The Personal Lives of Teachers (Or: The Personal Lives? Of Teachers?)

When I wrote my most recent novel, Adequate Yearly Progress, I wanted it to be different from most of the stories I had read or seen about teachers before. Probably none of us is ever our whole self at work—we want to seem like Competent Professionals, after all—but in the same way we can be cagey in our culture about discussing the ways in which parenthood can be deeply challenging, I’ve always thought that media depictions in particular never leave enough space to talk about how teachers’ personal lives impact their teaching, and vice versa.

“Personal life? What’s a personal life?” you just asked, with a knowing, bitter laugh.


Maybe classroom difficulties are sapping your confidence. Maybe some combination of exhaustion and a never-done to-do list makes you wonder when you’ll have time to meet and date people, or whether your existing relationships and friendships will last, or whether you’ll have time to spend with your own kids. But also, maybe the school bell is about to ring in three minutes to start yet another day, and you don’t have time for existential questions right now.

Rare is the teacher who can walk into class at her best the day after a messy breakup, or who can fully leave behind a chaotic day of teaching when he goes home. It may be that your real question is about finding ways to enjoy teaching more so you can be a happier person—or, on the flip side, addressing a personal problem that’s finding its way into your classroom so you can become a better teacher.

If you’d like help setting up a game plan specific to your own life and classroom, you can book a session of See Me After Class Office Hours using the calendar below.

Office Hours can help you regain perspective and help you figure out how to take care of your students, and yourself, and your life outside of teaching. Because, yes—you are supposed to have a life outside of teaching.

Simply choose one of the options below and click the “Book Me” button to select an available time from the calendar. If you experience any technical difficulties, you can also try this direct link to the booking page.