If you’re an educator, be it a teacher, tutor or teaching assistant, you will read this post while nodding your head in utter agreement. Read on for my top 9 teaching confessions.
1. Biting your tongue when someone suggests you have such an easy job
I don’t think there’s a teacher or tutor out there who hasn’t heard the ‘You have such an easy job. You get so many holidays!’. Every time I want to launch into a tirade back at them reminding them how much preparation I do but I rarely do.
2. Acting like a teacher even when you’re not actually working
Hands up, who has pushed in chairs in a restaurant or in someone else’s house? I reckon we’ve all done that.
I’ve also embarrassed my kids on many occasions telling noisy children to be quiet in cinemas and the like!
3. Not knowing the answer to a question
So a child asks you a question and you don’t know the answer? Yes, we’ve all been there. My way out is to tell my pupil that his homework is to find out the answer and tell me in the next lesson.
4. Bumping into Pupils when Off Duty
Who amongst you hasn’t ever bumped into one of their pupils in the worst possible place? My mum was a teacher for many years in the town in which she lived and worked all her life. She really did know everybody and couldn’t even pop out to buy a loaf of bread without bumping into somebody or other whom she used to teach. Now, coming across an old face in a supermarket is one thing but I went one better than that in one of the most mortifying moments of my life.
Wednesdays were my day off and I often used to go to the local leisure centre for a swim. One day post-swim, I’d had my shower and, having taken my swimwear off, was busy towelling off in an almost empty changing room. At the point when I was at my most naked, a voice pops up, ‘Hello Miss’! Yup, one of my ex-pupils was now an attendant in the swimming pool area, and not only had she now seen me absolutely starkers but she continued to stand there chatting about life since she left school, while I tried my best to cover my modesty and get dressed! I don’t go to that pool anymore if I can avoid it!
5. Trying to avoid sitting too close to the child in the class with nits!
Now this is easier to do in a classroom situation than a one-to-one tutoring session. Nonetheless it is occasionally a problem in private lessons too. As we all know, children, particularly younger ones, have a terrible habit of bending their heads really close to the paper/books and we have to simply bite the bullet and get close enough without physically recoiling.
It doesn’t happen very often, thank goodness, but it’s happened to me on more than one occasion. Each time, I was in my children’s primary school as a volunteer parent, listening to infants read, and much as I love children and genuinely love teaching, I really wished I was somewhere else. Head Lice on your own children is bad enough but on somebody else’s… No thank you!
6. Loving Snow Days
Come on, admit it, we like snow days as much as anybody else. Teachers like a day off too!
7. Wishing your pupil’s parent wouldn’t sit in the room while you’re teaching.
How annoying is that! This is one mainly for the private tutors out there. And let’s be fair, that’s bad enough but when they then interrupt you or their child every five minutes, it really is a ‘Count to 10 backwards in your head’ to calm down moment.
8. Making an excuse to get away at the end of your private lesson.
How many times have you made up a fake excuse to get away at the end of a private lesson when your pupil’s mother or father simply won’t stop talking to you?
With particularly chatty parents I often have a ready-made ‘excuse’ before I arrive. Ok, that might sound harsh but time is money, after all, and there really is such a thing as too much socialising in the pupil/tutor/parent relationship.
9. Turning down a student because they live too far away
Several times when I was younger and poorer, I told potential new students’ parents that I wasn’t available to teach their little ones. Yes, I told a white lie, as even though I did have the space to teach them, they simply lived too far away and I knew it would take me longer to get there than the actual lesson.
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