Ten Things You Need To Know About Being A Teacher's Kid
I've always been a “teacher’s kid.” That’s what I was labeled my first day of Kindergarten and forever after that. Almost two months ago, I graduated high school. I had the normal ups and downs of a high school career. The A+ projects, the failing grades, the heartbreaks, and the soap opera drama that accompanies almost every high school girl or guy. Honestly, I had a good four years. I was able to survive all four years of high school with my dad just down the hall. My father is the German teacher and department chair of the foreign language department at my high school, so I basically grew up in the world of education. I knew my high school like the back of my hand before I was even in middle school. I knew most of the teachers as I would sell girl scout cookies to them. I used to sit in the humongous desks, as they would look like to any seven year old, and picture myself as a high school student. I saw my dad teaching me “school knowledge”, instead of just fatherly advice like not eating random bugs I found in the backyard. I always thought my dad being a high school teacher was awesome. Until I actually got to high school. Everyone always asks me what it’s like having my dad as a teacher and I never know quite how to answer. There’s so much more to it than a simple “good” or “bad” answer. So, here are ten things you need to know about being a teacher’s kid:
1. Everyone will know your embarrassing baby stories.
If you think anything is safe, you’re wrong. Dad’s live for embarrassing their children and mine is no exception. My father lives for story telling. I think maybe that’s what made him such a good history teacher, but since he now teaches German, he’s resorted to telling my stories. The story of when I first learned to clap (which isn’t even true by the way), the story of when he forgot to buckle me in my high chair and I fell face first onto the tile, the story of being pushed in the river by our dog, and the story of how the big black mark got onto the projection screen. Sorry about that by the way.
2. Your relationships will never be under the radar.
Chances are your father will know the boy you’re crushing on. It’s almost inevitable. Especially when he teaches that individual. That’s the worst. But your father will always have your back even though he’ll yell out “welcome to the family!” in the middle of class. He’ll have your back when a stupid boy in the class mocks your high pitched voice. He’ll have your back when you come home crying and yell, “I don’t want to talk about it!” He’ll have your back when your heart is splattered on the floor by that stupid sophomore. It’ll be hard and uncomfortable and difficult for him to manage having to teach and handling your relationship life, so give him a break.
3. Do people like YOU or the fact that you’re their favorite teacher’s daughter?
I’m still trying to figure this one out. It’s been a problem for me all four years of high school and it’s something that still gets under my skin. I’m not going to lie, my father is a pretty popular teacher. The diversity of people who like him is huge. Whenever I go into one of his classes that have never seen me, I feel like they’re all staring at me. It’s kind of unnerving to say the least. So, when his students try to befriend me I’m always cautious to see if they like me or that fact that I’m his daughter. The thrill of being with the teacher’s daughter must have been a factor in at least one of my relationships. I had become even more cautious than normal after I heard the comment, “I’d bang her just to say I banged Mr. Marquardt’s daughter.” So, the lesson here is, be careful. You’ll never really be sure.
4. You will always have a safe place.
When you feel sick and the nurse just won’t let you go home, or you get the worst news of your life, or that test you thought you rocked comes back with a big fat F, you will always have a safe place to go. My father’s classroom was my safe spot for four years. When I was a freshman and I had no friends in my lunch, I went there. I sat in the corner, eating my lunch, as I listened to the German 2 lecture. When a class gets too much to bear and you just have to skip, there’s always a place for you to go. It’s the place I met so many different people that have had an impact on my life. It’s the place where I last saw one of my best friends. It’s the place where I realized I was in love with someone for the first time. It’s the place my sister hugged me for the first time in years. It is and always will be, a safe place.
5. More embarrassment.
If you thought the baby stories were bad, just wait. It gets worse. He’ll yell your name down the hall as you’re talking to that cute boy, don’t think he won’t. He’ll mispronounce your name over the intercom...ON ACCIDENT. He’ll put up embarrassing pictures of you on the projector. He’ll make fun of your obsession with boybands and the whole class will laugh with agreement. It took me three years to realize that I had the ability to fight back. Embarrass him instead. So next time he’s telling an embarrassing story, tell the story of the time he ran into a pole. Who’s laughing now, pops?
6. If your dad isn’t in the room, you OBVIOUSLY must know where he is.
People will ask and you will not know. You will have no idea and yet everyone thinks asking you will magically find him. There’s a million places he could be: down the hall talking to another teacher, the bathroom, the principal's office, the front office, maybe even the cafeteria. I don’t have a tracking device on him at all times, so don’t ask. End of story.
7. There will be things said about him.
There are going to be people who don’t like him. There are going to be people who talk bad about him, right behind you in fact, and when you turn around to confront them they will stare back, wide-eyed, as they realize you were right there the whole time and heard everything they just said. It’s going to hurt. You never want to hear the bad things people have to say about your parent. It’s going to be a constant part of your life and something I had to learn to deal with. Staying quiet and tight-lipped seemed to be the best solution even when you want so badly to put them in their place. There’s nothing you can do about it, though. Just let it be.
8. The fights will carry over.
You know the fight you had over the radio that morning? Yeah, it’ll carry over into the classroom and it’s going to be awkward. You’re both pissed off at each other but he still has to teach and you still have to learn. The snarky remarks probably won’t go unnoticed by your peers which makes things even more awkward.
“Dude, what’s up with your dad?”
“Are you guys okay?”
The questions will be annoying and since you’re already in a pissed off mood, you’ll yell, and end up in trouble in the classroom and at home. There’s no winning.
9. The warnings are endless.
“You can’t date him, he’s a drug dealer.”
“Don’t let him know where we live.”
“Be careful, I’ve read her torn up notes in my trash can.”
Teachers know way more than they let on and my father is no exception. Needless to say, I knew who to avoid.
10. You’re going to make it.
If you’re a teachers kid, you’re going to make it out just fine. There are going to be bumps along the road but in the end, you’ll be glad you had someone by your side. Someone who will always believe in you, help you, and encourage you. Someone who will always make you laugh and ease the pain of high school. High school is tough. There will be bullies, and drama, and teachers who are “out to get you” and sometimes it will seem like a lot to handle. But I always had a supporter. I had a father for a teacher and he taught me more than just how to conjugate verbs. He taught me that it’s okay to fail. He taught me how to get back up after you get knocked down. He taught me that there is more to life than high school. And now I am off to college, where my father will no longer be my German teacher, but he will always be the person that taught me all I know. So, thank you. I made it.