I quit my job. So now I can tell you what I really learned about teaching.

Today was my last day teaching after three years in the classroom (to pursue teaching in a different context). Here. This is what I’ve learned.

  1. Pick favorites. Every kid in their life needs the chance to be special to someone.
  2. It is actually really, really hard to discipline a kid you love, but you’ve got to do it. 
  3. You will have least favorites. You will try really hard to like certain kids, but you won’t be able to, and you’ll fight feeling guilty about it for a long time. It’s okay. You won’t bond with everyone.
  4. Every child should not get a clean slate every morning to start over. At times, yes, but not every day. Infractions carry over. They do in life, so they need to in the classroom.
  5. If you can give a child a reason, then give a reason. Your default answer for everything shouldn’t be “because I said so.”  Kids would be a lot less angry at the world if adults explained to them that the things they think are stupid actually have logical reasons behind them.
  6. Hounding a kid and advice-shoving (not advice-giving) have negative effects. Mix advice with space.
  7. Parents will actually screw you over more than their kids.
  8. Your kids won’t ever love that book or that poem or that speech as much as you do. Don’t let that take away from how much you love it.
  9. Don’t annoy your kids by “force bonding” with them. i.e. No child wants their teacher to eat lunch with them.
  10. Tell your kids when they do something stupid.  When your child sticks a fork in a light socket is the time to tell them what they did was retarded. Better to be a retard now than when you’re 40.
  11. Before you say no, listen
  12. Don’t give the “teacher answer.”  Give the right answer.




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