So, the other day, I received another funny email with what is said to be Jeff Foxworthy’s “YOU MIGHT BE A SCHOOL TEACHER IF…” snippets. I have always enjoyed reading them, and this particular day, the words motivated me to go cyber surfing for something funny about ONLINE teachers. What did I find? Nothing! Can you believe that??!! Well, I said to myself, “harrumph,” and then I decided to “borrow” from Jeff Foxworthy and come up with my own eloquent snippets. I tried to locate an email address for Jeff Foxworthy, so I could ask permission to use his snippets; I really do want to be a good Internet citizen…would that make me a good “Netizen?” <Really hoping so.>Netizen At any rate, I give Jeff Foxworthy credit for his thoughts and thank him for sparking a nugget of witticism in my own brain files. At least, I hope a couple of them will bring forth a smile, especially if you’re an online teacher. I will start by posting Foxworthy’s thoughts beside my own. Then, below the comparison, you will find a few more snippets of my own creation, and a few that are adapted from tidbits I’ve gathered around the Web. My sincere apologies if you recognize any of these; I will be happy to apply credit where credit is due. All you have to do is let me know. I mean no harm; I just like to make people smile and share the love. Oh, and if you have another snippet to add, feel free to comment!



Jeff Foxworthy Viki Gardner (me)
1. You can hear 25 voices behind you and know exactly which one belongs to the child out of line. 1. You can hear an email beep when you are in the other side of the house.
2. You get a secret thrill out of laminating something. 2. You get a secret thrill out of being invisible on Skype.
3. You walk into a store and hear the words “It’s Ms/Mr.> _________” and know you have been spotted. 3. You log into your classroom and hear the beep on Skype and know you have been spotted.
4. You have 25 people that accidentally call you Mom/Dad at one time or another. 4. You have 25 people that accidentally forget to take you off their mailing lists.
5. You can eat a multi-course meal in under twenty minutes. 5. You can take all the time you want to eat a multi-course meal, so long as it can sit next to your computer.
6. You’ve trained yourself to go to the bathroom at two distinct times of the day: lunch and planning period. 6. You wait until you can stand it no more, and then you broadcast on Skype, “brb” and run to the bathroom.
7. You start saving other people’s trash, because most likely, you can use that toilet paper tube or plastic butter tub for something in the classroom. 7. You either donate or throw out all your trash, because you can’t use it in the online classroom.
8. You believe the teachers’ lounge should be equipped with a margarita machine. 8. You believe you should set up your desktop in the wet bar.
9. You want to slap the next person who says “Must be nice to work 8 to 3 and have summers off.” 9. You want to slap the next person who says “Must be nice to work 8 to 3 and have summers off.”
10. You believe chocolate is a food group. 10. You believe caffeine in any form is a food group.
11. You can tell if it’s a full moon without ever looking outside. 11. You can’t tell if it’s a full moon without looking outside.
12. You believe that unspeakable evils will befall you if anyone says “Boy, the kids sure are mellow today.” 12. You believe that unspeakable evils will befall you if anyone finds out who you really are.
13. You feel the urge to talk to strange children and correct their behavior when you are out in public. 13. You feel the urge to grab strangers’ Blackberries and iPods and run with them.
14. You believe in aerial spraying of Ritalin. 14. You believe in aerial spraying of No Doz.
15. You think caffeine should be available in intravenous form. 15. You think caffeine should be available in intravenous form.
16. You spend more money on school stuff than you do on your own needs. 16. You spend more money on Web 2.0 applications than you do on your own needs.
17. You can’t pass the school supply aisle without getting at least five items! 17. You can’t read an educational site without clicking on at least five hyperlinks!
18. You ask your friend if the left hand turn he just made was a “good choice or a bad choice.” 18. You ask your friend if his school is “accredited or non-accredited.”
19. You find true beauty in a can full of perfectly sharpened pencils. 19. You find true beauty in a classroom where all the hyperlinks work.
20. You are secretly addicted to hand sanitizer and 20. You are secretly addicted to Diet Mountain Dew and
finally, finally,
21. You understand instantaneously why a child behaves a certain way after meeting his or her parents. 21. You understand instantaneously why a child responds in a certain way after reading the first email from his or her parents.


You panic at the sound of thunder because you know you have to turn off the computer.u28555339

You wander aimlessly through the house during a thunderstorm.

“Sheesh…how did it get so late?” comes out of your mouth at least once a night.

The verbs, “cooking and cleaning” are not in your vocabulary.

You know the meanings of the terms, “digital dinosaur,” “digital immigrant” and “digital native.”

You think that looking out the window is a form of entertainment.

You get flushed and excited when you hear the beep that signals, “You’ve got mail.”

You live in your PJs and fuzzy slippers.

You don’t know if it’s hot or cold, rainy or sunny outside.

Your teaching day starts at 1:00 pm.

“Turning in early” means anytime before 2 am.

You watch television via YouTube, Sidereel or Hulu.

You think of doing the laundry as a social event.

You understand Internet verbs, such as “Facebooking,” “Myspacing,” “Youtubing” and “Twittering” (aka “tweeting”).

