Society expects a lot from those in charge of educating children. That often means we need to be on our best behavior … or at least look like we are! Alas, not everyone is perfect. We all have several teacher secrets we keep hidden from those outside the world of education. But we can definitely share them with you all! #SorryNotSorry. How many of these secret teacher acts have you done?

1. We’ve all considered throwing that stack of ungraded homework away … and maybe even have done it!

Photo of a trashcan over-filled with paper

“All the papers are safely stored in the ‘circular file cabinet’ beside my desk and all students have received a completion grade for the assignment. Done and done!”


2. We’ve all worn pajama bottoms while teaching during distance learning.

Man working from home with laptop wearing shirt, tie and pajama pants

“I barely woke up and got to my laptop. Nobody will know if I just change, put on a shirt, and comb my hair!”

3. We’ve all copied things we weren’t supposed to copy.

Photo of a photocopier with a person's hands being shown using it

“‘Do Not Photocopy’ is really just a suggestion, right?”

4. We’ve all worn the same comfy black pants multiple times in the same week.

Young man standing on a concrete floor -- teacher secrets

“Hey, they’re comfortable, they look great … and with a little lightly-scented wrinkle releaser no one will ever know.”

5. We’ve all hoped for an injury the day before a field trip.

Woman with cast getting out of car

“I’m so sorry I have crutches. I’ll have to pass on that all-day trip to the aquarium, lugging around sack lunches, and trying to find bathrooms every ten seconds.”

6. We’ve all been momentarily terrified that we sent the wrong email to the wrong person.

Shocked Black man feel frustrated looking at laptop screen

“Aaannd send. Wait, did I ‘reply all?’ Please tell me I didn’t ‘reply all!’ Oh, ok, WHEW! That would have been bad.”

7. We’ve all hoped for that extra snow day.

Closeup of young man's face looking outside of small apartment window in New York City NYC urban Bronx, Brooklyn brick housing, guard rail, security bars, checking weather

“All right, I know I checked 10 minutes ago, but weather changes, right? I should just check again. Hmm … maybe another weather app would have a more up-to-date prediction!”

8. We’ve all made spelling mistakes when writing on the whiteboard.

Shot of a cheerful schoolteacher writing notes on a whiteboard in class

“Yes, well done. I misspelled that word on purpose to see who was clever enough to find it!”

9. We’ve all tried to sneak snacks or drinks without students seeing us.

A woman eating a strawberry cake looking guilty

“No, I did not bring enough for the class. That’s why I’m hiding behind the bookshelf stuffing the cookie I didn’t get to eat during my lunch period into my face like a squirrel loading up for winter!”

10. We’ve all tried to draw something on the board only to have it end up looking somewhat questionable.

Teacher covering eyes with embarrassment“It’s a thermometer. What? Why are you all laughing? Oh…ok, let’s just erase that.”

11. We’ve all played some version of a game with our students that’s only true purpose is to keep them quiet.

Smiling female teacher playing games with large group of kids in a preschool. They all have fingers on their lips


“I’ve heard it called Sleeping Lions, Graveyard, Secret Spies, or Whose the Best Carrot? But the only real rule is, if you talk, you’re out. And then you have to sit silently until the end of the game.”

12. We’ve all spilled something on papers we’re grading.

Desk with laptop and papers and a spilled cup of coffee

“Let me just cover this stain with a really big smiley face.”

13. We’ve all grabbed a (clean!) pencil to use as a stir stick.

Surprised woman drinking coffee -- teacher secrets

“I could go back to the teacher lounge to get a stir stick, but my pencil is sitting right there … who will notice?”

14. We’ve all failed to be the “grown-up” in an argument with a student.

Angry teacher pointing out on backboard background -- teacher secrets

“I know you are, but what am I? You know what? Just be quiet and do your work … ’cause I said so.”

15. We’ve all sent that student out on errands just to get a break.

Closeup transfer of envelope from hand to hand

“Why yes, I’d love it if you could take this here note to the teacher all the way across campus.”

16. We’ve all called in sick … without really being sick.

Woman in bed checking smartphone

“I may not have a fever, the flu, or any other physical illness, but if I come into school today, I may lose it. Does that count?” (Yes, yes it does.)

