Weird things about boarding school from someone who thought they’d teach public school.

i.e. the longest post title ever.

  1. They have all sorts of night and weekend events cause, you know, everyone is here.
  2. All of your friends live real close, but so does everyone else.
  3. Someone else decides where you live and when you move. 
  4. The guy who fixes the projector in your classroom also fixes the sink in your house.
  5. You can go days (5, 7, even 10) without ever getting in your car or off of campus.
  6. Your students have seen you at your best and definitely at other times. 
  7. Sweatpants are appropriate attire for the 7:30- 11:00 pm shift.
  8. There is a 7:30 – 11:00pm shift.
  9. Don’t want to make dinner? lunch? food, ever? You don’t have to.
  10. the relationships you form with kids are at a level you never expected.

6 thoughts on “Weird things about boarding school from someone who thought they’d teach public school.

  1. Sounds like living in a dorm and/or being an RA. In your experience, does your familiarity with the students help or hurt the respect they generally have for “adults?”


  2. Yea, kind of except (thank god) I get to go home to my own house.

    I don’t have a respect problem but I do find the girls have super high expectations of adults and it took a year for them to trust/ respect me. Now I have a lot more leeway.


  3. Ahh, yes. I was a public school kid/young adult until my first job last year in a boarding school. It wasn’t quite the shock that many might expect, but all your points hit very close to home (though now I am at a non-boarding, independent school).

    #3 was my biggest hangup. My dorm apartment had a door connected right next to the kid’s lounge and the lack of privacy (and quiet) was only the start of things… we had a new Head come in at the end of the first year and decide all administrators should be off main campus, leaving all teachers in the less enviable apartments/houses. When I saw someone could straight up say “Nope, I think this way is better, give up your home,” I was ready to move on.

    The relationships with the kids were amazing though.


  4. I am in my third year in a dorm after 23 years of teaching in day schools. The biggest takeaways for my revolve around my children (a 9 yr old boy and a 3 yr old girl.) The relationships they are forming with my students – both the boys in our dorm and the girls across the street – are priceless. On one night this fall my little girl smashed her fingers pretty badly in a swinging door in the dining hall. You would have thought that a ninja had cut her hand off. That evening I must have had about a dozen boys drop by my apartment to ask if she was alright. The idea that post grad wrestlers from NY, juniors from Vietnam, boys who aren’t even in my classes would all go out of their way to check in on her was an unbelievable feeling. It’s tough never just being Jim – always being Mr. Doherty – but the rewards are well worth it.


  5. Minus living in the dorm (I live next door, but I hang out with the dorm mom a lot) I am right there with you on all of those things. I wouldn’t trade the experiences I’ve had here for anything. My fun fact is that the headmaster is the one that put in my bathroom tile and painted my bathroom Barbie pink (I’m reprinting this summer!)


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