Maybe you were at a club, fist bumping, throwing back drinks when you shouted the question over the music to your future partner: “what do you do for a living?” When they said, “I’m a teacher,” your mind filled with beautiful visions of a nurturing, child-loving, and dependable person. You immediately knew this was someone with whom you could build a good future. You loved the idea of dating someone with such a meaningful profession. However, what you may have learned since is that sometimes the thing you love turns into the thing that drives you insane.
- Your teacher spouse is, let’s say, “detail-oriented.”
While most people would be content with celebrating a birthday by ordering a pizza and buying a cake, nothing can be that simple when you are married to a teacher. Throwing a party is always a complex, highly planned event. Pinterest is involved, as are matching plates, napkins, a personalized witty message on a chalkboard, centerpieces and party favors. Additionally, each guest will inevitably receive a personalized thank you note in less than two weeks.
- Hoarding promotional office supplies is a thing.
When your spouse goes to the doctor’s office, they take extra free pens from the reception area and brag about it. If you are with them, expect an arm nudge to grab a few on your way out as well.
3. Every mistake is a teachable moment.
While most married couples like to take the time to process after arguments, a teacher will take it to the extreme. They want personal processing time, followed by a discussion to figure out the lesson learned and to come up with a mutually agreed upon plan for avoiding the confrontation in the future.
- Lists, organizing bins, and checklists, oh my!
Your spouse is probably obsessed with organization. YOUR garage space is filled with neatly organized storage containers for every season, each methodically labeled. Food shopping is streamlined seamlessly with a geographically coordinating list of food based on proximity to the entrance.
- Misplaced patience and anxiety.
At family parties with loud-talking relatives, children running around, and loud music playing, your spouse is calm and thrives in the chaos. But if your spouse loses a pen or misplaces their keys, all hell breaks loose, and you may have to step in to offer emotional support.
- Celebrity Sighting.
Going to the mall or food store turns into a reunion with former students that makes even the most simple of errands laborious. Inevitably you wind up rummaging around the produce aisle and spending time smelling cantaloupes while the conversation, as always, excludes you.
- Teacher Voice.
You know your spouse has a teacher switch, and it is turned on when giving instructions. Your spouse has even gone as far to say, “eye contact please, are you listening? Repeat back what I just said.” You hate to admit it but repeating back instructions does help remember them.
- Over Planning.
There is no such thing as a spontaneous day trip. Everything has to be planned down to the last detail to, you know, make the most of the experience. You do appreciate the packed cooler with snacks for your drive. The emergency kit with Tylenol, Band Aids and stain removing stick has come in handy more than once.
- You know too much.
You know everything about their students. In fact, you look forward to hearing about what little Johnny did today. You love that kid even though he drives your spouse crazy, Hey, maybe that is WHY you like him?
- Making Friends!
You DREAD meeting new people with your spouse, if one of those new people happens also to be a teacher. The whole conversation turns into work talk and inevitably someone is crying over their wine discussing their SGO progress.
You might also be interested in reading our other blog posts about being married to a teacher, like about why you’ll love it or about how being married to a teacher may mean you are married to a whole lot more. You can also read our popular blog, “So, You Married a Teacher,” which addresses the realities of being married to an educator.
Rebecca Stone teaches 12th grade special education English at Long Branch high school.