You won’t meet a more dedicated, selfless person than an educator. That makes them a pretty solid choice for a life partner.
But before you settle down with someone who teaches, there are some things you need to know. Below, educators from around the country share 11 very important pointers.
1. First rule of dating a teacher: Don’t talk about school on the weekend or during the summer.
“Honor the code of silence. During breaks of any type (long weekends, winter, spring or summer breaks) do not initiate school talk unless the teacher brings it up first. We need these breaks to decompress from the rigors of dealing with 150 different personalities who are all trying to be grown. On a similar note, please change the station immediately when school commercials come on in July.” ― Dave Stieber, a high school social studies teacher in Chicago for 10 years
2. Have dinner ready on Friday night.
“When your teacher partner walks through the door on Friday night and can’t bear to make one more decision, you’d better have her favorite taqueria on speed dial.” ― Jennifer Wolfe, a middle school teacher for 26 years
3. And don’t make plans on a Sunday night.
“Teachers think it’s adorable when people ask us to schedule things for Sunday afternoon. You may as well ask us to grow gills. The weekend officially ends for teachers at 11:59 AM on Sunday, at which point we fling ourselves into all the lesson planning and correcting. Yep, we get to do that while everyone else is binge-watching ‘Game of Thrones.’” ― Robert F. Walsh, a middle school English teacher for 18 years
4. Pretend not to see your teacher S.O. “stealing” supplies from home for school.
“The supplies students bring in at the beginning of the year don’t last long. Don’t give your teacher a hard time about buying a couple packs of colored pencils each time she goes to the store or taking some of your own home supply. If you really want to make their day, bring them home a pack of glue sticks or pencils or a bag of Jolly Ranchers from the store.” ― Jessica Carlton, a teacher for 12 years
5. Prepare for the history or math lesson at dinner.
“Forgive them the lectures at the dinner table. They can’t help themselves. You don’t have to listen. Just nod occasionally.” ― Alan Singer, and director of secondary education social studies at Hofstra University and educator for 46 years
6. Understand that you need to share your partner with the students.
“Teachers are naturally unselfish people and they are giving themselves all day long to their students and causes and things. Just as the teacher shares him or herself ― the person who loves them must be OK with sharing them with others. Don’t try to make them choose between who they are and loving you. There is enough love to go around.” ― Vicki Davis, a computer science teacher for 15 years
7. When your S.O. is telling you about a nightmare parent-teacher conference, just listen.
“In my first year of teaching, I came home many nights, ready to quit, and my wife sat down and listened to me patiently. At the end, she simply said that she was proud of me and asked ‘What can I do to help?’ She gave me opportunity to decompress and find the resilience to keep trying.” ― Owen Griffith, an educator for 12 years
8. It’s totally OK ― in fact, encouraged ― to buy them silly ties.
“If your significant other is male, buy him funny ties as presents. His students will love them. The only problem is that your children will be embarrassed.” ― Alan Singer
9. No need to tell your teacher boo “you look tired.” They are 100 percent tired, every day of the week.
“Cut us some slack if we look sleepy. If a teacher is already looking tired on Monday, it is likely that they spent Sunday preparing for the week and grading papers.” ― Clara G. Herrera, a Texas elementary public school science teacher for five years
10. Accept that when they say “my kids,” they mean their students, not your children together.
“My partner and I are both teachers and we have two children of our own. We have learned to stop referring to our students as our kids because it created some confusing situations. Take this example. My partner: ‘Can you believe that one of my kids pulled the fire alarm today?’ Me: ‘Wait, what kid? One of our own children? Do you have other kids that you never told me about?! Oh, you mean one of your students...” ― Dave Stieber
11. Help them unwind at the end of the day.
“Teachers give all day long. We probably make between 1,000 and 1,500 decisions per day. We also wear many hats: we can be the school nurse, the principal, the parent and the social worker all in one day. We are constantly giving. We encourage, question, guide, discipline, talk and listen all day long. We rarely have enough time to eat lunch. At the end of the day, I hope you can help me recharge by doing little things: give me one hour at the end of the day to wind down, pick up or make dinner or simply run an errand that I cannot get to in time. Little things help me recharge, and they go a long way.” ― Robyn D. Shulman, an educator for 20 years