Why Every Teacher Needs a Work Spouse


Do you feel like something is missing from your life as a teacher? Maybe it's your work spouse. Read on to find out why every teacher needs one to get them through highs and lows.

Nobody can deny that being a teacher is challenging. It's a career that requires endless patience as you are continually tested by misbehaving students, prying parents, and well-meaning but demanding administrations. We don't expect you to be able to deal with it all on your own. That's why we recommend every teacher have a work spouse. Here's how it'll help.

Two teachers sit in a classroom and smile

1. They can empathize

Sympathy is great, but it isn't always enough. What people really need to get them through moments both sad and happy is somebody who can truly empathize with them, that is understand and relate. The only person who can honestly empathize with what it's like to be a teacher is, well, another teacher. Chances are, every high and low you experience, your work spouse will have a similar story to share. To be able to speak to somebody and know that they sincerely understand what you mean is invaluable in a profession as stressful as teaching.

2. They can commiserate

Sure, we don't recommend sitting around all day feeling sorry for yourself, whining, and complaining, but it is helpful sometimes! Bottling up one's feelings is never healthy and sometimes you just need a person who can (briefly) steep in some misery with you. For better or worse, nothing strengthens a bond between two people like being able to complain about the same issue, which means that a therapeutic sorrow sesh with your work spouse will only bring you two closer. It's a win-win!

Two teachers look at a computer

3. They can cover for you

One of the reasons that teaching is so demanding is that you always have to be there. It's not exactly an option to step out of the classroom for a quick cup of coffee when you need a boost of energy or a short meditation when you need desperately to relax. The children need your supervision all the time. But what if there's an emergency, emotional or otherwise, and you really need to step away from your class? Enter the work spouse. They already know how to run a classroom and it's possible that they can help watch yours when you really need it. Same goes for helping you think of last-minute lesson plans, deal with tricky discipline issues, and so on. They have the experience to be helpful when you most need it.

4. They can remind you why it's worth it

Teachers are stressed, underpaid, and overworked. So why do they do it? Chances are, you went into the teaching profession because you had a passion for helping educate the young minds of tomorrow. And chances are your work spouse feels the same. In those moments when you feel like quitting, your work spouse can remind you about the beauty in your job. And in those moments when your students have a breakthrough, or come back to thank you years later, your work spouse will be able to smile with you about how great it is to have this calling.

Two teachers at the front of a classroom

What it all comes down to is one thing: your work spouse will get you like no other person can. And what's better than to be understood? In the immortal words of the 'Friends' theme song, 'I'll be there for you, 'cause you're there for me too.'

Looking for some more teaching help? Check out Study.com's Teacher Edition, which has resources for both students and teachers.

By Daisy Rogozinsky
July 2018
teachers teacher burnout

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