YA.

20. The five minutes of free play with manipulatives in your lesson becomes 30 minutes because the kids are soooo quiet.

We love when our students are working independently with no issues. Why end it early?

Teacher math is so crystal clear to teachers, but non-teachers may need a course in understanding our thinking. There are many unspoken realities of the teaching profession that are too hard for the lay person to believe.

From the disappearing glue sticks to the complex choreography of seating arrangements, our profession truly has a unique language that sometimes we wish we did not understand so well. Teacher math reminds us that this is truly a one of a kind profession.

Look out, girl math, here's teacher math