“Excuse me, where do you think you’re going?!”

This is an event I remembered after reading someone else’s post re young teachers.

For a bit of background, this event happened 6 years ago. I was a trainee teacher, fresh out of uni after just completing my art degree in the UK. I was nearing the end of my PGCE – Post Graduate Certificate in Education (a year long teaching qualification) specialising in Art and Design at secondary/high school level. I was 23 (but looked a lot younger), and the school I was training at allowed teachers as well as 6th formers (16-18 year old students) to wear smart business dress. Both staff and sixth formers wore lanyards with school ID cards. Teachers wore black lanyards and students, the colour that corresponded to their house (Edit: think Harry Potter).

I had seen the teacher that was involved in this event around school before. I try to say hello or at least smile at other staff (and students) but I remember this particular teacher wasn’t very approachable or friendly. I will say teachers are hard working and often stressed, I don’t hold her cold demeanour against her, as a new teacher I was just rather intimidated by her. For the sake of this story let’s call her Intimidating Teacher (IT). I also need to explain that on certain days and at certain times teachers are required to do ‘duty’ which involves standing in a location and ensuring students are in the right place and behaving properly.

It was lunch time, I was walking towards a few teachers who were on duty when I saw IT among them (I probably should have chosen a different name for her..). I made eye contact with IT.

IT: Excuse me, where do you think you’re going?!

Me: Upstairs, it’s lunch time and I don’t have a lesson.

IT: You are NOT allowed to be in this area. STUDENTS ARE TO BE IN THE HALL.

Me: *Holds up lanyard calmly so the black colour is visible and continues walking* I’m staff.

IT: *confused* Oh!?

At this point I walked past IT and the two other members of staff (who were beginning to laugh), I didn’t wait to continue the conversation, but hastily continued up the stairs.

I was rather confused and embarrassed that a teacher would speak/shout at another member of staff the way they did. She had mistaken me for a 6th former, but that wasn’t an excuse. I made a mental note, to never speak to students (or staff) in that way.

Edit 2: Wow, thanks for all the awards and upvotes!! After my initial run in with IT, no one got reported, I just finished my PGCE year, never bumping into her again. To quote the top comment: “Everyone has a purpose, even if only to serve as bad examples.”



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33 Comments

  1. I remember a story similar to this only the bratty teacher in question refused to listen to find out they worked there. Then upon being embarrassed about it they decided to get the new person in trouble with the principal only for not to work because some of their bad behavior was in the teachers lounge and other teachers saw it.

  2. Honestly not as bad as I was expecting. I’ve heard some stories of teachers like this grabbing a baby faced adult and walking them down to the principals office only to be proven the fool. Still I hoped she learned to check the pass before opening her pie hole.

  3. Opposite energy of me in year 10 confusing a new Chemistry teacher for a prefect and when I was asked to move from the stairs told him to ‘sod off’. I suppose it was so shocking that he actually did.

    It took another year and a half for me to realise he was, in fact, a paid member of staff.

  4. One of my friends from college was doing her student teaching (which sounds very similar to what your experience was but it’s the last semester of being a student instead of the first year after graduating). It was a “jeans day” where the teachers could donate a dollar for a cause and wear jeans instead of dress pants/skirt. She got yelled at by the principal for being in the teachers’ lounge and had to prove she was not a high school student.

  5. My daughter was subbing at the local high school. The office staff were so rude to her for being in the office during school hours. They are rude as a default and only polite when they understood she was coming in to get her notes. Makes me feel sad for the students.

  6. When you say the students’ lanyard colors corresponded to their house…is that in like a Harry Potter way? Does “house” mean their area of study, or where they live, or both? Genuinely curious.

  7. When I was a trainee teacher a few years ago I found a staff ID badge in the car park. When I turned it in at reception I was asked if I wanted a merit in my planner for being responsible!

    I was so surprised I just said “No, thank you” and walked away. The receptionist had also thought I was a sixth former. I avoided that woman like the plague from then out of embarrassment.

  8. My son was sick at school so I went to pick him up. Got to the office and the teacher told me to go back to my class and thanked me for bringing my son down. I looked at the lady and said,”I’m not an 8th grader I’m his mom.” Shocked pikachu face. I look young but not that young.

  9. When I was a trainee teacher a few years ago I found a staff ID badge in the car park. When I turned it in at reception I was asked if I wanted a merit in my planner for being responsible!

    I was so surprised I just said “No, thank you” and walked away. The receptionist had also thought I was a sixth former. I avoided that woman like the plague from then on out of embarrassment.

  10. I love how some of the top post are about people who keep using these confusing phrase, but no one listens, it’s not that much harder to right the word or just give them a name

  11. I had this exact same experience when I was mentoring on a scout camp. I was 17 at the time and apart of the camp staff, everyone was 10 or younger attending the camp, this particular lady would go off at me for being in “adult areas” of the camp eg bathrooms for staff

  12. Enjoy looking young. I always looked older. I was in the University Center in Anchorage, Alaska. I was with my very pregnant little sister. I had my 6 month old with me and an old friend. Some older lady, maybe 60, started clucking at me. I asked her if she was OK? She said No, she was super upset that I let my 13 year old get pregnant. Mind you I was 18 and she was 17.

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