17. We’ve all shown a movie or called for quiet time because we needed a break.

Schoolkids watching movie about natural environment at lesson of biology

“OK, I have a migraine. So we’re going to silently take out our textbooks and silently solve problems 1 through 67. Did I mention that we would be doing this silently?”

18. Or we’ve all called for an early recess and blamed the students for not being focused.

Multi-ethnic group of kids playing hopscotch outside, jumping and having fun

“It seems you all need a brain break. Let’s hit those foursquare courts and get some energy out!”

19. We’ve all realized something really embarrassing way too late.

Closeup shot of a businessman walking in an office with toilet paper stuck to his shoe

“My skirt is tucked into my tights? But I haven’t been to the bathroom in hours …”

20. We’ve all been happy when certain students were absent.

Photo of an attendance roster

“Oh, Michael has strep and is going to be out for the rest of the week? That’s terrible! What? No, of course, I’m not laughing! I’m … coughing! I just swallowed some water, and it went down the wrong pipe. That’s all.”

21. We’ve all had favorite students.

Happy African American schoolboy giving high-five to his teacher during class in the classroom

“Aliyah joined the lacrosse team? That’s amazing! She and I talked all last year about her doing that.”

22. We’ve all feigned genuine interest while receiving questionable admin feedback.

Shot of a confident Malaysian woman having a job interview for a non-profit environmental organization. An unrecognizable human resource manager in front of her is holding her resume.

“I will absolutely think about how I can implement that idea. Thank you so much!”

23. We’ve all rolled our eyes when asked to do icebreakers at staff meetings.

Group of young business people in smart casual wear looking bored while sitting together at the table and looking away

“Would it be inappropriate to write ‘IHATEPD’ on my vanity nameplate? Asking for a friend.”

24. We’ve all had that one colleague whose drama is just too much.

Shot of a young design professional looking frustrated while sitting at her computer

“No, to be honest, when Patricia mentioned that she thought it might be fun to try a different novel next year, I didn’t take it as her saying that everything you teach is boring and old-fashioned and you aren’t a good teacher. I just thought, you know, that she thinks it might be fun to try a new book next year.”

25. We’ve all “borrowed” (or at least thought about borrowing) that drink or snack from the faculty fridge.

Refrigerator warning: "Don't eat MY sandwich!"

“OK, on one hand, stealing this Diet Coke is a terrible, horrible violation of coworker trust. On the other hand, if I don’t get some caffeine in me, there’s no way I can get through the rest of this day. Tricky … very tricky.”

26. We’ve all regretted something we’ve said to our students.

ensed school teacher sitting with hand on forehead in classroom at school

“Did I seriously just tell a group of fifth graders lined up for recess to hold onto their balls until they were outside? What was I thinking?!”

27. We’ve all wondered what other jobs we could do with a teaching degree.

Top view of woman sitting on floor and using laptop job search -- teacher secrets

“I could be a truck driver. Just me. Driving along. No one calling my name a million times a day. Just me. Listening to the radio. Or not. I could just sit in complete silence and drive.”

28. We’ve all behaved just as badly during a faculty meeting as our students do in class.

Diverse group of business people sitting on chairs in audience and listening at meeting or seminar, focus on young businesswoman yawning in foreground

“It’s not my fault. My teacher-bestie just told the funniest story and I can’t stop laughing.”

29. We’ve all held up our distance learning lesson waiting for a student to turn on their camera … or put on a shirt.

Young Black woman teaching a distance learning lesson -- teacher secrets

“Thanks for turning on your camera, but now you need a shirt. Yes, you need to wear a shirt to class. Yep, even when we’re online. No, we’ll wait. Go put on a shirt, please.”

30. We’ve all secretly giggled at anyone who doesn’t have a job as awesome as ours.

African-American teacher reading to school children

“Wait. Your job doesn’t make you laugh, cry, jump up and down with joy, pull your hair out, sadder and happier than you’ve ever been? You don’t absolutely know for sure that you’re making a real difference every day? Wow, that’s … weird.”

What teacher secrets did we forget to reveal? Hop over to our WeAreTeachers Facebook group and tell us!

Plus, surprising things you never thought you’d say until you became a teacher!

25 #SorryNotSorry Things Teachers Secretly Do but Won't Admit