10 Times Leslie Knope Understood #TeacherProblems

Sometimes my classroom feels more like the dysfunctional Pawnee Parks & Rec department. I’m Leslie Knope, equipped with fierce enthusiasm, a stack of binders, and lots of waffles, but I’m facing a classroom full of anti-work Ron Swansons, too-cool-for-school Tommy Haverfords, angsty April Ludgates, immature Andy Dwyers, and poor Jerry (Gerry?) Gergiches. But, despite all odds, and the fact that half of my students are probably Sparknoting the book instead of actually reading it, I beat on, a boat against the current. #TheStruggle

Because it’s (almost!) the end of the year, and I’m too tired to write a more meaningful post, here are 10 times when fellow circus ringleader, goal-digger, and caring control freak Leslie Knope understood #teacherproblems.

  1. When you are sick but the task of writing sub plans would be worse than death, so you resolve to just suffer through school and evoke some pity and cooperation from your students.everythingg
  2. Thank you SO much for caring so loudly for me, but I’m going to have write you up for that extreme display of affection. CaringLOUDLY
  3. If you answered honestly to your colleagues’ innocuous question of “Hey, how are you?” when you pass them in the halls on “one of those days.”nervousbreakdown
  4. When you go “from 0-100 real quick” and the students have the audacity to tell you to “chill” because you’re being a “savage.” Okay. SUPERCHILL
  5. “Can you grade the essay I turned in 3 weeks late?”yesbutidontwantto
  6. When all you can do is step back, observe the chaos, and meditate the following: This is real life. I am a teacher, and therefore, I work in an alternate universe, one that my 9-5 friends will never, ever, understand. Nope. Can’t fly away. This is real life.nopereallife
  7. Because this is precisely what society expects teachers to do, right?!
  8. My disclaimer to students at the beginning of the year: SORRY NOT SORRY FOR CARING. It’s my thing. Let me do my thing, and please don’t kill my vibe.toopassionate
  9. The beginning of the school year vs. the end of the school year:
  10. Two words: SUMMER BREAK!DANCE


  1. Divya
    May 24, 2018 / 5:16 am

    This is hilarious and relevant at the same time

  2. Shane
    January 30, 2019 / 8:56 pm

    Spot on.

  3. Ginger
    July 27, 2020 / 10:52 am

    Okay, I am printing all these out to have on hand in my classroom at any given time!!!

    P.S. My husband and I are new to Parks and Rec and are watching it through for the third time!!!

    • writeonwithmissg
      August 24, 2020 / 1:01 pm

      Haha that’s amazing!!

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