You believe that cereal is a meal any time of the day.

You identify schools by their Internet domains.

You have difficulty reading anything that doesn’t have hyperlinks.

The concept of free time scares you.

You use smileys to communicate approval of your colleagues’ ideas. Smiley%20Face_ThumbsUp

You go by your SKYPE screen name.

You have so many usernames and passwords, you don’t have a clue who you really are.

You believe that your colleagues actually look like their avatars.

You buy Visine in bulk.

Your best student demonstrates her intense passion for a discussion by typing IN ALL CAPS.

Your back is hunched from sitting slumped in a chair, not from carrying heavy tote bags.

You realize your students have forgotten the difference between “surfing” and “researching.”

Faculty meetings are held in a chat room on a Friday night.

You take your laptop on vacation and actually work.

You don’t remember your last “weekend off.”

You can email and cook at the same time.

You find yourself citing websites in conversation.

You have ever attempted to track your own progress across the Internet.

You are startled to meet people who neither need nor want to “Twitter.”Twitter_Bird_Logo_by_iPotion.png

You rate coffee shops by the availability of outlets for your laptop.

You tell the time of day by looking on your taskbar.

You regard ibuprofen as a vitamin.

You consider online job applications to be works in progress.

You have your resume in several different “databases” at all times.

You have given up trying to keep your documents and files organized and are now just trying to keep them all in the same general area.

You have accepted guilt as an inherent feature of relaxation.

You live 500 miles away from your school and you commute to class in warm, fuzzy slippers or flip-flops, depending on the season.

fuzzy slippersFLIP-FLOPS

Remember, if you have another snippet to add, feel free to comment!

Until next time,

Laugh a little; learn a lot; live long!




  1. I had not seen the addition of “you know you’re an online teacher if….”.
    At one point, I was participating in a meme which focused on people who had spent too much time doing marketing online. It was hysterical. We all seemed to have compulsive “check the stats” and “build more links” syndromes.

  2. I am an online teacher in PA and have shared this with a number of other online teachers as well and they love this! I could not agree more with the comment of “must be nice to work 8-3 and have summers off”!! 🙂

  3. Viki…I have never seen this and I love it. I fit almost every item that is mentioned. I am an online teacher in Pennsylvania and am going to share this with my team. I wonder how many of the teachers on my team also can relate to this? I am sure most of them can relate. Recently I looked at my desktop and thought about how it needs to be organized and then I saw it on your list. “You have given up trying to keep your documents and files organized and are now just trying to keep them all in the same general area”. I seem to save everything to my desktop so I can find it. I guess I fit the online Teacher profile perfectly.

  4. I love your list for online teachers! I also teach online. I was laughing out loud as I was reading your post. It seems like you know me personally – espcially the pajamas and fuzzy slippers part! Thanks for the laugh.

    P.S. – I have a rolodex to keep track of all my usernames and passwords. 🙂

  5. Kudos! I was lol-ing, really! I especially enjoyed the one about hearing the Skype alert. I can be in another room and hear it and go running to my computer. The best is when I am using some form of audio and the Skype alert sounds above all the other sounds. Oh and my passwords and usernames are stored on my desktop! Thanks for the laughs!

  6. I am a teacher for a K-12 cyber school in PA. I have been reading through your posts all morning, and first I must say that they are wonderful! Your twist on Foxworthy’s “if” list is perfect. As I read through the list of “You might be an online teacher if…” I couldn’t help but laugh out loud just about the entire time! My school just opened a new satellite office in the Pittsburgh area, which is where I now work. For eight years I had been working from my home as an online teacher. It is so nice to have an office and actually see and interact with colleagues on a day to day basis. As I was reading and laughing out loud, I immediately gained the interest of my colleagues in the office. Without mentioning anything, I sent to them your “if” list. It was hysterical to tell when they had finally opened it because you were able to hear random bursts of “HAs” and “UH HUHs” and “HEHEHEHs” in the office. My colleagues and I in the office then started to discuss our favorites from your list that are so “spot on”. We all give a round of applause on this blog and personally, I would like to put it in color, print and frame for my desk, with your permission of course. I’m hoping to post again later today with some snippets to add (compliments of our office crew). Again, we applaud you! Way to go!

  7. Viki, it has been fun reading the responses to your initial observations about online teachers. I teach online through PA Cyber and your observations are on target. I have created a few more from my own experiences to add to your list.

    You know you are an online instructor when:

    1. You pray every time a family member comes into your office that they are fully dressed (webcam in use) and using proper language.

    2. Your children refer to the glass bubble surrounding you while teaching.

    3. You can teach children with the flu and never think twice about who will clean it up.

    4. You walk your dog in the backyard with headset on, leash in left hand and computer in right.

    5. You have the laundry done by the time your teaching day is over.

    6. You excuse yourself from the restaurant to go teach a class while sitting in the car.

    7. Your semester evaluation is done poolside in Florida while your supervisor is freezing in Pennsylvania.

    8. The children in your class ask about the noise in your background as the Disney helicopters fly overhead.

    9. You watch your child participate in a swim meet while preparing to teach your last class of the day.

    10. You give thanks every day for the opportunity to work from home and still do what you love!

  8. I LOVED redaing this! What a great laugh for all of us online teachers! It’s about time we came up with new school teacher jokes for virtual teachers! Loved it!

