For some miraculous reason, I have lived with teachers my entire life; both of my parents, my current roommate (who doubles as my best friend), and my previous roommate have all taken on one of the noblest professions we have in our society. If you have ever lived with a teacher, you know they are the biggest blessings to have in your life. I would not know what to do with myself if I didn't live with a teacher all the time. Here are a few things that I have learned from them!
1. There is absolutely no reason you shouldn't be fulfilling your responsibilities
Whether it is dishes or homework or going to a boring birthday dinner that you now regret agreeing to, no excuse is good enough for a teacher.
2. Especially, you guessed it, your homework
I cannot count how many times my parents and roommates alike have pestered me about getting my homework done. While parents will talk to your teachers (probably during their weekly coffee date) and make sure you are getting everything done, your teacher roommate, who cares about your grades almost as much as her own, will make sure you get your homework done...even if it means waking you up at seven in the morning after a long night of procrastinating.
3. You're never too old for creativity
My roommate is an elementary school teacher, and one of the best things she taught me is that you are never too old to pick up a creative hobby. From adult coloring books to full canvas paintings, we are always letting the creativity flow, and our apartment is happier and full of great ideas!
4. Or to learn something new
The biggest thing I learned from my teacher roommate: Growth mindset. It is a simple concept that essentially means you believe in yourself and know that you are capable of a set task. Once you believe that, you can do anything!
5. They will always give you options
If you live with a teacher, they will never try to pigeon hole you into a specific task. If they want you to do the dishes, they will ask you to do it before or after you take a shower. As someone who hates feeling controlled, this has prevented many conflicts.
6. No one gets ahead by merely being "naturally smart;" success takes hard work
The biggest lesson my father taught me was that no matter how smart someone seems, you can always do just as good, if not better, if you have a strong work effort and desire to learn.
7. You learn more outside the classroom than in it
Even though I was never allowed to miss school growing up, my parents realized that, throughout the year, our minds needed to be stimulated by more than just pen and paper. I was always encouraged to read for fun, learn from people everywhere I go, and to seek out opportunities to grow.
8. There is always someone smarter than you, so learn from them!
Teachers remind everyone their love of a fact that most people dismiss all too often: looking to experts for advice, counsel and knowledge will always reap more benefits than thinking you know everything. From politics to faith to general wisdom, I never look to myself for advice but seek a book or individual that has more information or experience than I do.
9. Words matter and grammar is important
No matter how much I hate when the human spell checker comes out, living with teachers has taught me the importance of clearly articulating what I intend to say. A single word can change the meaning, or the perceived meaning, of a sentence, and in professional and personal matters it is crucial that what you mean is the same as what the recipient of your communication is understanding.
10. Your classmate and your neighbor deserves love and respect
At every level, teachers witness student interactions more often than we would like to admit. After years of seeing students treat each other poorly, there is nothing a teacher would rather do than make sure that behavior does not extend to their house.
11. They know the calmest, direct way to express your anger and disappointment
You may yell and give attitude, but they'll be the ones to leave you crying, thinking about how wrong you are, and wanting to apologize.
12. But also the most creative, inexpensive ways to solve everyday problems
My school home and regular home are filled with "life hacks" in every room. I also am greeted every holiday with a new box of cute, yet useful boxes of themed decorations from my mom. And let's not forget who learned multiplication the "easy way" because my dad was a math teacher.
13. Stationary, especially planners, are a student's best friend
I could never leave the house without my planner, a pen, and paper; my parents raised me with some prepared instincts, so I never miss an important date or plan.
14. Taking responsibility for your actions is just as important as apologizing for them
Conflict resolution in my house is always a process. We acknowledge the problem, take responsibility for it, apologize, then find helpful tools that will ensure the conflict does not happen again. Is it a long process? Sure. But fights are few and far between when you live with a teacher.
15. Working as a team is always option number one
Beyond the typical sports finatic families, we took teamwork to a whole new level. Every project around the house is a "group effort," and no one is left to do something they are unprepared for or need help with.
16. When all else fails, ask yourself: what does this personality test say to do?
From Myers-Briggs to the enneagram, teachers are eager to discover how your personality, the way you think and respond to certain situations, will affect your relationships, learning abilities, and other things going on in your life. This gives them a strong sense of empathy for you, but also allows them to know how to convince you to do something.
17. Respect your teachers and your education system because you owe them more than you could ever thank them for
So if you can read this, thank a teacher!