Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Things I Said - Cringeworthy Statements From a New Teacher

This summer the memories of my first year of teaching comes floating back and more specifically the insane things you would have heard me say.  So had you been a fly on my wall, here are some of most cringe-worthy....

Put your name on the board!

One more check mark and we are calling your parents.

You will have to stay in for recess since you did not return your test.

I am sorry your mother did not sign it, you will lose a recess and bring it back tomorrow.

I do not think he deserves to be in the talent show since he does not do his homework.

What do you mean you didn't have time?  It was homework!

Sit in your chair and listen.

Wake up!

Put that chair down.  Put that table down.  DO NOT SLAM MY DOOR!

Stop sharpening that pencil.

Don't you have your own school supplies?

Do you see these zeroes?  That means you are failing 4th grade.

I am doing this for your own good.

The goal?  Well for you to do this assignment.

Ah yes, the plight of a first year teacher.  I barely recognize myself in them and yet I know who that person was because if I didn't then I wouldn't know who this teacher is today.  We all have our journeys as teachers, mine took me far away from this, and for that I am thankful.  Where does your journey lead you?


erinpaynter said...

I'm cringing and laughing because I hear my first-year-teaching self in those comments as well. Some of mine,

"Just tell him to stop."

"It's not that difficult if you just try."

"Focus please."

"S/he just doesn't care enough to do well."


Mrs Ripp aka @pernilleripp said...

Oh yes, definitely did the It's not that difficult if you just try! Or "What do you mean you don't get it, I just explained it."

photomatt7 said...

We're all cringing reading this. Here was my best year one genius remark:

"You made a stupid decision and now you're going to deal with it."

Anonymous said...

why are these stupid. seem reasonable to me

Meyer said...

The homework comment was excellent.

Anonymous said...

99% of what's on your list is fine with me. Sounds like you're making excuses for your students. It is fine to demand that a child put down a chair, or a table, or not slam door!

Why are we always walking on egg shells when it comes to their feelings? If a child is behaving in an unreasonable manner, be direct with them!

I've been teaching for decades and do not buy into this hyper-sensitive to feelings approach. Kids are resilient and they need to be held accountable for their bad behavior.

Mr. Inscho said...

Isn't funny (read: sad) that these all sounded like reasonable comments to us at one time! In my first year of teaching I was hired to teach the most at-reisk students in the most at-risk district in the province. I can tell you, I had a lot of challenges and thought that comments like these and yelling (yes, I was a yeller) would make a difference. Wow, how I've changed.

Thanks for the reflection and spark to reflect back on my first year.

They Call Me, Mr. W said...

Oh wow, I have said some of those and looking back, all I can do is laugh. The one that I said the most was...

"Oh, well that sounds like a personal problem."

"You gave half the effort, you got half the grade."

Old but not useless - yet said...

I am an 'old' teacher and have a young teaching partner. We have some very challenging young learners in our room and to maintain some semblance of order I often hear some of these comments. To help her and not necessarily criticize I have given her the task for every negative she must say 2 positives. Her teaching has changed considerably!

Mrs Ripp aka @pernilleripp said...

I love the two plus one approach and wish I had been clever enough to do that to myself as a young teacher. I think my main point with this post has been to highlight the growth that we go through as teachers. I would never punish a child now, I would never say some of these blatantly dismissive statements, and that is a good thing.

Jackie H. said...

oh, I said them too. Now I'm a new mom and I hear myself saying stuff that I'll probably look back and say, 'WHAAAA?" This post made me laugh, though, because it made me think of this sign they are selling at target. It's in the dollar spot and it's glued to a small popsicle stick and it says, "BE QUIET!" I thought, I would have bought that before my 1st year of teaching bc I would have thought I needed it. I wanted to put a sign next to it that said, "First year teachers, this will not be as effective as you dream it will be." ;)

Mrs Ripp aka @pernilleripp said...

Jackie, you are so right. I see myself making crazy statements as mother as well. Hopefully number 2 will not have the same stuff to deal with from me.


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