I Don’t Live at School and I’m Sorry You Had to See Me Like This.

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This happens about 7 times a year.Shock.

I go someplace.

Grocery store.  Restaurant.  Gas station.  Movie theater.  Post Office.  Tattoo Parlor.

You get the picture.

I’m someplace other than school.

As an added bonus, I’m wearing something other than a suit and tie.

Here’s what happens.

I walk in.  I see student.  Student sees me.

Student looks at me funny.  This is a telltale sign.  Especially when they rotate their head to the side.

They look like a dog who hears a high-pitched whistle.

Student says one of two things.

"I thought you lived at school"


"You wear jeans?"

Actually, this is a lie.

Sometimes they say both.

It’s priceless when I see the shock and horror all over their face.

But sadly, of all the things they should be learning during their school years… the one thing that probably sticks with them the longest is their Superintendent looks weird and out of place in Levi’s.

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16 Responses to “I Don’t Live at School and I’m Sorry You Had to See Me Like This.”

  1. Pat
    on Mar 19th, 2014
    @ 9:05 am

    I hiked one summer with our hiking club group and there was a high school student visiting her grandparents who came with us. The hike was about 9 miles and took all day. One time the women went one direction to use the bathroom and the men went the other direction. This young girl was so excited that she went to the bathroom in the woods with a high school teacher! I think it was the most exciting thing that happened to her that summer (how sad)! I don’t know if she thought I was a robot or if I wore diapers but I’m glad I was her source of entertainment. LOL

  2. Rachel Patterson
    on Mar 21st, 2014
    @ 9:39 am

    About two years ago I was traveling to Austin with my family. We stopped at the local gas station for a restroom break and I run into one of my students while he was away at camp. He looked like he saw a ghost! Eyes bugged, mouth wide open… I said, hi and just died laughing!!

  3. Ren
    on Mar 23rd, 2014
    @ 6:53 pm

    I’m a principal at a JK-3 school so I get this a lot. Kids hiding behind their parents shopping cart… sometimes I get the old question “What are you doing at Walmart?” from a confused 5 year old. I have to buy toilet paper like everyone else!!

  4. Colin
    on Apr 3rd, 2014
    @ 5:29 am

    I teach high school and I’m currently on a trip going from Boston to DC with 16 of my students and one of them made the comment about jeans yesterday. It’s funny because I wear jeans on Fridays, though they are the only pair of jeans that I actually own/wear. For some reason, students have dehumanized educators to the point that seeing one outside of school is like seeing a vampire or something. I don’t really have that issue in my current job though because I live 75 miles away from the school where I teach, but I understand the issue. It’s fun how their minds work and it’s one of the reasons I love teaching.

  5. Jeannette Santana
    on Apr 12th, 2014
    @ 7:36 pm

    I live in Washington DC and there are not many large shopping locations in the Northwest side so I travel sometimes outside to Maryland and Virginia. I could travel 50 miles and still run into my students. Well one Kindergartner ran literately right into me almost knocking me down, however she did fall backwards. She looked up at me and said, “I know timeout for five minutes, but Ms. S I rather I do it now, not in school so you won’t get time out from the principal for leaving the school!” Her mother and I had one of those crying laughing fit as this bewildered child sat on the floor looking at us.

  6. distance education institutes in kolkata
    on Apr 23rd, 2014
    @ 4:55 am

    The look of the superintendent is perhaps one of the prime things that might be sticking along with them.

  7. Jose Rizalino
    on Jun 27th, 2014
    @ 12:22 pm

    Actually, its not weird seeing a teacher in a different look outside school. I think its more of “surprising”. Students look up to teachers with respect and superiority and that usually goes with a formal outfit or in school uniform. So for me, seeing my teachers in casual jeans make it more cool for them.

  8. Mindi
    on Aug 25th, 2014
    @ 6:16 am

    There is a lot of truth in this post, for sure!

    At the same time, you know, I don’t think – as some bright commentators here have already pointed out – that the experience always has to be freaky for the kids.

    On the contrary, I remember at least one occasion when I met one of my students outside the school context which led to a very positive shift in our in-school relationship. This particular young man was known as being ‘difficult’ and certainly I found that his attitude could be very challenging. Well, to cut the long story short, we encountered each other in the bowling alley of all places. Not only that, but I was out with my wife and my own kids and a some friends. I approached him and said hi and while at first, yes, he was a bit freaked out, he soon relaxed and we had quite a laugh.

    The next school day everything has changed. He was cool and cooperative and went on to become a really great student. For some, I think, the authority-status of the teacher is something that provides security, for others it is a challenge to that. His experience of me in the bowling alley ‘humanized’ me and from that standpoint he was finally able to show me respect and allow himself to engage in class in a more positive way.

    But, i don’t want to detract from the humor in this post. It’s funny, for sure and often more embarrassing than not for a student – and the teacher, too!

  9. Rosetta Stone
    on Aug 26th, 2014
    @ 4:56 pm

    I still remember as a kid running into teachers out of school and what a weird experience it was. Particularly because I was at a school where the teachers wore nice clothes (tie and all). Then you would see them out at the shop in a pair of surf shorts and a singlet. What!!! You aren’t allowed to be human! ;)

  10. Jenny Wartrol
    on Oct 19th, 2014
    @ 12:04 pm

    I love it when I bump into my ex students, half the time they don’t recognise me in my daggy casual clothes!

  11. Nathan Drake
    on Nov 14th, 2014
    @ 7:53 am

    As I move from teaching children to teaching adults, it surprises me that the business world is catching up to elementary-school teaching practices.

  12. Ryan
    on Dec 29th, 2014
    @ 3:51 am

    How funny! I have to grocery shop way away from my house because of this. Wouldn’t want to run into anyone outside school hours!

  13. Mat Edvik
    on May 6th, 2015
    @ 5:46 am

    This post made me smile. I get one of two reactions. Either excitement or ‘I can’t believe that my school life and my real life are colliding’. I love either.

  14. Taylor Schmitz
    on Nov 8th, 2015
    @ 12:23 am

    Well as a future teacher this excites me.. Every time I saw a teacher outside of school it was like the Apocalypse. It is the weirdest thing, being in college it only gets worse when you see your college professor outside of school. I know it should not be a big deal to see a teacher, I know they are real people, there is not better word but weird. But like I said I cannot wait to be on the teachers side and see how it feels to see a student outside of school.

  15. Nashima Harvey, Ed.M
    on Jan 4th, 2016
    @ 12:32 pm

    I have been in education for over 15 years and it always tickles me when I meet my former students. Many of them were surprised to see me in leisure wear or just relaxing. I have to admit I felt odd at first. However, now that the internet has become more prevalent in our society amongst adults and kids alike, I am realizing that the likelihood of me running into a student in cyber arenas are far more greater than real world arenas. The end result, I am even more cautious online, but it has connected me to long lost students who have grown up and found their favorite teacher. I hate to say it but I too was that student who searched and found their favorite teacher. So I guess it has its pros and cons and seeing a teacher whether in person or online allows us to become more relatable and human.

  16. Micheal A
    on Aug 24th, 2016
    @ 5:50 am

    Smiles… Students find its so unusual to see us in casual wears hanging around. Here in Africa, some of them will even run away avoiding to establish physical contact with us.

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