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10 Things a Teacher Should Never Do

 10 Things  a Teacher Should Never Do

"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."

Jill Hare, Editor |

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. I’m sure Teaching readers could help make this list longer, but I’ve narrowed it to ten things I feel are important.

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. As a teacher, you now have the chance to see the bigger picture. You hear the gossip, you see how cliques and bullying will impact students. Use your teaching position as an opportunity to create an environment that can help prevent the heartache and embarrassment you and your friends experienced in school.

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. As my mother used to say, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all!”

So what should you do if you have a real problem with a staff member at school? Collect your thoughts and talk with the teacher directly. If you need to, ask another teacher or administrator to be present. Most likely, when everything is out on the table, you’ll be able to get past the issue and move forward.

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