Top 10: The Don’ts and Don’ts of Teaching


Gary Rubinstein so eloquently explains what I wish every new teacher knew before writing a lesson plan.  Spot on, spot on.  I had to re-post.  Click here to read it.

Here’s his top ten with a Student-Teacher spin:

1.  Don’t try to teach too much in one day.

Teacher:  What!!  Tell me about it.  Hours spent planning the best lesson in the world, only for the worst student in the world to turn it to s&^*.

2.  Don’t teach a lesson without a student activity.

Student:  Yawwwwn.  Texting, texting, texting.  When will she tell me what to do?  Oh my god, I hate this class.  Let me break this pencil in half.  Let me rip up this paper.  Let me throw the back of an eraser at someone’s head.  If I don’t look at her and look uncomfortable, maybe she’ll stop.

3.  Don’t send kids to the office.

Student:  Hallelujah.  I’ve been acting up just because I can’t stand this class.  I’d rather go sit In Mr. Blank’s office–he gives me food and I get to eavesdrop on all the drama.  DEUCES!!  Let me secretly let my friends know how happy I am to be leaving.

4.  Don’t allow students to shout out answers.

Teacher:  Who do I listen to?  Who do I pick?  How do I control all these kids calling out, and then getting into arguments with each other?

5.  Don’t make tests too hard.

Student:  This teacher is retarded.  She didn’t teach us this!!!  So what I wasn’t paying attention.  I’m going to fail this class so I’m not even going to bother try to pass.

6.  Don’t be indecisive.

Teacher:  Ummmm, well.  Why?  Oh.  Well, yea, go ahead.

7.  Don’t tell a student you are calling home.

Student:  CALL MY HOUSE.  I don’t care.  My momma ain’t gonna do nothin’ anyway.  She didn’t do nothin’ the last time.  She ain’t even home.  She didn’t pay the bill and the phone is cut off.  I’m not even staying with her right now.

8.  Don’t try to be a buddy.

Teacher:  Tell me all your problems.  I will pretend to care.  Sure, you can comb my hair into a ponytail!

9.  Don’t dress too casually.

Teacher:  If I’m hip, the kids will like me.  Oops, didn’t have time to do the laundry–spent too much time on the lesson plan.  These kids look a mess anyway, why am I dressing up?

10.  Don’t babble.

Teacher:  When I was in Russia, I told him, “Stop, stop.  You can’t do this thing.  Let me tell you.”  So you see, when I say “stop” and you “stop” then we can do the thing.

All tongue-in-cheek of course!  Read his explanations by clicking here.


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