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Real Teachers

picture of teacher's stuff

We've all had a teacher at some time in our lives about whom we would say, "Now that is a real teacher!" Here's a list of some of the attributes of "real teachers."

Real Teachers

Real teachers grade papers in the car, during commercials, in faculty meetings, and actually just about anywhere and everywhere.

Real teachers cheer when they hear April 1 does not fall on a school day.

Real teachers drive older cars owned by credit unions.

Real teachers clutch a pencil while thinking and make notes in the margins of books.

Real teachers can't walk past a crowd of children without trying to straighten up the line.

Real teachers never sit down without first checking the seat of the chair.

Real teachers have disjointed necks from writing on boards without turning their backs on the class.

Real teachers have been timed gulping down a full lunch in 2 minutes, 18 seconds. Master teachers are rumored to eat even faster.

Real teachers believe the staff room should be equipped with a Valium "salt lick".

Real teachers want to slap the next person who says "Must be nice to work 8 to 3:20 and have summers free."

Real teachers can tell if it's a full moon without ever looking outside.

Real teachers have no life between the end of August and the beginning of June.

Real teachers believe no one should be permitted to have babies without having taught in an elementary setting for the last 10 years.

Real teachers can't decide whether to have children because there's no name they could give a child that wouldn't bring on high blood pressure the moment it is uttered.

Real teachers think caffeine should be available in intravenous form.

Real teachers know that meeting a child's parent instantly answers the question "Why is this kid like this?"

Real teachers know the shortest distance and the travel time from their classrooms to the office.

Real teachers can "sense" gum.

Real teachers know the difference among what must be graded, what ought to be graded, and what probably should never again see the light of day.

Real teachers have their best conferences in the parking lot.

Real teachers have never heard an original excuse.

Real teachers are written up in medical journals for size and elasticity of kidneys and bladders.

Real teachers buy Excedrin and Advil in bulk quantity at Sam's Club and Costco.

Real teachers will eat anything that is put in the teacher's lounge.

Real teachers know the assistant principal's and counselor's home phone numbers by heart.

Real teachers know that the secretaries and custodians really run the school.

Real teachers hear the heartbeats of a crisis; always have time to listen; know they teach students, not subjects; and they are absolutely non-expendable.


A school teacher injured his back and had to wear a plaster cast around the upper part of his body. It fit under his shirt and was not noticeable at all.

On the first day of the term, still with the cast under his shirt, he found he had been assigned to the toughest students in school. Walking confidently into the rowdy classroom, he opened the window as wide as possible since it was a hot day and the school was up north where they don't need air conditioning. (!) After opening the window, he busied himself with work at his desk.

When a strong breeze made his tie flap, he took the desk stapler and stapled the tie to his chest.

Discipline was not a problem after that day!

Now that is a REAL TEACHER!


It sounds like Paul Long who died as a result of the train crash this past weekend was a real teacher. You can read the memories and comments that many are posting about him on a page dedicated to Paul on the LA Times online [1].

If you have known a "real teacher" during your life please feel free to post a tribute to that teacher in the comments to this post.


"The wise teacher knows that fifty-five minutes of work plus five minutes of laughter are worth twice as much as sixty minutes of unvaried work." - Gilbert Highet

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You know it's going to be a bad day when your teenager knocks on your bedroom door first thing in the morning and says, "Today is Nerd Day at school, Dad. Can I borrow some of your clothes?"