A Teacher's Life · Teacher Voice

How to Date a Teacher

How to Date a Teacher
Some pro tips from a teacher who is dating a teacher.

His second home.
  1. If you’re a student, especially of this teacher, stop reading right now and move on to better things, i.e. guys your age. There are laws governing teacher-student relationships. Seriously, stay away and forget it.

    If you’re of age and dating a teacher, then great! You have quite an adventure ahead of you, though you’d have to curtail a bit of freedom in the process.

  2. The first thing you have to remember is that the teacher has a reputation (and job) to keep. According to the Magna Carta for Teachers, teachers are supposed to be the paragon of virtue (I’m paraphrasing here). The law does ask for a lot, but for good reason: he faces impressionable kids and/or teens everyday. He has to walk the talk, or he’ll lose his credibility.
  3. Corollary to #2, the teacher cannot be caught doing vices even outside of school hours. Do not expect the teacher to take you clubbing or bar-hopping. Obviously, don’t take pictures of the teacher while drinking or smoking and post them on Facebook. I feel like I have to drill this to you: he has a reputation to keep. He is slightly paranoid about it, and his greatest fear is probably a sex tape of himself. So just don’t.
  4. The teacher is (ever so slightly) on guard whenever you go out on a date, even on neutral grounds. He teaches dozens of students, probably even hundreds, so at some point, you will see a kid or two waving furiously at him and probably greeting him loud enough for the whole restaurant to hear. You’ll probably find it amusing at first, and annoyed once you realize that it could happen quite a lot. Just smile back at the student and don’t grumble about it. He is just as embarrassed as you are.
  5. Assuming that the teacher is attractive (you are dating him, after all), there will be young ladies who will get jealous of you. Assure yourself that this is harmless. Most of the time.

  6. The teacher is the subject of student gossip. Once word gets out that Sir ___ is dating someone, there will be young strangers who will check out your Facebook profile. Again, assure yourself that this may be out of pure interest. However, do be careful about posting pictures of yourselves — you do not want him to be subject to his students’ uncomfortable questioning. Likewise, you ought to be careful about the information you want to keep public.
  7. The teacher is one of the most underpaid professionals, especially if he is young. This should go without saying. This is also a fact that you might have to deal with for the rest of your life, if ever. Therefore, you ought to seriously start going Dutch, and since he’s too proud to say it, the idea should come from you.
  8. The English teacher will silently judge your grammar. He will also likely judge your literacy. It’s one of the few things he’s proud of. So don’t flaunt your knowledge of Sherlock Holmes or Romeo and Juliet if you haven’t read the books.

    This is the sort of picture the English teacher takes.
  9. The teacher will probably not text or call you all day. He won’t text in class (if he is a responsible teacher), and he’ll be grading papers or preparing for his next class if he isn’t teaching. After classes, he might need to advise a student, meet a team for whatever extra-curricular activity he is heading (debate team, student publication, etc.) or spend an hour with his fellow teachers for a dreaded meeting. Do not feel bad. Be extra patient and don’t take it against him.
  10. The teacher does not have too much time on his hands. You will find yourself extremely fortunate if you do manage to meet more than twice a week. Don’t demand that you meet on weekdays, especially when you live more than an hour away from each other or from your meeting place. Also, do not stay out for too long, because all-nighters for him mean grading exams and essays or writing lesson plans. Be reasonable, and above all, understand.
  11. The teacher has some habits honed from hours of teaching — habits that will probably spill over to your dates. He might tell you to be quiet if you’re getting too loud, or he might use a commanding voice (the Teacher Voice) if provoked. He might tell you some science trivia, give a long-winded lecture, or subject you to the Socratic method. It’s going to be weird at first — you might be reminded of yourself as a high school student who is under interrogation by your teacher. Just point it out and laugh it off. Remember that teaching, for him, is not just a job, nor just work; it’s a way of life with its own philosophy. Being a teacher is just who he is.
  12. The teacher will be under intense scrutiny by your family, if it comes to that. In a culture such as ours, it seems as if there’s a sort of discrimination against male teachers. Your family and friends would ask uncomfortable and infuriating questions such as, “How much does he earn?” “Will he be able to support you when the time comes?” “Don’t you feel bad that you’re a/an [insert profession here] and earning so much more than he is?” You’ll realize how hypocritical we all are for extolling the virtues of the teacher while in reality, parents would rather have their children become doctors or businessmen. I have no advice except that his profession and salary shouldn’t bother either of you. Hopefully, that really is the case; otherwise, leave him, as he’s worth more than what you get every payday.
  13. An upside: unless he teaches one of those college entrance test preparation classes, the teacher has all the time in the world during the following: (1) summer break, (2) sem break,  and (3) Christmas break. Now you know when to book those low-cost flights. Go to out-of-town trips then. Enjoy. See how impeccably good-looking he can be when he is not stressed out.
  14. The teacher is youthful. Being with students does that to him. And if he is doing his job well, he should also be smart, principled, and empathetic. He could be quite hilarious. He’d be one of the most patient persons you will ever meet. He is probably charming as heck, too. And if you’re tired of dating the stereotyped insensitive man, look no further than the male teacher, who has an almost feminine intuition toward what you are feeling at the moment. You might find it a bit freaky at first, but obviously it’s something you’ll appreciate in the long run.
  15. The teacher is doing a noble duty. It’s cliched, but true — he could be doing something else, something less taxing and demanding, something less demeaning even. But teaching is something he enjoys. It’s a bit of an ego boost, it can be exciting and challenging, and frankly it’s a profession one can get addicted to. So — this should go without saying — support him in his work. Meanwhile, he will take care of you and love you intensely, in the only way he knows how, and he will teach you to see the best that life has to offer.
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18 thoughts on “How to Date a Teacher

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