This is from a native speaker teacher who tells about classroom management, basically how to behave towards students and teach. She says:

They know you actually care about them. it's funny you really will be fine because students know who really cares and who's just two years from retirement and drawing a check or whatever you can't fool students.

The expression "draw a check" sounds interesting. I looked it up but it did not make sense, because it is usually about writing cheques, so I can't be sure about its meaning, as the teacher won't be writing a check at the time of retirement.

So, I wonder if it means the teacher will be given a cheque by the employer at the time of retirement to convert it to a lump sum money at the time of retirement?

1 Answer 1


Drawing a check does not mean writing a check, it means receiving or depositing one.


7 d. to receive regularly or in due course: draw a salary

What the speaker is saying is that the teacher who is two years from retirement is only there to receive checks (and no longer actually cares about the students).

  • 2
    'Drawing a check' is an exclusively American English expression, and 'check' is the American spelling of 'cheque' (British). Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 18:36
  • Yes, draw a check is receive a check on a regular basis (present simple).
    – Lambie
    Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 18:42
  • Note also that in the UK cheques are virtually obsolete. They are still used on occasion, but you can't 'spend' them like in the past. No retailer will accept payment by cheque. Most stores stopped taking them in about 2007/8 or so. I was last paid [salary] by cheque in the mid 90s. Commented Jan 17, 2023 at 8:09
  • @Tetsujin They're becoming very uncommon in the US too. When the speaker talks about a teacher "drawing a check", it's almost certainly metaphorical; about 96% of Americans are paid by direct deposit now. I know Europeans think that it's all stone knives and bearskins on this side of the pond, but it's not all like that. :-)
    – stangdon
    Commented Jan 17, 2023 at 12:17
  • 1
    @Tetsujin I asked my grocery-owning friend, "Do people still try to pay with checks, and do you accept them?" and he said someone tries to pay with a check about once a year. They do not accept checks, because they're just not set up to do it, and the person usually gets sniffy about it (not surprising; anybody still trying to buy groceries with a check here is definitely out in left field to begin with). Cash is still widely accepted, but not on mass transit systems. NYC buses and subways still accept their own swipe card but are trying hard to get everybody to move over to an NFC system.
    – stangdon
    Commented Jan 20, 2023 at 16:57

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