12. Holiday-themed bulletin boards, student projects around the room, and the other evidence of your teaching brilliance.
11. Small presents and the occasional gift cards from grateful students and their parents.
10. The ever-present stash of snacks and baked goods in the teachers lounge.
9. Being too busy at school to spend all your money at Target. (Why is it impossible to walk out of Target without spending 5x what you originally planned to spend?)
8. Knowing the buzz around school: who has a crush on whom? Who got a scholarship to an Ivy League school? Who got banned from the homecoming dance for streaking through campus in a gorilla suit?
7. Talking about nucleotides, Shakespeare, the War of 1812, or quadratic equations. Somehow, these topics don’t come up in casual conversation very often.
6. The class clowns and pranksters who you pretend aren’t entertaining during the school year.
5. The joy of a Friday… and the obligatory 4 p.m. Happy Hour with your teaching team.
4. Students’ creative excuses for not having their homework done (i.e. NASA recruiters were so impressed with my math skills that they took my homework back to Houston.).
3. Taking the kids out to recess on a beautiful day.
2. Feeling like you’ve earned your paycheck and then some…ehh, I think we can all live with that.
1. Those crazy kids.