Remember this list is only 10 things they don’t tell you at Teacher School. You could well have a different 10 and in a group of teachers there will be 100s more. I have been a supply teacher and a teacher on permanent contract. These things transcend school stage and role. Trust me.
10 things they don’t tell you at Teacher School
- You will have to unblock a toilet. Probably with nothing but mop. And only if you can snaffle it from the (locked) cleaner’s cupboard.
- Children seem to forget how to blow their noses. You will encounter a lot of snot monsters. Especially between November and March.
- Teachers only drink cold hot drinks. Probably only 3 sips a day. You will also become an expert in bladder control, should you have a whole drink. There will be no trips to the toilet during a school day.
- Children need to be taught how to line up, and how to walk in a line. Multiple times.
- You will care more about lids of pens and glue sticks than anyone would ever imagine. Before I became a teacher, I could have cared less about them. Now they are my nemesis. I literally cannot express how much it upsets me when I find a lid on the floor. Or a drying out pen.
How many resonate so far? Read on for the next 5!
- Glitter will not come out of the carpet for months. You will find glitter all over your body – even in your underwear. Glitter makes any lesson better. I mean would you rather write in a book or in glitter? If you said book, I don’t believe you. You totally lied. I’m sure you have your reasons.
- It’s ok to source resources or ideas. Starting out you will believe that if you don’t deliver 100% original, incredibly resourced lessons you have failed. However, doing this is unsustainable. You’ll drop out of teaching with burnout in a month. Do not plagiarise or use pre-made resources without thought. Use them with tweaks for your class as required. On the other hand you could check out TpT stores kick back and relax!
- By Christmas you will either be running on sugar. Or caffeine. Or both.
- Kids can be unintentionally hilarious. They may not realise it, but that doesn’t matter! Whatever it is, it’s ok to giggle. In fact – let it out. Once I tried to hold the giggles in and by doing so I managed to snort. That made me and my teaching assistant laugh even harder. I don’t recommend this in an observation. But if it happens, don’t beat yourself up about it. Or make eye contact with another adult…
- Parents can be lovely and sometimes nasty. They can be genuinely completely disinterested. After Parents’ Meetings you will only remember the one negative remark, and not the 29 great “we love you” comments. Reverse that.
Special bonus thing they don’t tell you at teacher school!
Be your own champion. Teaching is a profession with lots of judgement. Because it is so opinion based it feels peculiarly personal. The way you teach is generally from the heart and it means that subjective grades can subsequently be emotional. Remember that you are not alone. Everyone on staff is as insecure (or even more so) as you, and also being observed. No one will have the energy or desire to keep buoying you up long term; it will take them every cell in their body to keep themselves going. It’s not a personal attack. Take any advice, absorb into your practice and after that, move on.
Do you have any unexpected tales from the chalk face to share? Pop them in a comment below!
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