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Worst Teaching Advice Ever

Worst Teaching Advice Ever

Here we are again with that unsolicited advice!

Hopefully last time our Actually Useful Advice was just that – actually useful. Because I know how much you all hate unsolicited advice. Particularly when you think everything is actually going fine.

This time I’ve collated a fantastic list of advice for you to promptly throw into the circular file – absolutely useless, mildly offensive. You know the type of advice I’m talking about, where the giver is obviously far superior to the receiver. Either that, or they’re so far removed from what you do that it’s laughable.

From our community, here are some of THE WORST advice teachers have received!

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Don’t worry about teaching the unteachable children.

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The bell always rings.

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Never smile before Easter. (Or Christmas depending on your school start date.)

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You need to be scarier.

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Just get learning support to deal with it.

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You won’t really make a difference. People try but nothing changes.

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Don’t take it personally. It’s true but very very difficult/impossible in my early years because it is such a personal job.

I guess the flip side advice is that you don’t have to be an expert yet, you can be a beginner/learner and you won’t get it right all the time but that’s ok, learn from it.

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“Be careful talking about your personal life with your students” – Heterosexual teachers who loudly and frequently discuss their husbands/wives with their students.

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Your class must be quiet or they are not working hard enough.

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Get the students to line up outside your classroom and take off their hats & they will behave in the classroom…… yer righto!

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The following were minimum expectations from my first school I taught at: Don’t ever apologise to your students. Don’t ever say ‘please’ to your students. Don’t negotiate with your students. You should expect to work 6 days a week in your first couple of years. Don’t get your phone out in the staffroom. Don’t give must do/can dos. Don’t use worksheets. Don’t let your class be too loud, but don’t let them be silent either. Could go on and on.

I quit at the end of that year!

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I overheard an experienced teacher say to a graduate teacher ‘you’re supposed to work on weekends. If you don’t work on weekends you are not working hard enough’. – Amy Green – Associate Director (School Wellbeing), Real Schools.

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Not said as such, but more observing behaviour, some are very much “do as I say not as I do” to students. That’s not right in any workplace.

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‘You need to look after yourself’ (without any practical suggestions of how).

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Did your worst ever advice make the list? If not, share it below! Or share it on social media with #worsteverteachingadvice
Photo by Viktor Talashuk on Unsplash

 

Emily

Emily is a secondary science and math teacher in Australia. She enjoys sharing the real and human teacher life, facilitating the ‘light bulb’ moment in her students, and drinking tea and wine.

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