Kids spend most of their day inside school, under the tutelage of a teacher. The class tends to develop a relationship with their teacher, but they always believe that their teacher is nothing more than just their teacher.
At the end of the day, kids go home. Do teachers go home? Of course not! Teachers are teachers. At the end of the day, teachers just get switched off and locked in a storage closet. Or they spend their summers sleeping in their vampire coffins until vacation is over, where they will rise up to suck the life out of their students
the next year.
With this thought in mind, it comes as a real shock when the kids meet their teacher at home, or in the grocery store, or even on a date. It's almost impossible to conceive that they have a life outside of school, unless they're taking a break in the Mysterious Teachers Lounge
, where who knows what amazing and secret things teachers are doing in there.
There is also some element of Contractual Purity
involved, as to quote the Teachers article, "one of the first things that Education programs drill into you is never to be seen doing things that your students aren't old enough to do (with the possible exception of driving a car), for fear that it may affect your credibility as an authority figure."
Compare Parents as People
, and Villains Out Shopping
for when antagonists are encountered on unexpected mundane excursions. If the students
are out of school, see Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now?
. If the teacher still acts like a teacher when school is out, the teacher is a Non-Giving-Up School Guy
This trope is about the myopic perspective of the teacher's students who don't realize their teacher has a life outside of school.
- My Teacher Lives at School is a children's book about kids trying to prove their teacher well, lives at school. Towards the end of the book the students are taken on a bus trip to the teacher's house and they learn teachers do in fact have lives.
- The Cosby Show episode "Mrs. Westlake". In a previous episode Theo Huxtable was assigned to the toughest math teacher at his school, Mrs. Westlake. In this episode Doctor Huxtable invites Mrs. Westlake and her husband to dinner, much to Theo's dread. However, outside the school environment she turns out to be quite charming.
- The children's sitcom Microsoap was about a family which was going through a divorce. It had an arc where the children's father dated the son's teacher. The kid and his classmates suspected she was an automaton.
- Cookie led an after-hours school tour in Neds Declassified School Survival Guide. The "scariest" part of his tour was the part where he showed what the teachers do after-hours: they have their own rap group!
- Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World lives next door to the main characters, but that hasn't stopped him from being their teacher in every grade level they progressed throughout the seasons. Living next door only meant he could teach them life lessons they otherwise wouldn't have learned at school.
- Grand Avenue. In the strip for September 17th, 2013, Gabbie expresses disbelief that her teacher had such a busy summer vacation. The teacher angrily asks her is she thinks that all teachers do is teach, that they live at school and all they do in their spare time is grade papers.
- Calvin and Hobbes: At one point Calvin's parents mention seeing his teacher Ms. Wormwood at the supermarket. Calvin remarks that he just kind of assumed that teachers slept in coffins all summer.
- In an early Zits strip, Jeremy and Hector see one of their teachers coming out of a Victoria's secret store. They immediately race off to post about it on the internet.
- An episode of Recess starts with Spinelli discovering not only that Ms. Finster goes out shopping like a normal person, but that she's a friend of her parents.
- Another episode was about the main six discovering that their homeroom teacher, Mrs. Grotke, had a secret double life.
- Recess: School's Out subverts this trope, because the characters are fully aware that their teachers get a summer vacation as well, and T.J. says he intends to T.P. the golf course that Principal Prickly regularly attends.
- Lloyd in Space featured a robot for a teacher named Mrs. Bolt. Her class thinks of her as just a machine that makes their lives miserable, until one episode where her husband chose to invite her class over for a party. Lloyd was surprised that Mrs. Bolt had a life outside teaching, and a husband.
- Averted in Teacher's Pet, where the teacher was the main character Leonard's mother, and title character Spot/Scott's owner. She regularly embarrassed him in class but there were occassions where he would exploit it.
- On Arthur when Mr. Ratburn's ceiling collapses and he temporarily moves in with the Read family, Arthur's little sister DW is confused.
DW: So, the school roof fell in?
Mr. Ratburn: No, the roof to my home.
DW: But you're a teacher - The school is your home.
Mr. Ratburn: Teachers don't live at school, D.W. We have houses just like you.
DW: The world seemed so simple before this moment.
- Occasionally inverted on The Magic School Bus. Just because Mrs. Frizzle's class isn't in school doesn't mean they can't still have a field trip. Luckily, Mrs. Frizzle doesn't mind being visited by her class after school hours.
- The Simpsons: Inverted for most of the time in the case of Principal Seymour Skinner. Even though he's a Green Beret and Vietnam War veteran, he's still probably the dullest person in whole of Springfield. When he's not in work he thinks of working, he lives with his mother, and he thinks a class trip to a box factory is exciting enough to do more than once. Even his more badass moments just depict him as a Non-Giving-Up School Guy. However, this trope gets Zig-Zagged in the season five episode, Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song: After Skinner loses his job, Bart gets to know him outside of work. Even though Skinner is as boring as ever, Bart still manages to befriend him.
- Hey Arnold! had the teachers go on strike. Because of the strike, the kids rejoiced that they could spend their days out of school, but found that the teachers all had found temporary jobs at all the places they liked to hang out. The kids return to school to avoid the teachers, but are evicted by Principal Wartz and tells them every day the strike goes on, they cut days from summer vacation. That's when Arnold vows to end the strike as soon as possible.