Teaching is one of the most underrated professions in the world (unless you’re teaching in Finland). I mean, think about it – teachers were basically your second parents. They had to be an educator, a therapist, an actor, a nurse and so much more.

Can you imagine one child bawling his or her eyes out and, after awhile, you manage to calm him or her down. Suddenly, another child or a few children start to cry incessantly. It’s a chain reaction that can happen in a matter of minutes!

Having taught in several preschool settings, it certainly has made me much more appreciative of the teachers who have taught me in the past. Reflecting on my short but eye-opening teaching experiences, I don’t know how my teachers managed to teach and care for me when they had over 20 students to care for in my class, and probably even more in other classes.

As for teaching teenagers (based off others’ opinions), with the prevalence of social media today, it is more difficult than ever to hold their attention in the classroom. How do teachers compete with that in their lessons? Through creative and innovative teaching strategies that would engage students. However, that requires a lot of creative juice for a whole year (excluding much-needed holidays of course)! This can cause an abundance of teachers to feel ‘burnt-out’.

This is rather abrupt but, moving on, here are things your teacher never told you:

1. Favourites and least favourites

As much as we try to remain neutral, it is impossible because there are students who stand out either by being nice and polite, or by being disruptive and rude.

Honestly, who wouldn’t forget someone who offers to help you distribute papers and constantly says ‘please and thank you’.

2. We’ve talked about you

Considering we spend five days a week with you for a whole academic year or more, it should come as no surprise that we talk about you. It can either be about how great you are or how irritating you’ve been. However, not to worry, we are meant to keep things strictly confidential so we would never mention your full name. If I have to be completely honest, even if you were the most disruptive child in class, I’d remember you fondly because of the saying that “there is no such thing as lazy students, only demotivated ones”. So, the aim would be to motivate you in order for you to achieve to the best of your abilities.

3. We know when you’re lying

You know how back then, you told your teacher “I didn’t bring my homework today because I forgot”? Well, that doesn’t actually work. We know you purposely left it or it’s actually unfinished and in your bag. We just like to give you an extra chance because we were feeling kind at that moment.

If you do something to make us regret that moment of kindness, we then purposely call on you to read a passage or answer a question (it’s for your own good, trust me).

4. We have a life outside of school

Don’t be too shocked if you bump into us at a restaurant bursting with laughter over a joke or at a theme park screaming our lungs out on roller coaster. We’re not always serious buzz-kills. We have to let loose and relax as well. If we didn’t, we would be coming into class with dead eyes and little to no energy.

5. We’re genuinely happy when you succeed

We brainstorm for lessons plans every single week to provide the best way for you to absorb everything you need to know for your exams. So of course, when you do succeed, we rejoice because we know you worked hard to achieve your grade. It’s not about the grade A on your papers, it’s about how much you’ve improved. If you had an F for most of the year and attained a C for your end of year exam, that is an amazing milestone!

However, success isn’t merely defined by grades. With the rise of depression and other emotional issues facing children and teenagers today, the main thing that we hope for the most is – your happiness.