10 Things I Wish I had Never Learned about Teaching

Inspired by 10 Things You Wish You Had Never Learned, I decided to make a similar list for teaching. A little change of the title and a new list and here you go:

10 Things I Wish I Never Learned about teaching:

1. I wish I had never learned that the class must always be quiet.

2. I wish I had never learned that a student’s learning and understanding was based on his/her test scores.

3. I wish I had never learned that rewards and punishments have to be used in class to control students.

4. I wish I had never learned that a “good” teacher controls his/her students.

5. I wish I had never learned that the teacher never admits when he/she is wrong.

6. I wish I had never learned that a teacher never smiles before Christmas.

7. I wish I had never learned that a teacher lectures at the front of the class.

8. I wish I had never learned that a student should always stay in his/her seat.

9. I wish I had never learned that school was not a place for fun.

10. I wish I had never learned that, “this class is not a democracy; It is a dictatorship.”

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Posted on February 22, 2011, in Change, Motivational/Inspiring. Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. Thank God we can Unlearn.

  2. I wish that I never learned I had to be the expert in the classroom.
    I wish that I never learned the best way to teach is with the door closed.

    I am glad I learned why all these 'lessons learned' don't work for my students or me.

  3. Excellent list and one that should be shared with every teacher new to the profession as well as a reflective tool for every teacher AND administrator.

    Be Great,

    Dwight

  4. I hope this Unlearning can take place rapidly! And across the board – teachers and administrators!

  5. Very nice list. It reminds me that too often what we are exposed to becomes our understanding for what we should do.
    It is the moments that we reflect on our practice that we truly unlearn the common conceptions.
    I especially liked #10, as I cringe when I hear teachers talk about “benevolent dictatorship”.

    Thanks!
    Cheers,
    Scott

  6. Scott, I was gonna add to number 10 when I just wrote this post the following but I changed my mind:I wish I had never learned that, “this class is not a democracy; It is a dictatorship,” and then laugh about it.

  7. We need to remember that building relationships is the basis for everything – student/teacher motivation, student/teacher learning

  8. I wish I hadn't learned that the report card was the most important document on the face of the planet.

    Thanks for the thoughts! I remember being told in my first year not to smile until Halloween. Thankfully, I couldn't do that if I tried.

  9. I wish I hadn't learned that kids who “misbehave” just need an attitude adjustment. I wish I hadn't learned that parents are the enemy.

    Excellent list and veyr much a springboard for professional conversations at your site.

  10. It's hard for me to comment for I have never learnt any of those things. From the beginning of my teaching career I liked somewhat noisy, messy, dynamic classrooms – they replicate the learning flow. I liked kids having fun and NOT seat at their desks so I created the conditions for that to happen.
    Your list is perhaps intended to teachers who model that specific behavior.Besides…your learning should be shaped by your OWN convictions not by books or other authorities.
    Cheers!
    @surreallyno

  11. *”sit” – spelling rush 🙂
    @surreallyno

  12. I love your list.
    Can I translate it in French an post it on my blog?

    Thanks/ Merci
    Marc-André Caron
    MonsieurCaron.wordpress.com

  13. I wish i hadn't learned that teachers are the font of all knowledge!
    What an excellent list. I will be sharing with all the beginning teachers i know!

  14. Great list and responses! Have been thinking about what @surreallyno mentioned – important to shape your learning by your own convictions. Reflecting and questioning why we do what we do as well, is important too I think. Great comments about the importance of relationships here too. At times it seems like we take turns “being the enemy” (parent/teacher/student/administrator), when really it may be the struggle to work within a construct that is at the root of those conceptions and creates distrust between education partners. Let's hope we can keep working towards creating the conditions and learning enviroments that build trust and respect between students, educators, and parents.
    Great post to help us learn to unlearn, and revise our “lists”…!

  15. I wish I'd learned to listen more than I talk.
    I wish I'd learned that students are generally the best experts in what they need to learn.

  16. Great post! It's a great thing that we can create mental makeovers. I've learned when working with children it is difficult to create habits, but one can create processes. Habits are difficult to change, processes are not. Therefore unlearning the behavior can occur once it has been identified and the change desired. Now if only we can put the awareness in their hands, so they can unlearn accordingly.

  17. I wish your list was a poster in the Department of Education.

  18. Thanks Sheri. That is kind.

  19. Great post idea! I was “taught” a few of those things in college-

    2. I wish I had never learned that a student’s learning and understanding was based on his/her test scores.

    3. I wish I had never learned that rewards and punishments have to be used in class to control students.

    I also remember a professor telling me to never ever touch the students- especially since I am a guy. I am a big believer in appropriate physical touch. I won't teach in fear of vaporous law suits.

    Thanks for sharing.

    – @newfirewithin

  20. As a new teaching student, and new to blogs and most new technology, I can't believe how lucky I got in finding this first off. Thanks for posting the link in Moodle!

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