30 Things You Should Never Say in a Classroom by @TeacherToolkit

Reading Time: 2 minutes

This is a short blog about teaching and learning and the things teachers should never be heard saying in the classroom.

This is written in good faith and humour, with safeguarding connotations. Tweet your thoughts here.

Thought:

Ask yourself: How many of the following statements or questions have you found yourself thinking, over-hearing or saying in class?

Hands Tape Roll Black

Image: PopSugar and Shutterstock

You Should Never Say?

  1. Right, you answer those questions whilst I just nip out for a fag.*
  2. Shut it son!
  3. Get out! Go straight to the headteachers office and wait outside …
  4. This is my personal email address.*
  5. During this term, I’m not going to mark any of your books.
  6. If you do that again, you’ll be excluded …*
  7. Okay. Hands up. Who doesn’t understand?
  8. Don’t choose that subject at GCSE, it won’t help you (insert) …
  9. Why didn’t you do your homework? It was easy.
  10. If you need help, ask your mum to text me.*
  11. What a stupid question!
  12.  You only need to learn this for the exam, then you can forget it.
  13. I haven’t planned anything today and forgotten what I’m doing. Can you lot just get on with some colouring-in or just read a book …
  14. My other class did this really well. What’s wrong with you today?
  15. You have to be here, I don’t.
  16. Who’s your teacher? (Reply) Well, that explains it. They’re not even a proper teacher …*
  17. I’m so happy, I don’t have to see you lot for a whole two weeks!
  18. Let’s watch a video.
  19. I’ve seen this same idea for the past 6 years.
  20. What do you mean, you don’t have a phone?
  21. (Loud burp/fart) Were you born on a farm?
  22. If I divide the time in the lesson by who is here, that gives me less than 2 minutes to speak with each of you. Okay?
  23. Thank god I don’t live near this school!
  24. ‘Hello mum? I’m teaching. I can’t speak right now.’
  25. I’m off to Thailand for half-term. What are you lot up to?
  26. I’m not even going to look at your work. Do it again!
  27. Stand in the corner and put your hands on your head.*
  28. God. I was hammered at the weekend!*
  29. So you all have more time to prepare, I’ve just decided to postpone the test …
  30. Aha! So, your (name) brother/sister. That explains it all.

Of course, much of the above is written in jest and may be acceptable within the context of your classroom conversations and teacher-student relationships. However, there are some fairly serious points above which should be avoided at all costs. I have highlighted these with a small red asterisk at the end of each sentence. (These are all safeguarding and/or health and safety issues).

Whether this raised a smile or a frown, I hope you found it useful.

If there is anything missing, why not tweet your thoughts by clicking here, or add your sentence to my comments feed below.

TT.

Click the photo below to tweet.

man-with-tape-over-mouth

Image: INC.

@TeacherToolkit

In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account in which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated for '500 Most Influential People in Britain' in The Sunday Times as one of the most influential in the field of education - he remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing online as @TeacherToolkit, he rebuilt this website (c2008) into what you are now reading, as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the number one spot at the UK Blog Awards (2018). Today, he is currently a PGCE tutor and is researching 'social media and its influence on education policy' for his EdD at Cambridge University. In 1993, he started teaching and is an experienced school leader working in some of the toughest schools in London. He is also a former Teaching Awards winner for 'Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School, London' (2004) and has written several books on teaching (2013-2018). Read more...

25 thoughts on “30 Things You Should Never Say in a Classroom by @TeacherToolkit

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  • 30th December 2014 at 1:51 pm
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    Grow up and stop behaving like a child…

    Reply
  • 30th December 2014 at 5:23 pm
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    ‘I’ve told you a hundred (thousand, million ) times …

    Reply
  • 30th December 2014 at 5:59 pm
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    Ok stop now and hold your balls….(PE lesson as a student – I still cringe!

    Reply
    • 5th January 2015 at 6:46 am
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      I said the same as an NQT, as the whole school was lined up at the end of break time, whilst all staff were waiting to take their classes….

      Reply
  • 30th December 2014 at 6:18 pm
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    I’m sounding like a stuck record.

    Reply
  • 30th December 2014 at 6:21 pm
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    ‘Look at me when I’m talking to you!’ Always sounds a bullying command because looking down and averting the eyes is actually the natural and therefore entirely appropriate response to feelings of shame. Hard to do anything else.

    Reply
  • 30th December 2014 at 10:31 pm
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    “Do you want a detention?” I mean, fgs, what was I expecting? “Ooh yes please, miss: can I do two detentions instead of just one?” What a prat!

    Reply
  • 31st December 2014 at 12:54 am
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    Hey, let me friend you on Facebook. Do you have Instagram or Snap Chat?

    Reply
    • 31st December 2014 at 1:19 am
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      Very good this one. Surprised i fofgot to write this down. Never ceases to amaze me how many teachers do this and see nothing wrong with it!

      Reply
  • 3rd January 2015 at 6:16 pm
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    1. “You need me more than I need you – I’ve already got my qualifications.”

    2. “I still get paid whether you pass or fail” – although this is probably not strictly true anymore.

    Reply
  • 3rd January 2015 at 7:34 pm
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    I can wait all lesson for you to be quiet if I have to!

    Reply
  • 3rd January 2015 at 7:42 pm
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    One from my school days; teacher, “is there anything you would like me to go through”, quick as a flash, student, “the window!” (on the first floor)

    Reply
  • 4th January 2015 at 8:21 pm
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    I made the mistake once (when talking to sixth formers preparing for their French speaking) of saying…”we haven’t got time to do our individual debate topics today, so I will pick the topic and we will just do one mass debate…” Cue giggling….I never made that mistake again!

    Reply
  • 8th January 2015 at 1:15 pm
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    Teacher: What? Didn’t your father ever tell you that? Kid: Which father? I have three!

    Reply
  • 14th January 2015 at 7:58 pm
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    “Just do as I said nothing more nothing less.” Sound horrible to me

    Reply
  • 14th January 2015 at 10:23 pm
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    With a roll of the eyes or sigh – ‘why do I waste my time?’

    Reply
  • 18th January 2015 at 9:08 pm
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    You need to add to things teachers shouldn’t say:
    You are bad/naughty/stupid
    Everything is your fault
    All the other children are better than you
    Why can’t you just behave like the other kids

    And then the teacher non-verbals too:
    You’re not as important as other kids
    Your pain doesn’t matter
    Tone of voice /level of voice
    Believing other kids more
    Buying into culture of physical handling of kids in meltdown
    Dragging, pulling out of situations/surrounding/escalating.


    Poor education experiences can scar children and families for life… So teachers need to say to themselves and live this every day ‘I will be professional’ and ‘I will be mindful’

    Reply
  • 8th February 2015 at 11:07 am
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    How about ‘I know aren’t stupid (insert name or number), your data tells me’

    Reply

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