“Only a life lived for others is a life meaningful,” Albert Einstein reportedly said. The teaching profession is an example of this assertion in action. The pay for teachers isn’t the highest, and nobody goes into teaching to get rich.
However, it’s one of the most rewarding professions (not financially) worldwide. After all, there can be no greater feeling than knowing that you have made a positive difference in the lives of others and your community as a whole.
We aim to take all steps possible to help our students prepare for the future. But there are some things that, for a variety of reasons, we don’t want pupils to know, as well as other things that we may believe or be aware of but feel are improper to say.
Things Teachers Don’t Tell Students
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Let’s look at some things teachers don’t want students to know.
You Don’t Use The Bathroom That Much
We’ve all been students and understand that students sometimes need a few minutes break. We’re aware that you’re not going to be using the bathroom every time you ask permission to go to the bathroom.
It’s challenging to concentrate on classes all day, and occasionally, the body simply needs a break, no matter how brief. Don’t think you tricked us into letting you go out. We simply choose to ignore it.
Some Courses Are Just Boring
It’s no secret to the teacher that their courses are boring. We know the course can be something of a snoozefest and understand the bored look on students’ faces. You don’t need to tell us some of our courses are boring.
It makes it easy for students to get distracted. We are aware of this, which is why some teachers provide routine, brief breaks to promote productivity and lessen stress.
We Don’t Hate You When You’re Called In Class
We know students find it annoying when we call them out to answer questions that others have raised their hands to answer. Obviously, those with their hands down either don’t want to answer the question or don’t know it.
We don’t hate you simply because it seems like we keep calling you to answer questions despite your hands staying down. It’s not meant to embarrass you but simply to bring you out of your shell or to encourage participation.
We don’t call out the student who knows the answer. If the same student answers the question, it doesn’t allow other students to participate.
We Don’t Enjoy Bad Grades
The responsibility of each teacher is to train their students to become productive members of society someday. This means teaching and following up with assessments to ensure that students have a stronger understanding of the concepts taught.
And while we don’t enjoy failing students, we must be fair in our assessment. It’s easy to believe that the teacher can give you a passing grade but we’re held to high moral standing.
We’re expected to be fair to all students in our assessment. Passing a failing student wouldn’t be fair to other students who put in the effort to pass. It’ll also do the student more harm than good if we pass them without evidence of comprehension of relevant concepts.
Imagine we pass a student who goes on to become a doctor without a proper understanding of some diagnosis. We’re also responsible for any mistakes and accidents that ensue.
We Don’t Fail Students, We Give Corresponding Grades
When it comes to assessment, our job as teachers is to ensure that we assess students fairly and then give the corresponding grades. Unfortunately, students sometimes blame teachers for failing them.
And while it’s true that the teacher can give you a passing grade, any attempts to do so would be risking their jobs and their teaching licenses.
Teachers simply grade students’ work and fairly award students the grades that correspond with the level of work they presented in the assessment.
We Have Favorites
Teachers are humans like everyone else and while we may not play favoritism, we still have favorites in the class. It’s not always the brilliant student in the class. It can be the struggling student who is putting in a lot of effort to understand the lesson.
Maybe the one asking questions that may be annoying other students, but they continue to ask these questions in hopes of gaining a better understanding of the course.
We spend a majority of days with students and although we may treat all of them equally, we’re bound to like some students better. Just as parents have favorites despite claiming they don’t, teachers also have favorites.
We Have Good Hearing and Peripheral Vision
If you think we don’t see what you do when our backs are turned, you’re most definitely wrong. We simply ignore them as addressing every little thing would lead us nowhere during classes.
From the student who brought out a snack when the teacher’s back was turned to the one who walked out of the class, teachers notice them all but may simply choose to ignore them to avoid disrupting the class.
We Don’t Return Old Exam Papers For Safe Keeping
When we don’t give out old papers from previous examinations, it means we’re keeping them safe should a review become necessary.
Students aren’t great at keeping scripts from examinations. They can easily lose them or forget them somewhere. This makes it difficult for them to retrieve old papers in the event of an issue.
Old papers that are retained by professors are submitted to the faculty for safekeeping. This enables students to obtain access to these files whenever needed for any grade dispute settlements.
Retain Exam Scripts Because We Repeat Same Questions
Another reason why we may retain old exam papers is to prevent questions from leaking. Some courses only have a limited pool of questions that can be used to test students.
To prevent students from passing exam questions to their friends, siblings, and juniors, teachers may simply retain examination papers.
This will ensure that some students do get receive an unfair advantage over their peers. Scripts from courses with larger question banks would most likely be returned to students unless for safekeeping.
We Have Lives Outside School
Students always seem surprised whenever they meet a teacher somewhere outside school. Teachers spend so much time at school, students sometimes think their lives revolve around the school.
