Teachers love their students, even though they drive us crazy. There are many helpful hints that we would love to give them if only we could. Students face more mental trauma than ever, and yet we are relegated to spend all of our time saying, “1, 2, 3 Eyes on Me” and “Please stay off of your phones during class.” Forming relationships with students is imperative to success in the classroom, but there are very fine lines we cannot cross to avoid being deemed, Heaven Forbid, UNPROFESSIONAL. There are many thoughts that cross our minds that we would like to say, but the unspoken rules of professionalism capture them before they leave our lips.
Here are 20 that we want to say but often hold back.
1. Your parents are (how shall I say it?) wrong.
When you say, “But my mom (or dad) said…” teachers see this as a challenge to our authority. If your parents would like to tell us something, we know they aren’t scared to use our contact information.
2. Who cares how many likes on Instagram you have?
Make real friends, not followers. Everything doesn’t have to be broadcast for the world to see. Save the real stuff for your real friends; those are the ones that count.
3. I agree. That teacher sucks.
Not all teachers are going to be great. Some will be too tough, too easy, too critical, and not give you a chance. But it’s your reaction to these teachers that will teach you perseverance and life skills that are far more important than the content of their classes. Don’t use “a bad teacher” as an excuse to give up.
4. We stay up late trying to figure you out.
We know students are experiencing physical and mental trauma, and we want to assist. Sometimes we even lose sleep thinking of incentives to motivate you to be successful. Let us in – it just may help.
5. We think standardized tests are ridiculous too.
Preparing for exams written by test creators (that are often not very good at it) takes away from very important time that could be spent on real learning. Please don’t let these tests define who you are as a student (or person), and we won’t let them define us as teachers.
6. We know you don’t have to use the bathroom that much, but we let you go anyway.
We get it. You need a break, and we do too. That’s why we let you go fifteen minutes after the last time you went.
7. Farting is actually pretty funny.
Who am I kidding? It is, but we haven’t figured out why. All we know is that when students pull their shirts over their noses, we have a hard time keeping a straight face.
8. These are not the best years of your life.
I remember being so depressed when someone told me that high school was the best time in my life. I am so glad they were wrong. Tables will turn, and you will not always feel this way. Trust us – it does get better.
9. You learn more from failure than from success.
Use your defeat as an opportunity to improve and grow. True learning comes from the ability to progress. The greatest kind of success can only come from repeatedly failing.
10. Your behavior hurts us.
Your disruptive behavior is not only hurting us and yourself but every other student in the classroom that is trying to learn something. Tell us what you need so we can help.
11. You shouldn’t be watching that show.
“Squid Game” is not a show for eight-year-olds, nor is “The Walking Dead.” The images and situations on these shows affect your psyche more than you know. Heck, they affect ours, and we are old.
12. Stop talking for one fricken minute.
Listening is the only way you can learn and the only way we can teach. It seriously makes us crazy when we have to scream over the masses. This is something we want to say every five minutes but tend not to.
13. We don’t like giving grades.
Unfortunately, the fear of failing a class or not getting a good grade is the only thing that motivates some students. As much as we would like to do away with our grading system, it seems standard grades are here to stay.
14. We know you aren’t raising your hand to answer our question, but we call on you anyway.
Maybe we need a time filler before lunch or maybe we just love hearing your long, rambling stories that have absolutely nothing to do with the topic. Either way, keep them coming.
15. We aren’t here for the money; we are here for you.
Trust me: it’s realllllly not the money. We want to say how hard we work to make a difference in your lives, because that’s really what we’re about.
16. We have a hard time putting our phones away also.
Believe it or not, we can also be addicted to the latest social media dramatic post, although we probably should know better. We will work on it if you will.
17. Yes, school is boring sometimes.
It’s boring for us also because everyone has different interests and capabilities. That is never an excuse to liven up the place with out-of-control behavior.
18. The Pandemic has robbed you of a lot.
We are sorry that you have to wear uncomfortable masks and quarantine for weeks. We realize you have missed graduations, parties, assemblies, and other activities that you can’t get back. Believe us, we wish it were different.
19. Maybe you shouldn’t be an accountant if you hate math.
Sometimes it is hard to steer our students to another career path for fear of crushing their dreams. But, at times it can truly be time-saving and helpful to point out realistic obstacles.
20. We are your teachers for life. Reach out to us always.
When you are done with our classes, we love when you come back and visit. It makes our day when you stop by to say hello.
Although many of these words go unspoken, teachers hope their students know that they always are looking out for them and want to say and do more. Students aren’t just a part of our jobs; they are huge parts of our hearts.