The Teacher I Am

If you’ve been on Facebook or Instagram at all in the last five years, you MUST tell me you have seen those teacher videos.  You know, the ones where the teacher stands at the door to the classroom as the students enter.  Where the teacher greets each student with a special handshake, hug, dance, or personalized welcome.

If you’ve been living under a rock (or living a more socially exciting life than most teachers), this is the type of thing I’m talking about:



I am NOT that teacher.

I watch those videos, too, and I think, “Those kids are so lucky!  That teacher loves those kiddos so much!  Look at how HAPPY they all are!”

And then I silently sip my coffee and wonder how on Earth any human being has the energy to do that at 8:00 a.m. every morning.  Every. Single. Morning.

Spoiler alert: Even teachers with an intravenous caffeine supply who love their class need to take a deep breath, a long swig of coffee, and say a prayer some days before greeting those kids.

Am I saying those teachers who have a special morning meet and greet are fake and corny?  NO!  On the contrary, those teachers must either have enlightenment that I am still searching for, some type of morning Zen that I haven’t yet found, or coffee much stronger than what I’m drinking.

Still, I would absolutely want my kiddo in their class.

With all that being said, I am not that teacher.  I won’t ever be that teacher.  Not because I couldn’t if I tried.  Oh, trust me—there isn’t much that can stand between a teacher on a mission and their vision, but it’s just not my vision.  Because it isn’t me.

Most days, I’m the teacher that pulls into the parking lot running on dry shampoo, espresso, and gratefulness that my own children didn’t operate at sloth speed, thus allowing us to leave the house on time and not be late.

My early arrivers to the classroom are oftentimes greeted with, “Good morning!  What do you need?  Okay, head off to the playground!” (While I say my last prayers that no one licks the desk during math class, hope for a good day, and chug what’s left of my lukewarm, coffee fairy given latte.)

That’s the teacher I am.

However, I am also the teacher that will cry over my students’ heartfelt notes revealing how much they love fourth grade.  I am the teacher who will stay up until midnight spray painting a cardboard, ten foot tall Spanish Mission.  I am the teacher who will teach you how to both balance a checkbook and create a mosaic all in the same day.

I may not be the teacher cut-out for personal greetings, long hugs, and kindergartners (heaven has a special place reserved for those saints), however, I am a teacher who loves teaching. 

Yes, I love kids.  But I love teaching even more.

I love teaching students how to simplify fractions as much as I love teaching them how to start their own business.  I can find love in teaching long division and essay writing.  I can teach you how to throw a primitive spear using an atlatl, and then I’ll turn around and teach you how to create a poem about it.

As a parent with school-aged children of my own, I swoon over the texts and emails about my children.  The messages that tell me my children are loved, treasured, valued, and educated by amazing professionals.  Some of these teachers are the “greet at the door with a special handshake” kind of teachers, and some of them are all business.

Which ones are the best?  All of them.

All of those who have dedicated their lives to worrying about my children on their own personal time, lesson planning on their weekends, and teaching my kids about academics and life are my heroes.

Yes, I will keep loving the Instagram posts of special handshakes and liking the Facebook posts showing teachers who dance with their students, but I’ll also keep watering my own grass.

I’ll keep my classroom grass green as I teach students in my own way.  With a Starbucks in my right hand and my tablet in my left.

And I’d even make the bet that my students leave each day just as educated and fulfilled as my Instagram worthy colleagues.

I know I am not perfect, but I am perfectly me which suits my students just fine.

Be grateful, water your own grass,

…and drink coffee.

Join the Conversation


  1. Angie, Having worked with you, I know that your students were very fortunate to be in your class. You’re creative, caring, and curriculum-savvy. Your students adored you, and you them. Keep on teaching and doing the GREAT work!!❤️😊

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