10 Things a Teacher Should Never Do
No matter how many years of experience you have under your belt, there are certain things that teachers should never do. Not only are the things on this list pushing the ethical envelope, they could also be damaging to your career.
1. Don’t Try to Relive Your Student Days
You’re the teacher, not the student. Be grateful those days are past you and you’re now on the other side of the desk. Walking the school halls may bring back some fond memories, but don’t try to rewrite history. Dressing like a student or trying to be “too cool for school” isn’t your job. Don’t try to be too friendly or get too close with your students on a personal level. Stay professional and make sure the students know who’s in charge.
2. Don’t Bad Mouth Another School Staff Member
No one is perfect, and neither are your coworkers. Cooperating with other teachers is challenging; working with difficult people is not something teacher training programs prepare you for. So what should you do when you need to vent at work? Write your thoughts in a journal, send an email to a close (non-work) friend, and just breathe. Complaining to another teacher about your principal or fellow teacher will not do you any good in the long run. The school rumor mill is faster and less accurate than a child’s telephone game. Your words will get twisted, and then next thing you know, you’re the talk of the school – and not in a good way.
3. Don’t Let Loose in a Community Locale
Life doesn’t have to stop just because you’ve become a teacher, but if you want to continue being a teacher, it will have to change. Just be care ful with the 4 Ds. (Dating, Drinking, Dressing, Discussing).
4. Don’t Search for a Job While at Work
I’ve heard too many stories of people who think they’ll never get caught searching for jobs..until they do. Finding a new job could mean a lot to your career, so don’t burn bridges at your current place of employment. You’ll need letters of recommendations, so make sure your school has no reason to suspect you of foul play. One more word of caution: if you are applying for new jobs and you haven’t told your current employer, tread lightly. The principal network is a powerful force that could make or break your chances in another local school.
5. Don’t Be Crass in Class, Especially at a the Expense of a Student
A teacher’s words are powerful, so use them wisely. Students take cues from teachers on how to dialogue and speak, so use language that is appropriate and not too “hip.” Cursing is an absolutely no-no, so make sure you practice taking the bad language out of your vocabulary before you get to school. You’d be surprised how many teachers have slipped up and said a word they definitely shouldn’t have in class. You may be even more surprised what students hear even though you know you’re saying something completely appropriate.
6. Don’t Post Questionable Items on Social Networking Sites
If you wouldn’t post it on the board of your classroom, don’t post it on the internet.
7. Don’t Claim to Have All the Answers
Teachers are not expected to be walking dictionaries or encyclopedias. When your students ask you a question that you really don’t know the answer to, fess up. Not only does it show that you aren’t perfect, you can also use the moment to teach them how to find the information themselves.
8. Don’t Fail to Follow-Through
The pressure of being a teacher can be heavy, but great teachers complete what they say they’ll do. Whether it’s heading up a project for the principal, calling a parent back, or staying after school to help tutor, it’s important that you follow though. Teachers have the opportunity to be trusted by the people they contact in the school setting. With that connecting comes the power to be someone who can be relied upon.
9. Don’t Give Up
Teaching is challenging work. Giving up is the easy way out. No matter what time of the school year, your students deserve your best. Learn from your failures. Learn from your successes. Every student is worth the trouble. Every student has the potential to succeed. Every teacher has the knowledge to know the difference between working hard and hardly working. Every teacher has the power to create experiences that shape the future of a student positively.
10.Don’t Stop Learning
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been teaching for 1 year or 25 years, there are countless new ideas for teaching, strategies for behavior, and ways of incorporating technology. You don’t have to learn something new about teaching or even the subject you teach, but you can learn how to knit, how to ride a motorcycle, or even how to play the piano. Keep your brain fresh and your mind young and engaged in learning.
(Indebted to various sources)