41 Tips, Tricks and Truths of Teaching

In two weeks, I will have officially taught for two years, and I like to think that, in the midst of my fumblings, bumblings, and questioning students’ mumblings, I have learned a thing or two.

I am convinced that we teachers are all unique, just like the students we teach. However, I also believe that there are some universal truths and experiences we all share.

Here are the 41 tips, tricks, and truths I have learned (so far) in the teaching profession.

1. Nothing is quite so inviting to a child as an unguarded expo marker.

2. Things to ask for in your Christmas stocking:

  • Lysol
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Gloves
  • Theraflu
  • Emergency-C
  • Holy Water

3. Flu/ cold season is coming, and only the strong and well-prepared survive.

4. Wearing white pants is a risky move.

5. Dry shampoo is an investment you won’t regret.

6. Comfortable shoes are another such investment.

7. The thickness of your skin directly correlates with the number of years you have been teaching.

8. When in doubt, yes, you should take the Pepto Bismol.

9. Two things to notice to get in good with the kiddos: new outfits and haircuts.

10. The “afternoon slump” is not a thing you hit: it’s a posture you stay in from 3:00 p.m. til bed time.

11. The parking lot on Fridays at 3:00 is more dangerous than a war zone.

12. A good seating chart is more precious than gold, and making it is fairly reminiscent of playing Tetris.

13. If you don’t consider running away at least six times in your first year of teaching, did you really even teach???

14. Telling a fake age to your kids? It needs to match your car.

  • Have a sedan? Don’t go above 30.
  • Have a MSUV? Your wiggle room stretches until mid-40s.
  • Oh, you have a van? Tell ‘em you’re 60. Even if you are fresh out of college, they’ll believe every word.

15. The best discipline you’ll ever dole out is in your head. Silently. After hours. Thinking about what you could have said.

16. Don’t put anything excessively smelly for lunch into the communal faculty fridge.

17. Don’t eat anything excessively smelly at your desk during your lunch period.

18. Any day where you cry less than 30 minutes is a good day.

19. You get a crown in Heaven if you teach. You get 6 if you teach middle school.

20. You can know it’s a full moon by looking at student behavior, rather than the actual moon.

21. Students have selective memory.

My students can’t remember what a thesis statement is, but they can remember that Ms. Meadows sinned by wearing socks with her sandals three weeks ago. Sweet kids! Bless their hearts! I just LOVE how they hold me accountable!!

22. Teaching is all about running:

  • Running to the bathroom
  • Running out of patience
  • Running out of ideas
  • Running away from students in Wal-Mart

23. You become to grade you teach.

24. The same students who make the most fun of you are also somehow the most protective of you.

25. Want your lesson plan to fail? Plan it solely around technology.

26. Want to make a teacher mad? Steal their parking spot they’ve had for 17 years.

27. Want to make a teacher REALLY mad? Jam up the copying machine and leave it.

28. Another rule for copying: if you have a multi-page packet, there is only ONE way to ensure you won’t have a wait to use the copier- come on a weekend.

29. No one is indispensable EXCEPT the custodial staff and office administrative workers.

30. You relish summer because no one will say your last name for 2.5 months.

31. The ones who don’t need the extra credit are the main ones who do the extra credit.

32. Students are shocked, taken aback, and a little offended to learn that you have a life that doesn’t revolve around or involve them.

33. Students are, however, endlessly interested in that personal life that doesn’t revolve around them.

34. Being out is somehow more work than actually being at

35. No matter the age, student still wants to be the leader.

36. The teacher’s chair and desk are hallowed ground.

37. Think you look nice today? Your kids will think differently.

38. Having trouble getting your students attention? Open up a piece of candy. The rustling of the wrapper never fails to get their attention.

39. There is a hierarchy of Expo marker colors

  1. Black
  2. Blue
  3. Purple
  4. Just not writing it altogether
  5. Red
  6. Green

40. In every class, there is a student so dedicated to her personal hygiene that she gets up 5-6 time each day to get hand sanitizer.

41. Writing on the board while simultaneously looking back at your students is a priceless skill you really have to work at.

I may be a teacher, but I feel like I do more learning than anything.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

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