  9. Viki,

    Great blog!! I am new to the online teaching environment and arrived there completely by chance, but have found my job to be much more exciting and rewarding than my previous ‘brick-and-mortar’ job. I do not actually have a ‘teaching’ position per say, I am more of an academic advisor to my students. What I love about this job is the communication that I have with my families. In the traditional setting, there was constant communication with my students, but not so much with the parents. Now, I am in communication with both my students and their parents on a regular basis. I would love to branch into the online teaching aspect that my job offers, and that will come. I have to say from what I know and see through my job, you are dead on with the ‘You might be an online teacher ifs…’
    Thank you for this blog. I look forward to reading more!

  10. Hi Viki,
    I am new to blogging and I have enjoyed reading your blogs. They are definitely worth reading! I work at a cyber school in Pennsylvania. I am not a teacher currently at the cyber school where I work, but I am online with students every day. Your Jeff Foxworthy…You might be an online teacher if…is wonderful, funny and very true! I enjoyed the humor! After teaching in a brick and mortar setting for several years, it is interesting to experience education via the cyber world. I have learned so much and realize what a need there is for this way of learning. We have several thousand students and out of those we have so many with medical issues. Without online schooling those students would not be able to receive a quality education. We also have so many students that were bullied and picked on at their brick and mortar school. Those students now have the opprotunity to receive an education without having to worry about dealing with these issues daily. It is a wonderful feeling to know that we are able to provide these children with an education in the privacy of their own home! I look forward to reading more of your fabulous blogs! Keep up the great work!

  11. Viki,
    I loved this posting, it was so perfect!! I am a Early Kindergarten teacher for PA Cyber for our Little Lincoln curriculum and our PA Cyber ++ Program which is a supplemental program for our children, which means I am both an online teacher and a “live” teacher. As I read through these statements from both sides and they are right on with the online teacher ifs, and I can also see some of the teacher ifs since my students come to the center for hands-on supplemental activites to help enhance our online curriculum. These were very funny and I enjoyed reading your blog! I am going to share this with my fellow co-workers!!

  12. Vikig,
    I identified myself in so many of your snippets!

    I became an online tutor in order to supplement my income while working in a nonprofit organization. I would leave my 8-5 job and come home and start tutoring at 5:30. (I lived two miles from my job.) I would run into the house, boot the computer up, take the dog outside, and then change into my jammies in order to tutor!

    I now work full time at a cyber school. I get lost on the Internet when reading an educational site and clicking all the hyper links. I check the time by looking at my taskbar only to discover that I should have gone to bed hours ago!

    I just had five days off for spring break but still check my email daily even though I vow I am taking time off for myself. I spent the last five day trying to catch up on the “cooking and cleaning” since they are not part of my vocabulary during the last few weeks.

    Oh…it is so scary to see myself. Thank you for laughs as I return to class tomorrow!

  13. Great post! I recently just started teaching online and I can relate to many of these items, especially saying “how did it get so late?” at least once a night. Thanks for making a new online teacher laugh!

  14. Hi Viki,

    I loved this post! I have been an online virtual teacher for 6 years now and can definitely relate to so many of these. It is awesome to be able to teach wearing my most comfortable clothing and not having to worry about applying make up. My husband thinks it’s great that we don’t have to spend money on dress clothes, make up, or gas for me to go to work.

    Thanks for the laugh! 🙂

  15. Viki- I am an online teacher in Pennsylvania like many of the other bloggers here. I really enjoyed your posts. They were great and many of them described me. I do have one to add thought, “you may be an online teacher if your grab your computer and leave your suitcase full of clothes when the hotel fire alarms go off.” This happened twice. The heck with the clothes and medications, I had my computer and power cord. All was well with the world.

  16. Hi Viki,

    I so do appreciate your humor on on-line education. I work at the Pennsylvania Cyber School but I am not a teacher yet. I look forward to the challenge and hope by the time I reach that goal that I will be a blogging maniac….LOL. In the midst of frustration in learning all the in’s and out’s of blogging, thanks for giving me something to smile about! Keep up the good work….:)

  17. Hi Viki, I am an employee at a cyber school in Pennsylvania and I really enjoyed reading your blog. It was fun for me to relate your “snippets” to my friends, whom I work with, who do teach virtual classrooms. I am relatively knew to blogging and I enjoyed the humor that was incorporated into your blog. It gave me something to laugh about, and look forward too, as I continue to work through my schooling to eventually getting my teaching certification.

    Thanks again for the laughs, I look forward to reading more of your blogs!

  18. Hi Viki, I am also an online teacher at The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School. I really enjyed reading your blog, I found myself laughing out loud at how true they are to being an online teacher. This is my first blogging experience, thank you for making it so entertaining that I look forward to reading more of your posts along with other blogs.

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