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Unwritten Rules Every Teacher Should Know

Unwritten Rules Every Teacher Should Know

While knowledge, understanding, and acceptance of these hidden rules can empower new teachers, ignorance and misunderstandings can make unfamiliar professional duties even more difficult.

Julia G. Thompson | Teaching.monster.com

Just as published rules are the values, attitudes, and expected behaviors that influence our actions, hidden rules also play a significant role in our professional lives. To the uninitiated, they are the unspoken expectations that can erode confidence when naïve teachers misread situations and are blindsided by their own ignorance.

An example of a hidden rule is a directive that appears in many faculty handbooks: “No food should leave the cafeteria. Students should not be permitted to eat or drink in classrooms.” While this directive may be stated in unarguable terms, it is frequently ignored by many teachers who allow water bottles or snacks in class.

Another hidden rule involves student dress codes. Even though a dress code may be published in various places for staff members, students, and their parents or guardians to read, actual enforcement varies from teacher to teacher. Some teachers follow the letter of the dress code, others follow the spirit, and still others don’t appear to notice student attire at all.

While knowledge, understanding, and acceptance of these hidden rules can empower new teachers, ignorance and misunderstandings can make unfamiliar professional duties even more difficult.

Currently, many teachers rely on these methods to learn about the hidden rules in their schools:

• Direct experience, both positive and negative
• Gossip and informal conversations with other teachers
• Mentors who can find time to help with this issue

The following helpful tips in each category below can insure teachers make good choices while remaining professional and increasing job security.


10 Reasons New Teachers May Find Difficulties with Hidden School Rules
Recertification and Professional Development
Exceptional Students
General Instructional Concerns
Professional Dress
Relationships with Students
Noise Levels
Technology and Media Concerns
Relationships with Local Community Members
Pacing Instruction
Class Time Management
Grading Practices
Appropriate Classroom Rules
Holidays and Other Challenging Times of the Year
General School Culture
Open House/Back to School Night
Community Culture
Questions and Class Discussions
Parent Contacts
Emergencies
Photocopying
Discipline Referrals
Relationships with Colleagues
Recordkeeping and Paperwork
Setting Up a Classroom
Attendance at School Events
Relationships with Supervisors
Relationships with the Families of Students
Professional Correspondence


Browse all categories by clicking through each page using the page numbers below.


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