1) Your hairstyle begins to follow this continuum:
2) You buy things and have them shipped to the school so you don’t have to lug them from your house.
3) You can easily spot the difference between someone reading a book in their lap and texting. Nobody smiles at their lap.
4) You find yourself going into Teacher Mode outside of school. Or at least wanting to. For instance, I spoke to quite possibly the rudest pharmacist in the history of rude pharmacists on Tuesday morning, and I was very, very close to issuing her a lunch detention.
5) Your classroom becomes more and more like a separate apartment. My students joke that I live at school, since I have a microwave, mini fridge/freezer, Keurig, a couch, lamps, pillows, blankets, and cleaning supplies. It’s one of those jokes that is both funny and sad.
6) You are able to have extremely enthusiastic conversations about microwaveable meals, discounts, and shoes with no heels.
7) You do your grocery shopping before school now at the grocery store near your school. And you run into other teachers there.
8) People say you’re patient, but you know that really you’re almost completely desensitized to the frustration of nobody listening to you or doing anything you ask.
9) The people who work the cell phone, skin care, and makeup kiosks at the mall don’t even bother approaching you because you have perfected Teacher Walk, a gait whose velocity and solemnity is exceeded only by military marching.
10) Being able to fix the copier gives you a profound sense of purpose.
11) Not being able to fix the copier makes you want to rear back and kick it, no matter who's watching.
12) You dread Valentine’s Day and Halloween. And if either of them falls on a Friday, GOD HELP US ALL.
13) Stress makes you hallucinate. Like when I saw a dumpster rising above the school rooftop to be emptied and I thought it was a dinosaur, or when I saw this whatever-it-is in the faculty parking lot and for weeks thought it was a dead baby squid.
14) You find yourself using bad words outside of school way more than you normally would just because you can.
15) You don't realize until you get weird looks from strangers in public that you:
- Are still wearing a macaroni necklace/ tie-dye faculty t-shirt/binder clip in your hair that you were using in place of a hair tie
- Have stray pen marks covering your forearms, making you resemble an overzealous kindergartner
- Have one or more articles of clothing on backward
16) You’ve gone to more sports games, concerts, competitions, and shows than anyone you know this year. FOR FREE.
17) You can have an angry parent eating out of the palm of your hand in less than fifteen minutes. Or you can have an angry parent continue to hate you and be emotionally unaffected, both of which are admirable.
18)You find texts on your phone in the morning that people sent you at 9:14 PM. You were probably well into REM by then.
19) You start wondering what the adults you know were like when they were the ages of your current students. And sometimes it scares you.
I drew the picture for number 1 on the back of a worksheet that I am returning to a student tomorrow.
I'm not crossing it out.
I feel fine about it.