1. You keep up with popular vernacular--maybe not with everything, but you have more of a clue than your peers. For example, today, when students ran across the word “beau,” I told them it was like an old version of “bae” and they all nodded their heads and said, Oh, OK and we moved on.
2. You’ve got a trapped audience for bad jokes and puns. I admit it, there’s something awesome about using a pun or telling a bad joke in class and having (at least a few kids) laugh in appreciation of your clever turn of a phrase.
3. Students recommend films and books. Some of my best book and film recommendations come from students. One student would not stop pestering me until I watched Birdman. I’m glad he did.
4. You can accomplish things quickly without overthinking them. I know this seems like a strange one, but in the classroom, we have to make snap decisions all the time. This means we’re used to trusting our gut, choosing a path, and accomplishing tasks. The teachers I know all have a certain confidence that I believe comes from being in charge of hundreds of teenagers every day. And we get stuff done–quickly and efficiently.
5. You learn to appreciate the little things. For example, free cookies in the teacher’s lounge is something to celebrate. Ten minutes of a lunch period where your grading is done and your planning is ready becomes a veritable holiday.