When Did I Become the Old Teacher?

I've been a sub, aide, and teacher! Over 20 years experience with most in  the classroom as a teacher...this i… | Bored teachers, Teacher humor, Teacher  memes funny
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When I began teaching last century, I was in the age minority. One of only a few new hires at the time, I found unlikely friendships with people ten to twenty years my senior. While in my late twenties,  I regularly celebrated milestone birthdays such as 40 and 50. My work friends and I acknowledged the last day of school with wine and cheese in the privacy of a home.  When they spoke of their children’s high school sports or college search, I shared about my pregnancies and potty training.

As the years went by, one by one, they began to retire. Each retirement resulted with a new, young teacher taking his/her place.  In a natural progression, my role slowly evolved from mentee to mentor. I happen to have a few more years of experience is how I viewed it the first few times.  Of course I would be happy to help a new teacher.

As the years went by, the newer teachers got younger and I just got older.  

I think the first time it hit me was about two years ago when I was a mentor to a new hire in her twenties. I asked my mentee how she was doing and how I could best assist her.  Her fond reply included something to the effect that she valued my support and that I was a mother figure to her. A true compliment by any measure, but really… A  MOTHER FIGURE? That sounded so old! 

But the real icing on the cake was just the other day.  My newest mentee, also in her twenties, cheerfully joined me for lunch.  As she walked in, she asked me if I used to teach in the town she grew up in.  I enthusiastically replied that I did before I came to the town where I currently teach.  

Then BAM, she hit me with the right hook.  

“I think you were my best friend’s Preschool teacher!” she exclaimed.  

If that wasn’t bad enough,  she managed to pull up a picture of me (with very large hair) and her best friend (about 4 years old at the time) on her phone.  It seems that her best friend recognized me from a Facebook post and the connection was made. There was no denying it was me.  I have the same class picture in a photo album from the mid 1990s. 

Now, I suppose I should feel somewhat flattered that she was able to remember me after all of these years, but that thought escaped me at the time.  I just focused on the fact that I am old enough to be the former Preschool teacher of a colleague!  

Now, someone please answer me this…when did I become the old teacher? On second thought, please don’t!


9 thoughts on “When Did I Become the Old Teacher?

  1. You always find the best memes to share with your posts. Thank you for that! I recall our yearly discussions of where our name fell on the union’s published listing of teachers and their years of service. When I was first hired I was on page twelve. As years flew by we joked about making it to page 1. How did that happen?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes!! I had this same thought when I realized my mentee is my son’s age! I also had a student tell me it was her grandmother’s birthday and she was 50! Weren’t we just in college? Oh wait, I guess we can’t be just out of college when our own kids are in college!
    But with age comes wisdom or let’s just keep telling ourselves that!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I guess it just kind of happens. I find myself inching up to the older batch after 21 years now. I really like being on this side and no longer a younger one I must say. Your post allows our thoughts to dig deep on this topic. I remember a quote as a young mom: “The years are short, the days are long.” or vice versa. Isn’t that funny how it just happens.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for such a humorous, well-crafted and relatable post. When I first stated teaching, I was ALWAYS the youngest on the faculty…maybe because I was 17 when I started (but that’s another story). When I returned to teaching at 41, I was not the kid on the block any more and as you so eloquently state, I only got older. It’s fun to ponder the eccentricities of life.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I had the exact same experience! When I was hired in my 20s, jobs were scarce and everyone else was at least in their mid to late 30s. When I was twice pregnant, I was the only one. And then it happened, just what you said. How did we become the old teachers? Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I feel your pain. I feel like all the other teachers either have young children or were born after I started teaching. Yikes. Your post made me smile and realize that I am in good company!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I started laughing out loud when I read your title and continued to laugh until I cried all throughout! You nailed it again. You know my life! It is a SHOCKING moment when you realize you are the old teacher. And you have to prove your worth. But it is ok, I’ve come to embrace it. I’m old in years but a lot younger than a lot of them in so many ways. That’s what I console myself with at least!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Funny and true! I once thought I wanted to be a “work mom” because I had one myself. We hang out occasionally, because, yup, she retired. A few years ago one of my colleagues was a former student. I about cried. She never called me by my first name.

    Liked by 1 person

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