Being a teacher can be simultaneously great and terrifying, rewarding as hell and downright awful. I didn't know there'd be so many highs and lows before I became a teacher, or that no two classes would be remotely the same. So much depends on who you teach, where you teach them, and what subject you're covering that day. All of these reasons, and much more, are exactly why Teachers is an amazing show that you're sure to fall in love with as soon as you see it — especially if you have some classroom experience yourself. Teachers premieres on TVLand on Wednesday night, and its hilariously realistic moments are just part of the reason why you should tune in.
There are so many things that Teachers nails about education, it can't be a coincidence that one of the show's stars used to be a teacher herself. I reached out to the cast, comedy troupe The Katydids, to find out why they chose to set their brand new show in a school, and they said, "One of us Katydids, Caitlin Barlow, was a real Chicago Public School teacher during our time in Chicago! Plus, the comedic possibilities that we could play with in the world of elementary school and teaching were endless and we were very drawn to creating comedy in an extremely relatable and grounded setting." It's definitely a great move, as a school setting provides the perfect opportunity for each character's personality to shine through. Plus, it makes the series even more enjoyable for anyone who understands what the characters are going through. Here are nine things Teachers gets right about teaching.
1. Fellow Teachers Are Your Comrades
In some jobs you may have rivals, who you're fighting with over promotions. But when you're a teacher, your co-workers are your support network. They understand the work you're doing and the pressures it brings with it. They know that although teachers get a generous holiday allowance, much of that time is spent planning and marking. They know the words "classroom management" all too well, and have struggled with discipling a raucous class at some point. They likely cried their eyes out watching Freedom Writers too. Being a teacher is a special club. Teachers understands this, and it's part of the reason the show is so brilliant.
2. Your Classroom Is Your Haven
Even though you're teaching a set curriculum, your personality still has the chance to shine through. And a lot of this happens in your classroom. From the way you decorate, to the music you play and movie clips you show, your classroom is your safe space, your home away from home, and it can be as fun or as boring as you want! Each of the characters in Teachers has their own classroom style, and that's fun to see.
3. Sometimes You Swear In Class Accidentally
Pretty much everyone has sworn during a moment they shouldn't have. If you're a teacher and this has never happened in ANY of your classes, you're basically an angel and deserve some sort of award.
4. There's Some Crazy Stuff In The Lost And Found
5. The Best Lessons Are Often Those Without Lesson Plans
Even though it's best to have a "scheme of work" in place, and a lesson plan written for every class, sometimes this just isn't possible. Some of the best classes I've run have been when I've showed up completely unprepared and run with whatever idea I could think of on the spot. Obviously, it's ill-advised to do this with every lesson, but teaching is all about being creative. The Katydids clearly know this, as all the characters turn the craziest situations into important lessons for their students.
6. Everyone Wants To Be Perfect For Observations
As a teacher, I've spent many sleepless nights panicking about having my classes observed. From not having the right paperwork, to making silly mistakes, there are so many things a teacher has to think of when taking a lesson, let alone being observed. One of the episodes in Teachers deals with this very topic, proving that no-one likes being observed, and the hilarious lengths a teacher will go to to appear perfect.
7. Teachers Have Dreams Too (And They're Here To Help You With Yours)
It's easy to think of a teacher as just that — your teacher and nothing else. As Teachers shows, all teachers have their own dreams and lives outside of school. For instance, I used to teach creative writing, and when I wasn't doing that I was working on my own writing. By featuring a cast of awesome and unique female comedians, Teachers shows that school is not the only thing in the life of a teacher.
8. School Photos Are Awful At Any Age
As an upcoming episode of Teachers proves, photo day is hard work for everyone, not just the kids. Getting a great photo is, like, really hard, however old you are.
9. Break Times Are The Best
As if anyone needs this one explaining. The characters in Teachers use break times to plan their escapades (which include shooting auditions for The Bachelor), snack (very important), and re-do their makeup. Break times are when teachers get to breathe a sigh of relief, before getting back to work.
Teachers is one of the most exciting new shows of 2016, and the fact that it draws so much on real life is just one of its many strengths.
Images: TVLand; Giphy (7)