Teachers have lives outside school and enjoy going to events, playing sports (if possible), and maybe going on a date with another teacher.
We also like to hang out with friends just as much as students do. So don’t be surprised when you see teachers having fun somewhere.
May Have Other Jobs
A teaching job isn’t the most lucrative and teachers sometimes need a part-time job during their free time.
Mostly during holidays when teachers have free time, we sometimes take up other jobs to pay the bills. So don’t be surprised when you meet your teacher serving as a tour guide somewhere, as your Uber driver or even working in a boutique store.
If you think your teachers are workaholics who spend all day crying when they’re unable to torment students during holidays, you’re greatly mistaken. Teachers love holidays just as much as students.
We love Fridays and dislike Mondays just as much as students. The teaching job can be very stressful leaving little time to spend with your family. Most of us even work during holidays and carry scripts home for grading during the week.
While we may not be able to enjoy every free time we have, holidays and weekends still present an opportunity for teachers to take short breaks, and spend time with our families.
Don’t Like Giving Out Tests
It’s no secret that students don’t like tests. They dislike them and sometimes end up disliking teachers who give them out often. The perception is that teachers like to give out tests and students complain about it.
The truth is that teachers dislike tests just as much as their students. From preparing questions to grading student submissions, every aspect of the process is painstaking work, we’d rather avoid.
You need to read through individual student submissions, grade them and then provide feedback. Imagine having to grade scripts for a class of 50 students. If each student’s essay is 5 pages long, the teacher would need to carefully read each submission and then appropriately grade them.
Not All Topics Are Useful
Some of the topics in the curriculum seem pointless to the teacher but has to teach them simply because it’s part of the curriculum and students would be tested on them.
We’d rather spend the time teaching the students something we believe would be essential as they go forward. So if you think what the teacher is teaching is not going to be useful to you, you’re not the only one.
The teacher probably has the same opinion but can voice it out. This is especially true for some courses at the higher education level.
Teachers Don’t Know Everything/Make Mistakes
The impression is that teachers know everything about their subject area. We encourage students to ask any questions they may have on the topic and they expect us to answer them all.
The truth is that teachers don’t know everything about their subject area. Even experts don’t know everything about their area of expertise.
Teachers are just good at concealing our ignorance. We may end up giving a topic to students as an assignment. We also learn from our students.
Sometimes a student makes an insightful point or provides a different perspective on a concept we never thought about. We sometimes make mistakes and continue to learn and improve as time passes.
Nervous Meeting Class For First Time
While we may not make it show, teachers also get nervous meeting a class for the first time. We may have done it multiple times but we still get nervous when we’re meeting a new class. We never know what kind of students we’re going to have.
We Just Can’t Accept That Hug
We want to accept your hug but we’d be risking our jobs. We can see you’re sad or worried, and you could use a hug or you may have attempted to hug your teacher and they instantly pulled back or stopped you outright.
This isn’t because we don’t appreciate the hug, but we would be risking their jobs. Most educational institutions have regulations against teachers hugging students. We don’t dislike you but we’re expected to comply with the school’s policies for the protection of all parties involved.
We Just Can’t Accept Your Friend Request
Students who send friend requests to their teachers on social media would usually receive a decline or rejection. This isn’t because teachers don’t care about the students but simply because school policies forbid social media interaction between students and teachers.
Teachers who breach these policies risk losing their jobs and possibly their teaching licenses.
We Keep Door Open For Our Protection
When we keep the door open during communication with students, we’re doing so for our protection. We also don’t want to be alone with students. This is especially true in the case of male teachers and female students.
We all try to keep ourselves out of situations where a student’s word is up against a teacher’s word since, quite understandably, the student’s word is typically the one that is believed.
Don’t Miss Some Student(s) Absence
We don’t miss the absence of some disruptive students. Students who go the distance to make the work of teachers difficult are hard to miss.
Our days are brighter when such students miss class for whatever reasons. Unfortunately, the job is short-lived when the student(s) returns to class.
Tell Students A Colleague Was Harsh
We may consider another teacher’s actions or reactions towards a student to be inappropriate or harsh. Unfortunately, we cannot tell them this in the presence of the students or tell it to the student.
However, we can confront that teacher when they’re alone to alert them of the error when necessary.
Not Every Teacher Loves Their Job
While most professional teachers enter the professorship primarily for the love of it, some use teaching as a fallback career.
Such teachers may not love the job but are only in the profession because they have no choice.
Teachers Weren’t Always Great Students
If you listen to every teacher, you’ll hear the same thing. They were the best in their classes, non-disruptive and their teachers loved them all.
And while this may be true for a few teachers, the truth is that not every teacher was the best in their class during their school days.
Some were simply average in their school days or even below average at that level of education. They may have cleaned their act and advanced academically but they all didn’t start as model students.