“Can I please go to the bathroom?
“I don’t know, can you??”
*Insert eye roll*
The title of this post either made you:
- Flashback to the classroom of a teacher that made your life hell
– OR –
2. Think about some of your own personal pet peeves
After 13.5 years of schooling, I’ve come across a handful of significantly influential adults in my educational career that have inspired me to become a high school English teacher.
I love everything about school –
I love the relationships you create with the different people in numerous classes you thought you would dread.
I love the feeling when you get back a paper or assignment you know you put your best effort and see that all the late night hours paid off.
I could go on and on, but the fact of the matter is that I wouldn’t be studying at the university of my dreams if it weren’t for the amazing teachers I had. However, I’ve come to realize through the education courses I’m taking that some students are truly mortified at the mention of their old high school, or the idea of even stepping foot in a classroom again after college.
As an assignment, my professor had us write down things we, as future teachers, would vow never to do in our classrooms.
Luckily for me, I’ve known from the moment I got my first chalkboard as an innocent 5 year old that I wanted to be a teacher. Flashback to younger me- I decided that I would keep a journal of times I thought my teacher was being unfair to a student, rude, made someone uncomfortable, or did something that just needed further explanation -all of which made this long assignment fly by for me.
Here are some of the notes I jotted down in the chicken scratch I used to call handwriting:
- Don’t say “the bell doesn’t dismiss you, I do”
- Don’t call on a student if their hand isn’t raised; it only puts them on the spot
- Don’t let students choose their own groups; someone is always left out
- Don’t prohibit food in the classroom
- Don’t forget they have other classes; yours is a priority to you
- Don’t make students ask to go to the bathroom; they’re young adults
- Don’t discourage creative ideas
- Don’t blatantly tell someone they are wrong
- Don’t say “How was everyone’s break?” after holiday; no one is happy to be back
- Don’t assign homework over holiday breaks
- Don’t forget to provide visual aids
- Don’t make a joke out of any of the students
- Don’t speak in a monotone voice
- Don’t forget to give opportunities for extra credit; not too easy though
- Don’t be that strict, unapproachable teacher
- Don’t let 0.01% be the different between a B+ or A-
- Don’t forget each student has a life outside of your room; ask how their days are going and get to know what each student is passionate about
So, why share this list?
If there’s one thing I took away from this past fall semester, it’s that teaching methods and educational concepts can be heavily applied to more than just a teacher-student relationships in the classroom.
You wouldn’t shut down someone’s opinion in everyday conversation, ask a colleague if they’re happy to be back at work while they’re still recovering from a NYE hangover, give a presentation without some sort of visual to follow, tell someone to starve when they’ve been working for hours, put someone on the spot to be made a fool, or tell them to think a certain way just because you do.
I’ve never been more sure of my career choice, and while I still have a while to go, some professors are greatly contributing to the list with their terrible methods. On the other hand, some are making every cent put towards tuition absolutely worth it.
If you have any other pet peeves or bad experiences with teachers, I’d appreciate the feedback so I can add to the list. In a couple of years, this will definitely be a useful post to my success as a (hopefully) inspirational figure.