The pressure of always being in "teacher mode"
Raise your hand if you’ve ever run into your students (or their parents) on weekends while grocery shopping or running into Target super quick to grab cotton balls and laundry detergent?
As teachers, we wear a whole variety of hats in our classrooms every day - teacher, coach, custodian, therapist, counselor, parent, to anything else our students need at that moment. But one hat that never seems to really come off - no matter if you are at a family gathering or at your local grocery store - is our teacher hat.
Honestly, this can be seriously daunting. Why? Well .. because we are expected to be perfect at all times and always, always in ‘teacher mode’. Our students seem to think that teachers are not humans who do normal things on their days off. I constantly run into students at the grocery store, book store, or at local restaurants when Kerri and I decide to have a date night.
The joy of seeing them out and about is always great - but I struggle to take off my teacher hat and leave teacher mode. So I have to keep reminding myself that it is okay to be my non-teacher self during those interactions - and that taking my teacher hat off is okay.
Does anyone else struggle with this … or is it just me? I feel like teaching is really the only profession where the pressures of always being in teacher mode is always expected by others. So remember, teaching is only part of your life, and not all of your life. We must take care of ourselves if our students are going to get the best teachers in the classroom. Enjoy being a part of the community you teach in and bring value to them by being yourself.