Dating and teaching have more in common than you might think. When you’re in the classroom, you’re not just teaching. You have to be resourceful, quick on your feet, interesting, entertaining, supportive, firm but fair, a life coach, a stand-up comedian, a friend and mentor, and more. Dating can be similarly chaotic—and it’s not always fun. Let me explain:
- Dates never seem to start on time.
Week after week of counting students tardy prepares you for the date who said they were five minutes away half an hour ago—just make sure to let them know that three late marks equals an absence.
- Parents get involved way too early.
Something teaching and dating definitely have in common is that when parents get involved, it usually gets weird. Just put on your best smile. You’ve been handling helicopter parents for years.
- Cell phones get more attention than you.
Hi? Hello? I’m over here. And I will not be ignored. So yeah, just hand over the phone, pal. You can get it back after dinner.
- The excuses for missing something or canceling are outrageous.
Oh, they have to cancel because they’re feeling really hungry and they need to eat, and that’s why they can’t make it to dinner with you? Yeah, that sounds familiar. Maybe next week the dog will eat their cell phone, and that’s why they won’t call. You’ve definitely heard all of these before—from your seventh graders.
- Dates go to the bathroom and take way too long to come back .
You start to wonder if maybe they did the old climb-out-of-the-window-in-the-bathroom trick. Anyone get that same feeling when their second graders are gone from the room too long, like maybe they’re lost and it’s all your fault? No? Just me?
- When no one pukes or cries, that counts as a success.
Honestly, after some dates you’re just lucky to be alive. It’s the same lucky you feel after teaching elementary kids on the last day before break and no one got gum in their hair.
- Dates drive you to drink.
What kind of wine goes with “this date is a total flop”? I bet it’s the same wine that pairs nicely with “I’m grading 30 sixth-grade essays tonight.”
- People who don’t date will never understand how hard it is.
No offense, Karen, but you’ve been married for three decades, so you definitely don’t understand the dating scene anymore. Just like Mom will never understand that being a teacher doesn’t mean getting the entire summer off to do nothing.