Many of us know that there are many “hidden rules” in life. Do not peek at someone’s phone screen while texting. Face the front while standing in the elevator. Don’t crowd the person in front of you in line at the grocery store. We have never been taught these rules in school, but we have all learned them the same way through life experiences.
Teaching is no exception. Many new teachers have come out of school who know a lot about the latest educational trends, but they still have a lot to learn about the unwritten rules of teaching. Fortunately, we asked the teachers to share their favorite unwritten rules with us, and as always, they came as champs.
Unwritten Teaching Rule # 1: Be kind
- Sometimes you have to feed a baby’s stomach before you stimulate their mind. – Jeff W.
- Get along well with the custodian, cafeteria staff and secretaries. They run the school in the true sense. – Sarah H.
- Do not scold another teacher or child in front of your students. – LE.
- Treat each student as if they were your favorite. Even those who drive you nuts! Ultimately, you will convince students and yourself that you always love them. – Linda S.
- When things are not going according to plan, you need to rewind and try another method! – Tina H.
- Adolescents: Treat them like adults; They expect to behave like children. – Who is Celest?
- Don’t cook fish in the teachers’ lounge and don’t burn popcorn! – Shannon H.
- Think of them as yours and think about how you want to treat your loved ones, and you will serve your students better even if it is difficult. – Who is Tania?
- You will have a student who will be in your last nerve and will never be absent. Love them anyway. – Ginger J.
Relationships come first, learning comes second. – Andre E.
Unwritten Rule of Teaching # 2: Be flexible
- Whenever you think you have seen and heard it all, a new day will prove you wrong! – Nicole T.
- Don’t be afraid to admit you made a mistake to your students. It shows them that “failure” is part of learning. Then, try again — together. – Darla W.
- Are the students too loud? When you whisper, they really calm down. – At Susanna.
- You can tell your kids the most free statement “from now on.” You can change your class culture whenever you need. – Karen M.
- Choose your battle. Discipline is not required for every confusion. – Kim D.
- Stay calm and pretend it was in the lesson plan. – Janen T.
- Allow students to have a bad day and try again tomorrow. – Nicole M.
- Try to show your students extracurricular events. They notice. – Lisa V.
- If one of the teachers on your team is not pulling their weight, doing drama, or doing something you don’t like, talk to them personally before going to your department head or supervisor. You don’t know what might happen to the person, and you should be given a chance to explain and change before they get into trouble. -Megan D.
- Always have a plan, but always be prepared to move, change or throw that plan out of the window at a moment’s notice. – Mary C.
# 3 Unwritten Rules of Teaching: Pay Attention
- Form your own opinion for each student. Don’t let gossip in the teachers lounge influence your opinion! – Jamie L.
- Do not break the copy machine! And if you do, don’t walk away without trying to fix it or letting someone know it’s broken. – Sarah H.
- If a student’s behavior, appearance, or school performance suddenly changes, make sure you have your guidance counselor or school nurse check in with them. – Evan S.
- There are no specific spots in the teachers’ parking lot, but there are definitely spots that other teachers have already claimed! -Lia B.
- Reflect what is working and what needs to be improved. We are lifelong students! -Britani A.
- Learn the beauty of saying “thank you for telling me” to a kid. Not everything they come to you for your intervention needs – they just want to hear. – Adria R.
- Be honest. Kids can understand lies. – It’s snowing.
- Preview All Before showing each video! – Christine P.
- Never turn a student back into a corner. Always give them a way out of a bad situation that allows them to save face. – Patricia M.
- Do not tie children’s shoes after returning from the bathroom! – Cathy W.
# 4 Unwritten rules of teaching: Set boundaries
- Teachers lounge is only as positive as you find it. Be honest with each other when it’s being thought of as a tornado of negativity. – Angela K.
- When a high school girl goes to the restroom crying and her best friend tells her to go see her, let her go. But give him only five minutes. Otherwise, they will leave for the rest of the time. Everyone else in the class will be very confused about what is happening to learn a lot, and in five minutes both girls will be back and you will be able to continue the lesson. – Joan F.
- Never take your personal problems to the classroom. – Tammy M.
- Be consistent with the expectations that are most important to you. – Maura C.
- Never take work home. Stay after school, schedule holidays, then stop and go home empty handed when that time comes. – Sarah L.
- Do not miss the opportunity to use the bathroom! – Bethany C.
- Another day tomorrow. Leave yesterday’s drama there and start anew. – Alyssa N.
- You will be asked to buy candy, cookies, wrapping paper, raffle tickets and other fundraising options. Let the students know that your policy is to buy only from the first student. – I’ll give it to you.
- Don’t ask a question at the end of a meeting, especially if you can email it. – Christian A.
- Remember that no matter how amazing you are as a teacher, you can always be replaced in school. Your family should come first. – Jason M.
# 5 Unwritten rules of education: Have fun
- Smile on the first day and every day thereafter. – Michael G.
- Be stupid, be human and be sympathetic. – Ben R.
- Find something unique about each child and talk to them about it. – Sher D.
- Never miss a chance to have a real laugh with your students. – Mickey M.
- When students are not listening, I will type instructions so that they appear on the board. As soon as the students see, “Sshh, don’t tell anyone but all you have to do is …” The whole class is silent and paying attention again. – Katrina G.
- The feeling of humor is a great motivation. -Bill S.
- Wet paper towels and band-aids are magic. They can cure almost any student’s “illness”. – Lorry T.
- Start fresh every day! Especially with kids who were lazy the day before. – Melissa M.
- Remind each class that they are your favorite class and that teaching them is the best part of your day. – Rebecca L.
- Here Always Time for game-based learning and social-sensitive learning. – Janet G.