Have you heard the recent news about the Texas teacher who decided it was a good idea to give her students a few end of the year awards such as, “most likely to become a terrorist” and “most likely to blend in with white people”?
My first reaction to this story was:
My next reaction was that of horror. With the increase of bullying in schools, the LAST thing students need is for their own teachers to make fun of them.
My last reaction was, “Where in the world were her teacher friends?” This teacher didn’t have ANY teacher friends that came in her classroom while she was creating these and said:
“Girl, it’s none of my business but if you give these out to the kids, you ‘gon be in trouble. I’ll give you some of my certificates to give out instead.”
Because this teacher apparently had no good teacher friends, she and the district are both in hot water. Never mind that the whole Facebook and the WHOLE internet is talking about this. Most importantly, the children who received these awards are probably hurt beyond belief.
So that got me thinking about all of my other teacher colleagues around the world who might be without teacher friends. I need to talk to y’all really quick, because this is not a drill! I don’t want to see you publicly disgraced on the Internet.
So here are 7 reasons why every teacher needs at least one good teacher friend at their school.
Yes, you have that friend you used to teach with 3 years ago, and now you teach at different schools. Keep that friend, but you need someone at your school!
If you think you can go on this teacher journey alone, think again! If you don’t have any teacher friends yet or if you are a new teacher, I have some tips on finding some, so don’t you worry. If you DO have a teacher friend, thank your lucky stars because you have probably saved each other from getting in trouble or fired at some point. Don’t deny it.
#1: You need someone to tell you “no”
This is exactly what that Texas teacher needed. She needed a good teacher friend to tell her NO. As teachers, it’s important to get someone’s opinion every now and then. A good teacher friend is someone you can go to and ask anything teaching related and non-teaching related.
When you have a bad idea, like giving students stupid awards, a good teacher friend will tell you, “Heck, no!”
When you’re thinking about writing a parent a nice-nasty reply to a note and you let your teacher friend proof it, a good teacher friend will tell you, “Nope, edit this so you won’t get fired.”
#2: You need someone to tell you “yes”
Like I said before, a good teacher friend will be there to talk to you about anything. Ever been late for morning duty and needed someone to fill in? Your teacher friend will do it for you. Ever had a student who needed five minutes away from you? Your teacher friend will take them.
Let me plug my teacher friend, Mandy.
We became teacher friends during my first year at a new school. You might have seen her in a few of my funny teacher videos. Y’all, I am so thankful for her.
I have had so many requests just like this:
Me: Mandy, I ran out of time during my 2.5 second long lunch and break period and I really need to go to the front office and copy some papers. Can you watch my entire class of 20-something students…in the middle of the day…after just coming from recess…which means they’re nice and smelly?
My teacher friend, for the win!
#3: A good teacher friend will stand up for you
Sometimes teaching is like being in a boxing match. But this boxing match has 20 other competitors. A good teacher friend will be in your corner helping you fight whatever battle you go up against. Need backup in a meeting with a crazy unhappy parent? Your teacher friend’s got your back.
#4: You need someone to proofread all your tests and notes, because let’s face it, you have a degree in education, but you don’t always spell the words right.
This is just a no-brainer! Make sure to run notes and tests by your teacher friend before you make 5 million copies. Nothing is more embarrassing than having your students inform you that the word “because” does not have a “z” in it or that your sentence is missing punctuation marks. Your teacher friend will catch that typo you made in your class newsletter that mistakenly said the field trip to the whores stables is next Friday (you meant to say horse stables). That would have been a hard one to explain to parents for sure. #fail
#5: A good teacher friend will most likely have food and drinks when you’re struggling to make it to lunch or to the end of the school day.
Your teacher friend will have a stash of snacks for you when that tuna sandwich from lunch is lacking and your stomach is talking. Again, I am guilty as charged here! I have taken food from my teacher friend way too many times to count. Chocolate, bananas, cake—you name it, my teacher friend has given it to me. And I’ve eaten it. All.
#6: You need someone to vent to about everything.
When you’ve had a less than stellar day of teaching, your teacher friend will be there to listen to your hour-long vent. They’ll be there to cry with you, give you a hug, and tell you that tomorrow will be a better day and that you are an amazing teacher. Been there, done that.
#7: A good teacher friend will make you a better teacher, just by being around them.
Iron sharpens iron. Having a teacher friend who is passionate about teaching will rub off on you. You’ll notice the various things they do in their classrooms and take a little bit of that with you in your own classroom, and vice versa. Having a teacher friend is a win-win relationship.
Okay, so I need a teacher friend. How will I find that person?
When you work at a school, you have several colleagues. You usually grow closest to the people in your grade level because you share duty, you have specials at the same time, you collaborate in PLCs, and more. Look to the people in your grade level first. See who you “click” with. You might just find a teacher friend that way.
Don’t just limit yourself to the teachers in your grade level, be social and find colleagues in other grade levels. You might connect with someone because you both have kids or you both love technology. From there, you can go on to make a true teacher friend.
I hope that I’ve given you awesome reasons why you need a teacher friend at your school. If you already have a great teacher friend, reflect upon yourself and make sure you are doing the above things for them as well. Also, you can have more than one teacher friend, of course! Just make sure you have at least one good one!
- I want to talk to you a little bit more about this blog post in the Tame the Classroom Facebook group. I’d love for you to join me there.
- I’ll also be posting this blog topic on my Instagram and Facebook page where I want you to go and tag your teacher friend or friends.
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In the comments section below, tell me which parts of this post resonated with you. If you have a teacher friend, tell me what makes them special. If you don’t, tell me what you’d like to do to get a teacher friend.