(Fun fact – I found this picture on Wikimedia Commons of student teachers at the Toronto Normal School circa 1898. Cool right?)
There are certain rookie teacher mistakes that we’ve all made. Some I’ve made twice and, to be honest, some I still continue to make. But in the hopes of sparing some new teachers the trouble, I’ll share my top ten regrets:
- Allowing the “Suggested Videos” in YouTube to pop up with the projector on. Sometimes the suggested video is for Russian lesbian porn – ask me how I know. (Or ask my colleagues who knew but forgot to tell me. Yeah.)
- Entering your classroom during lunch. DON’T DO IT unless you’re in the mood to solve four problems and deal with a Chernobyl yogurt disaster instead of nourishing yourself.
- Promising students that they can present first/ use the computer at lunch/ have the soccer ball at recess. Your future self will inevitably forget this promise and will be accosted by belligerent children who don’t remember what month it is but will NEVER forget that promise.
- Letting the students get up before you’ve completely finished saying everything that is pertinent to whatever they’re getting up for. Once they’re up, forget it. Your time is done. Your existence is inconsequential. You might as well get your keys and go.
- Going in to work sick and hoping the students will “be kind” to you. HA. Hahaha.
- Doing a read aloud you haven’t pre-read yet. It will involve breasts. I promise.
- Winging a math lesson on a topic you’ve never taught – especially if it involves a number line.
- Having students peer correct a quiz. You’ll have to respond to endless “But what if…” scenarios that vary only slightly from each other (or are sometimes even flat out identical). By the end you’ll have essentially marked all of the quizzes yourself but with the added challenge of twenty-five children who are panicking about their what if scenarios. It will be way more work than just marking the GD things yourself and it’s also a sure recipe for an eye twitch.
- Allowing students to “help themselves”. Doesn’t matter what they’re helping themselves to – it’s Black Friday.
- Going to work hungover, even just a little. NOT. EVEN. ONCE.