Incognito Teacher

Before I became a teacher, my Mum used to joke about a teacher friend of hers that would hide down aisles in the supermarket when she spotted a student out and about. I used to find it a little ridiculous, surely it can’t be that bad? Then I became a teacher and I realised the awkwardness that comes with bumping into a student during non-work hours…

  1. The Keen Parent: There is the student that pretends to have not seen you. “Great!” you think, as you also pretend to have not seen them and quickly move yourself out of their vicinity. Unfortunately, said student is usually with a parent who has seen you. “Oh hello Mrs Roversi!” you hear whilst you’re trying to find a pair of non-see-through Primark leggings (Do these even exist?) This prompts a stunted conversation with someone you barely know whom feels like they know you, and to top it off they discuss the behaviours of little Jamie* whilst said child squirms and hides behind his parent. *Names have been changed to protect identities.
  2. The Keen Child: The one that jumps out from behind some shelves whilst you’re looking at tampons and exclaims “Hello Mrs Roversi! How are you? Aw is this your baby? He’s cute!” Now I don’t mean to sound mean, and out of all the students to bump into the keen one is probably the best, but jumping out at me and not giving me chance to prepare myself is not appreciated! This one usually engages in several conversations and also asks you if they had any homework. I’ve usually spent the entire conversation trying to remember his name, never mind which group he’s in and whether I’ve set him homework.

    Click photo for source.

  3. The Shocked One: This child is hilarious. They have no concept of teachers having a life outside of school so when they see you in Sainsburys (other supermarkets are available) with a bottle of wine/cider/baileys, pack of nappies and a large bar of chocolate in hand, they look at you like they observing animals in the wild. Utter awe and shock on their face. This one is usually quite amusing and I will make a point of saying Hi 🙂
  4. The Naughty One: The least enjoyable experience. I’m wandering around the local shopping centre, feeding my toddler babybel, crisps, fruits pouches and anything else that will keep him quiet when I see a child who is “challenging” in my lessons. Once they see me, the experience usually consists of whispering “Look, it’s Mrs Roversi!” followed by lots of giggling or my name being shouted loudly, followed by more giggling and running away. Great.
  5. The Naughty One with Parent: I’m wandering around the local shopping centre, feeding my toddler babybel, crisps, fruits pouches and anything else that will keep him quiet when I see a child who is “challenging” in my lesson. We lock eyes. There is fear, from both of us no doubt! Then he/she cowers, trying to steer his/her parent in another direction and I realise – ha! – she/he’s scared of what I might say. Obviously, at this point, I make said child squirm by wandering over in their direction. I might even take the packet of Pom Bears off my son to make him kick off a little to draw attention to us. If this is successful I engage in conversation with parent, smiling sweetly whilst looking at the child, fear in their eyes, knowing I have just got one over on them. Mmmwwwaaahhaha! Note: this has never happened. I’m not that mean.

In addition to these five, there are many times when I’ve been going about my daily business to be smiled at by a supposed stranger. How nice, you may think, however nine times out of ten it is a parent and I know it’s a parent as a vaguely recognise them, but I can’t place them with a child! They only have several teachers to remember whereas I have a lot of students and a rubbish memory since baby brain took hold! I always feel so bad if they start chatting to me and I don’t know which student is there beloved son/daughter. I’m getting quite good at covering up that I don’t know though! 🙂

I must end on a positive note though, it’s the Easter holidays and when I ventured to the local shopping centre on Bank Holiday Monday with my university friend, child free i might add, I did bump into several students who didn’t fit any of the categories above…in fact, they were the lovely ones: I knew their names, year and we had a lovely chat about extra curricular stuff they are currently involved in that I’m running. Just as my mate handed me a Cadbury’s Creme Egg, despite my supposed diet!

I thought it was only fair to credit the blog post that this was inspired from “You Should Know, You’re a Doctor!”, a guest post by Carrie on the wonderful blog The Butterfly Mother.

Are you a teacher? Do you have stories of bumping into students in strange places? I’ve never seen one on vacation as yet….thank god! How do you control a class when one of them has seen you, wobbly bits galore, in a swimsuit?! Comment below or find me on Facebook or Twitter!


At a wedding at the weekend – student free so I drank copious amount of wine and danced my (hypothetical) socks off!

