Bron in the Basque Country: The Seven Deadly Teacher Stereotypes

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It has been nine months. Although there are still some days when I have no idea as to what is happening, I can still just about function in a classroom now. As my last week is approaching, here are some highlights and stereotypes of my brief teaching career.

1. The Classic Teacher Lines.

You’ve probably all heard them at some point in your lives. Classic phrases include “There’s only one of me and a lot of you”, “I’m not angry, I’m disappointed” and my most used one: “Am I talking to a wall?”. It would be so easy to play a game of teacher bingo.

2. Finding chalk and whiteboard pens EVERYWHERE.

There’s been more than one occasion where I’ve been on a night out, reached into my pocket and felt a whiteboard pen instead of my loose change. There’s chalk all over my pencil case. Although ironically whenever I actually need a whiteboard pen or chalk they’re nowhere to be seen. Typical.

3. The fine art of winging it.

Sometimes your students have no energy. Sometimes you have no energy. Sometimes you walk in prepared with a topic that they’ve already finished. You need to think on your feet and be prepared to change your beautifully written lesson plans. I think my academic diary is more scribbles than actual words now.

4. Becoming one of those powerful adult beings.

Students part for you like they do for Sharpay Evans in the High School Musical films even though you’re 5’3” and you look like you’re 12 years old. They fall silent for you (after they notice you staring at them), and there’s always that one kid who shushes the rest of the class as if they weren’t talking at all.

5. Your body naturally wakes up at 7am.

There’s no better feeling than knowing you’ve got a lie in after a long week of early mornings. Therefore, you can imagine your disappointment when your body clock has adjusted to waking up at this silly hour on your weekend. Nope, I’m going back to sleep.

6. The sought-after knowledge of the teacher hangouts.

There’s a café over the road from my school that I’ve been going to pretty much very week since I started. They now know my order. I have the exact change ready in my hand. One time I came in and the price had increased slightly, and it threw me off, but I have grown as a person since.

7. You get called teacher because no one can pronounce your actual name.

My name is hard to pronounce, I get it. My favourite thing is watching the students huddle up and try and work it out before eventually giving up and tentatively calling out “teacher?”. But hey, at least they think I’m an actual teacher, so I must be doing something right.

Don’t mind me, but I’m spending my last week having a leaving party with each of my classes.

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