I remember at my high school graduation, one of our teachers stood at the podium, and said the words: “You’ll never stop learning.” Beaming out at the audience, they clearly thought that this was an enticing prospect.
But f*ck me, I’d never heard anything more depressing in my life. I just wanted OUT already.
Fact is, they were right. You learn every single day – both inside and out of educational programs. Whether you’re in high school, university, tafe, beauty college, a correctional rehabilitation (we all make mistakes) or just out in the real world; there’s always more to learn.
And where there are lessons, there must also be teachers. Official or not, those teaching you will not always be your favourite person – but they will be the most important. Here are the five types of teachers you’ll always find, whether in front of a blackboard or at the other end of the meeting room. Sit up straight!
The ‘should have gone to art school’
Black turtleneck? Hand-made beads? Crocs and socks? Should have gone to art school. This teacher is a classic ‘Plan B’ graduate: they had a spectacular trajectory into artistic fame… that came crashing down as soon as they needed to cover the mortgage.
Make no mistake, those who WANT to become high school teachers are angels. The best of the best. But those who didn’t want to become high school teachers, but did anyway? Brutal.
These are the teachers who tear up at the discussion of their favourite artist, the ones who still go to indie concerts, smoke weed, and wear little badges they made themselves with slogans like “Keep Your Ravenclaws Off My Body”. I feel sad for these teachers, especially when you see them staring out the classroom window, dreaming of their name in lights.
The low-key racist
You’ll probably remember this teacher from high school. That’s where most low-key racists tend to dwell, underneath coke-bottle glasses and short-sleeved business shirts. They’re the science teachers who always smell mildly like off milk, or the P.E. teachers who make totally inappropriate comments about the length of your gym skirt. Low key racist, low key creepy, low key wouldn’t want to be around them any longer than this semester. They’re in every school.
The love of your life
“To Sir, With Love” was not one of the most popular songs ever written for no reason. We have ALL had that hot teacher that was way too good looking for the role. Personally, mine was a second-year lecturer with silver hair and a scooter, who was also my imaginary husband. I would daydream about us attending dinner parties together and laughing about some witty joke I’d make about international politics. Never mind that I didn’t know anything about politics. Daydreams aren’t meant to make sense, Fun Police.
This inappropriately sexy teacher is likely to be aware of your infatuation – it could be the way you’ve been staring at them for the last twenty minutes with that glazed look in your eye? – and will, very kindly, ignore your crush. This will be something you’ll be most thankful for in years to come, when you run into them in your local Coles and turn a deep shade of beetroot.
The hard ass
This kind of teacher won’t be played by an apple on their desk. In fact, if you do leave an apple of their desk, they’ll probably pick it up, peg it at the back wall of the classroom, and stare grimly at the hundreds of pieces of exploded apple on the floor. Do not f*ck with this teacher.
Homework must be done. Excuses are not accepted. Sick notes are definitely not accepted. They expect you to be on time, well prepared, and equipped with smart questions only. Oh, there’s no such thing as a stupid question? YES THERE IS, MATE, AND YOU JUST ASKED IT.
The Dead Poets Society
If you’re lucky, you too would have had a teacher like the fictional John Keating in Dead Poet’s Society. Inspiring, funny, and engaging…and kinda hot. These are the teachers who look at you with a glint in their eye and say to you, without a single word, “I get it. This is boring as shit. But it will get better.”
This type of teacher is probably too cool for high school institutions, and therefore reside in places that their coolness can really shine: like at your university, or at the eyeshadow counter in Sephora. Trust them. Listen to them. Take notes, and steal away a bit of their passion – you’ll be needing that later on.
What have we learnt?
Being a student isn’t always easy. It takes a willingness to learn, and the ability to sit in the same position for 40 minutes or longer without a) falling asleep, b) irritating an existing lower back condition, or c) using the phone so intensively it goes flat.