10 Rules Every Teacher Should Live By

When you are teacher, there are a few rules (10 to be exact) that you should live by. Some of these rules are learned from experience, others are just inside us, beckoning to be followed.  So, without further ado, here are the 10 rules every teacher should live by.

When I first started teaching I didn’t get this rule. Ignore my ignorance. I just didn’t know why I needed to buy more than the 4 pack of Flair Pens: red, blue, black, and green. 4 pens should last all year, right? WRONG. 4 pens will last a week. Keep those pens safe, and keep them close. Also, a variety of colors and shades makes grading more fun. It’s a proven fact.

Number 2 is one of those obvious rules, that I hope most teachers “Just know.” However, I realize we all have our own strengths and weaknesses (my strength being I am REALLY good at eating chocolate without students seeing), so I thought this was worth the reminder. 
This is a must. No more carrying around your cute Kate Spade handbag (by the way, if you have a cute Kate Spade handbag, you must be making bank, so keep it up). You need a gigantic tote bag if you are a teacher. Some teachers even use those rolling foldable crates, because they just can’t risk spilling the 20 pounds of papers they are taking home to grade. Don’t risk it! Get the big tote…or crate. 
Sometimes you might have to expect to pay 4 times as much as you were planning. Don’t worry though, it’s worth it. Repeat, it is ALWAYS worth it. That dollar spot just has so many adorable things for the classroom, that I can’t stand it. Mini buckets with cute patterns? I need 12. A motivational sign to decorate my desk? Sure, why not. Those seasonal erasers students would like as prizes? I’ll take 20. I need it all. 

I know, this one seems simple. However, there are those days. You know what I am talking about. The days a kid throws up all over the floor, or when a parent barges into your room unexpected (or both). Or the days you get observed and your lesson totally flops. There will be those days, but there is always something great in each day. Find that greatness and let it shine!

A teacher will always love each of his/her students, no matter what. That phrase is important, “No matter what.” We love our students for who they are, always. Sometimes we are the only love they get, so we must make it count.

I’ll admit, I’ve done this. I left school early one day (like at 5 instead of 6), and didn’t finish planning. Then, my alarm didn’t go off in the morning, and I barely made it before the bell. That day I taught language arts flying by the seat of my pants. I learned a dangerous lesson: I could teach some lessons by flying by the seat of my pants. I became tempted to make it a habit. I advise not to do this often. When lessons are planned and prepared, you are happy, the kids are happy, and usually, the hard work pays off. Plan as much as possible.

There has never been a truer statement. Whether you misspell something on the board, or accidentally give an incorrect fact about your science lesson, there is always a student that likes to correct the teacher. Laugh at your mistakes, let the student know they are awesome, and move on. Laughing always makes instances like this better.

This isn’t just a rule, it is essential. When you have a friend you can go to with the good and bad, you can get through any obstacle at work. When that friend is another teacher in your building? Score, you now have someone who gets you. Planning and collaborating now feels more like hanging out, rather than work. Teachers love to teach, but we also love to chat, so having a BFF at work is definitely a must!
Need I say more? This rule says it all.
Good luck teachers. Keep believing and keep teaching!

teachers, elementary teachers, teaching, rules, teacher life

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