Mudpie Fridays
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

About Becky Roversi

Previously the writer of Educating Roversi, Becka is a 30 something Mum to two and has an addiction to mugs, Disney, pyjamas & stationery. Welcome to the Bubble!
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28 Responses to Incognito Teacher

  1. Silly Mummy says:

    Haha – love it! As my mum taught infant school, all students we ran into in real life fell into the shocked to discover teachers exist out of school category! I do recall that in my school a major rumour/scandal (major only amongst the students – doubt the teachers cared) broke out when one of the students saw one of the home ec teachers on holiday in Spain with one of the textiles teachers. This was a scandal because they were both female and married. The probability that they were friends on holiday (quite possibly WITH their husbands) funnily enough never crossed the minds of the teenagers of the school, who firmly believed that they were conducting an illicit affair in the textiles department store room for ever more! 😀
    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lol sounds like there is never a dull moment. My daughter loves bumping into her teachers and I have to admit I do feel sorry for them lol. Don’t get me wrong she’s not that bad and her teachers don’t seem to mind her. Xx #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What is it about Sainsbury and teachers! Do they like to eat or something?! I feel your pain. It is particularly prevalent in my area. I always feel mortified for the poor teacher doing their weekend shop and having to bump into us lot. Although I live in London, it is very much a community area and everyone knows everyone. I worked locally for the last few years and so had the delight of a local Christmas do where not only were all the teachers coincidentally there (which incidentally makes me feel 5) but also the entire doctors surgery. I found that particularly mortifying. I would get a false beard and dark glasses if I were you. Great post #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ooo yes, I haven’t experienced this as a teacher because I’m not a teacher but as a student I would never want to see a teacher out of school. I like us all to know each other only when appropriate. I don’t like seeing anyone out of context though, awkward conversations ensue where I talk far too much! #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Haha! I have had all of these in the past. One of the only advantages of having an hour and twenty minute commute to school atm is that this now NEVER happens. In fact, if a pupil asks where I live, I usually tell them and it is so far away that they are only very dimly aware it exists. (I work in a big city and live two counties away in a very rural spot) They look at me like I’ve said I live in cloud cuckoo land! Bliss! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I used to live in a town where everyone knee each other and the head lived town the road. It was a strange situation but teachers were friendly as it was part of the community vibe X #kcacols

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Becky, Cuddle Fairy says:

    Lol I was the shocked one – I had no idea teachers left the school! I’m glad you don’t torture the naughty kids while out shopping although I had such a laugh at that one. Thanks so much for joining us for #bloggerclubuk, hope you will be back again tomorrow! x

    Liked by 1 person

  8. tammymum says:

    Oh my goodness I remember seeing a teacher at the pub, did-not-know-where-to-look!m I’m pretty sure the teacher felt the same and was hiding in her coat! Hope you enjoyed the Easter break and the start of term wasn’t too painful xx #KCACOLS


  9. I am suddenly feeling a bit of guilt for the time we bumped into our daughter’s preschool teacher at the Drive In. I think Bug went over to talk to her every time we walked to the snack bar or bathroom! Next time we will go with a smile and a wave, and try to avoid Bug fan-girling over her teachers! #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I remember being so shocked when I realised that teachers had lives outside of school haha #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I was always horrified as a kid to see teachers out and about – the worst was when they said hello, so uncool! Lol. I used to get exactly the same reaction when I was working as a youth worker though. 🙂

    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday x

    Liked by 1 person

  12. thesingleswan says:

    ha, this is a lovely read. I’ve never really considered how awkward to see one of your students during your time off. I find it awkward enough seeing a work colleague when I am not at work. It must be so much more difficult seeing a student and having to face their shock and horror that you actually have a life. thanks for sharing. #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  13. rightroyalmother says:

    Hehe – I am a teacher and I have encountered all of the above, I think. I definitely hide in the aisles … and car park … and behind low walls! Thanks for this – it’s made me feel slightly less alone in my subterfuge! #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ah I bet you are a cool teacher! This made me laugh as I am fairly sure I was always the shocked one. My mum works in a school and will occasionally actively try to avoid children (sometimes their parents)! #coolmumclub

    Liked by 1 person

  15. You are a very glam teacher! My aunt is a retired teacher-head teacher and as we wander round the shops together I’m always astounded when people old enough to be my parents rock up to her and say hello Mrs-B. She remembers them all. Incidentally, she also taught me, and I was uber proud to say she was everyones favourite!
    Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Haha I love number 5! I would love to wield that power, and would possibly spend all of my holidays in supermarkets just seeking this kind of opportunity for mischief! 🙂 Very funny xx

    Liked by 1 person

  17. min1980 says:

    Yes, yes, yes. This has happened to me, multiple times, exactly as described. Not seen one on holiday yet though-perish the thought! My worst fear was when I was taking Piglet swimming to a pool with a large number of classes for older children at the same time. I was convinced I would bump into one of them, and I spent most of my time there half dressed and chasing an escaping toddler around the changing rooms. Luckily, I never saw any of them! #coolmumclub

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Haha, I can relate to this! I once got on a bus to realise that a group of my students were sat at the back. It was the most awkward bus journey of my life. I was with Oldest who was then a toddler then and we were singing the “wheels on the bus go round and round”. The stidents were completely stunned silent. I like to think that it was because they were in awe of my amazing nursery rhyme singing not because they were so shocked at their teacher’s dreadful singing 😉 #coolmumclub

    Liked by 1 person

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