Thursday, October 21, 2010

Things "They" Don't Teach You In College

Let me take a minute and talk to my fellow teachers.  I don't know about where you went to school, but now that I have been in education for eight years, I see that there were a lot of useless things my professors really wanted me to know, and a whole bunch of things they forgot to tell me.  For instance:
  • There will come a day when you will find yourself staring at your closet trying to come up with an outfit professional enough for Parent/Teacher Conferences, yet durable enough to survive Emergency Drill Day.
  • Some days, teaching is like herding cats.  You get a lot more attitude than progress.
  • It doesn't matter how well you plan, some lessons bomb.  It doesn't mean that you are a bad teacher or that your students are bad students. 
  • You can't save them all.  Education is a two-way street, and even when you are giving it all you've got, if you haven't got a cooperative party on the other end, you will be limited in your outcomes.  It's one of those hard truths.
  • Teaching is the least of what you do during the day.  Depending on the day, you may be parent, therapist, first responder, actress, and chief cook and bottle washer.  And that's probably a slow day.
  • Some days are just movie days.  Embrace it and move on. (That came from my cooperating teacher when I was student teaching.)
  • Hands-on projects are awesome, but there are some things you only learn through repitition and practice.  It's not fun, but it is necessary.  (That's another one from Mrs. Hille!)
I'm sure there are a thousand more.  I've said time and again that I wish that in my classwork we would have spent more time looking at useful information.  Of course, I had no clue what to expect so, I didn't know what I should be asking.  To think that on my first day of teaching, they just threw my 21 year-old self in a room with 25 eighth graders and expected I would figure it out is hilarious.  Of course, I managed, so maybe I knew a little more than I thought.  (Or, in a much more likely scenario, was much better at winging it than I ever imagined.)


  1. I loved the mental picture of you trying to pick out an outfit that would work for emergency drills and conferences! :)

  2. The good news is the outfit and I made it until parent/teacher conferences were over Thursday night. But the mental image was totally what I was going for!

  3. Hellooo! New reader - and a fellow teacher...and all I have to say about this post is: "AMEN SISTA!" I teach 5th grade & have always said that college didn't prepare me at all for actual teaching. I laughed so hard reading this! And I've loved reading all your other posts too & have had fun "meeting" you :)

    Andrea in NC

  4. Andrea, I am so thrilled that you stopped by! And I hope you will keep reading! Also, it's always nice to have a fellow teacher nod her head with what you are trying to say. Thanks!


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