The Secret Life of a Wake County Teacher

Let me begin this dumpster fire of an article by saying that I’m not a teacher and I’ve never been a teacher, unless I was in a previous life — but I’m pretty sure I’ve been a memelord childbed linen warehouse keeper in every century (look it up, that’s a thing).

My point is, I don’t have a lot of expertise in what teachers do when they’re not educating Satan’s little helpers, but I do happen to have 40K followers on Facebook to hit up for information when I need it.

Yes, that’s the extent of my research.

No, I will not be revealing the names of my sources.

Yes, I asked them all of the things you never thought to ask because, unlike me, you mind your business. Our local educators had a lot to say, so I’ve broken it up into sections (Cliff Notes, if you will) because we’re all students at heart, and too many words is literally the worst. You’re welcome.

What do teachers really do during the summer?

Do teachers lead secret lives when they’re outside of the classroom? The answer is yes. Obviously. When they’re not fighting demogorgons in Russia and starting super-secret fight clubs, teachers can usually be found doing domestic crap that they never had time for during the school year, because our kids need to learn and stuff.

“I catch up on reading, plan to do DIYs and closet clean outs, start closet clean outs and buy all things for DIYs, and then remember I’m supposed to be on break and decide to ignore it until next year,” said one Wake County teacher, who obviously can’t even focus because your loin fruit sucked out their life force over the past nine months.

Other teachers chimed in and said they drink, go to the pool, drink, travel, drink, and cry in the arms of their therapists. You know, normal stuff.

FUN FACT! The vast majority of teachers agreed that the school year is like labor — you forget how bad it was, and before you know it, you’re doing it again. And again. And again. Like Mama Duggar. And no, they didn’t use an epidural, and there was a fourth-degree tear. Nothing will ever be the same down there, ever again.

What do teachers actually do with all of the end-of-the-year trinkets given by all the breeders and their crib lizards?

By and large, teachers enjoy a good scented candle to burn away their memories of middle school dances, but hold off on the mugs — at this point, cabinets are collectively bursting. Plus, how many WORLD’S GREATEST TEACHER mugs do you really need? (The only way a mug is redeemable is if it’s filled with the devil’s juice.)

One teacher in particular had a creative use for candles: Light the candles all at once and hold a séance reaching out to the spirits of teachers past.

I’m not really sure what wisdom the spirits might impart other than RUN, but it’s worth a try.

Lotions are a shoo-in for re-gifting — there’s only so much moisturizing one can do.

Visa gift cards or cold hard cash — the Holy Grails of year-end gifts — are always appreciated, since the purchasing power extends beyond a cup of froyo or the $25 special at Texas Roadhouse.

What would YOU need to get through a year of teaching 25 or 30 versions of your own kid? That’s right, give the gift of all your SkyMiles so the dear teachers can catch a flight to Europe and start a new life.

Empty school breezeways mean sweet summertime fun for teachers.

How do educators feel about seeing students outside of the classroom?

If I was a teacher all year and the blessed days of summer had arrived (praise be to He), I can guarantee you that I would throw my entire body in the ice cooler at Food Lion if it meant avoiding Cayden and his celebrity soccer mom, Trish.

Apparently, not all teachers agree with me.

When I asked if off-the-clock educators avoid students at all costs, the majority of these weirdos said they actually ENJOY seeing students outside of the classroom — which might explain why these are the chosen few who have dedicated their lives to teaching pint-sized human turds who forget to wear deodorant and brush their teeth.

It takes a special person, I guess.

One teacher said he equates it to parenthood: You swear you need a break, but a few days later you miss them.

Teach never said she misses the parents, though. If Ms. Jones sees your face and promptly hurls herself into a bush, it’s safe to assume you’re the reason she’s hiding liquor in her monogrammed beach tumbler (gifted by the room parents, of course).

Do teachers start prepping for the next school year immediately?

I got a lot of different answers to this one, so I’ll leave you with a myriad of quotes from anonymous teachers wanting nothing to do with this article because THEY ARE PROFESSIONALS (and parents are crazy).

“No. I spend the first few weeks denying that August will ever come.”

“I teach at a year-round school, so I basically have three weeks of summer. Because of the year-round schedule, I’m already preparing for next year while finishing out this year.”

“I do not check my work email over the summer. Nor do I work. That’s a mistake you only make in the beginning of your career. You need the summer mental break so you’re ready for next year.”

“I teach a traditional schedule. I actually do a lot of professional reading and planning over the summer so I can head into the school year somewhat prepared.”

“I do NOT do schoolwork. I’ve learned to put it aside until August.”

“Teacher couple here! Prepping doesn’t take place until August, and we just try to soak up the time together.”

“Since I’m year-round, planning doesn’t end, and I’m stuck doing it even on our breaks, because there isn’t enough time in the day once we go back.”

Do year-round teachers ever get a break?

When I first moved to NC, it was hard for me to get my head around the concept of year-round school. I really think they should rename it — the word “year-round” gives the impression that both teachers and kids are locked in an eternity of teaching/learning with no breaks ever until the day they die.

That’s not really how it works — year-round school essentially takes the traditionally long summer break and separates it into three-week chunks throughout the year.

One year-round teacher admitted to drinking wine and tequila and hiding in the bathroom for solitude, so yes, it’s long enough to spend an entire week drinking and forgetting your students’ names.

No, it’s not long enough to EAT, PRAY, LOVE your way through Tuscany while pretending to be Canadian.

Ultimately, year-round teachers have to make the most of every three-week break, even if it’s happening in January and they have nothing to do but drink by the fire and research higher-paying jobs.

At the end of the school year, year-round teachers are already prepping for the next year, which in some cases starts the next week.

So if you see them asking a Ouija board for guidance, no you really didn’t.

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