Former teacher draws praise after explaining why teaching is the ‘highest stakes’ job on the planet

Dillon Thompson
·2-min read

A former high school teacher is going viral on TikTok after explaining how “high stakes” her job was.

Rachel Cohen, a current student at Harvard Law School, shared the video on Oct. 27. In the clip, she responds to a commenter who asked why she says teaching high school was “harder” than taking classes at one of the nation’s top-ranked law schools.

Her answer? Teaching requires a lot more responsibility.

“Harvard is difficult,” Cohen explains. “It’s intellectually challenging and stimulating, but it’s also the lowest stakes environment.”

“You did the hard thing, you got in,” she continues. “You will get a job. You’re going to be fine.”

Cohen then explains that, conversely, being a high school teacher is the “highest-stakes job on the planet.”

“Children’s lives are like, the realest thing on the planet,” she adds. “And so the stress that I was under as a high school teacher with other people’s lives literally dependent on mine is far higher [than at Harvard].”

The law student was quick to emphasize that, as a white woman and the child of two college-educated parents, she’s certainly in a privileged position. She made it clear that her perspective is only based on her own experience.

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However, TikTok users were quick to praise Cohen for her confession. Many commenters — including some current and former teachers — said they “loved” her thoughts on the job.

“As a current teacher, thank you for talking about it,” one user wrote. “People think I just play all day.”

“Preach! I always tell my friends teaching is the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” another added.

“Thank you for saying this!” another wrote.

Cohen's video on teaching originally stemmed from a video where she discussed why she wasn't afraid to pay more taxes once she started making more money as a lawyer. During that clip, she mentions that teaching was way "harder" than law school, despite the fact that she was paid less than $40,000 a year.

Coach defines New York style:

Check out In The Know’s article on TikTok’s “lawyer mom.”

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