How many faces does a teacher need for the first day of school?

People often wonder how a teacher can come home from a short Friday morning at school (08:00-13:00) utterly exhausted.

If they could count the number of different faces I needed this morning, maybe they would understand.


The first face is the obvious one, the one needed by all students, in all classes:

The Welcoming Face – “how are you” “how was your summer vacation” “such a nice haircut you got” “have you seen the New-Year’s Greeting waiting just for you?”


Then there is the pupil who comes to the classroom during the break to tell me that she has already (first day! before her first lesson!)gone to the class website to see which homework I’ve put online for her. She needs to see The Impressed Face – “it’s so nice to see that you are motivated, that you have come to school all energetic”…


Then there are the two 10th grade girls who waltz in on their first day of school eager to test my limits. One tries to make a case for eating her sandwich during the lesson and the other proceeds to pull out hand cream, lipstick and her cell phone. They need The Stern Face.


Then there are the kids who transferred from a regular school, where they were the only kids with a hearing problem in the entire school. Some are a bit in shock either from the behavior of some of the other kids (those limit-testing ones) or from the low level of some of their new peers (I teach EVERY imaginable level!). They need The Reassuring Face – “ this is a learning center, everyone has their own learning plan, you progress at your own level disregardless of whom you sit next to” “everyone will settle down after the initial excitement”…


Then there are the 11th grade students who are disappointed they aren’t going to be studying for the level of “exit exams” they desired (these kids expectations are totally unrealistic). They need The Motivating / Energizing Face – “you know, it is all up to you. the exams are modular and if you study you can progress to the next level”…


I needed The Don’t-Show-Your-Real-Feelings Face for the 10th grader who complained that her New-Year-Greeting wasn’t as pretty as another student’s greeting (I pasted the same text for all onto different colorful photos).


There are more but I feel I am getting tired all over again just thinking about it all. I guess that’s the face I wore on the way to the car: The Tired Teacher Face


Perhaps YOU have faces to add?