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The DOs and DON’Ts of Teaching

Teaching is just like any other career, and many things are fragile and have to be handled with care. There are some things that will make you successful in your career, while other factors will put you down.

Many teachers over the years have messed up, and many of them still mess up, and if they don’t get fired, they get totally fed up with their career as teachers, and very soon resign from their jobs or retire before they’ve made it big enough. This is the list of the things you shouldn’t do, with the better alternatives of what you should do instead.

1.    DON’T: Be a teacher without qualifications.

This seems to be light, but there are lots of problems that arise when inspectors come to schools on short notice and find unqualified teachers providing services to students that deserve better. If you’re lucky enough to live in a country with corrupt officials, you’ll give a whole sum of money for them to cover up this flaw.


Get all your qualifications right before you ever start actively teaching, so you can be on the safe side.

2.    DON’T; Teach something you’re not sure of.

This usually happens in schools that are understaffed, where one teacher is filling up for another, or where the teacher doesn’t do enough research prior to the lesson.

Teaching something you’re not sure of will mislead your students, and after a couple of epics fails in the final examinations, you might eventually lose your job.


Do adequate research about the topics you’ll teach before you walk into the classroom.

3.    DON’T; Dress shabbily.

Before anyone ever listens to whatever you’re saying, they look at your dress code and hygiene. It’s important as a teacher to do the best of this because it indirectly shows what is acceptable at school.


Always dress casually but smart, for it will give positive vibes to the students.

4.    DON’T: Ever be late.

Coming early for each session you’re going to conduct might not seem important after all, but the day your administrator decides to penalize you for it, you might end up losing a small percentage of your salary, or if it persists, you could lose your job.


Always come early for each and every session you’re going to conduct

5.    DON’T; Discourage your students.

Many of us discourage our students, directly by insulting them or indirectly as we crack jokes to lighten the mood in the class. This is very bad as it kills the student’s morale, and might put your career at stake for that matter.


Always encourage your students and make them believe they can do it because attitude plays a great role in the victory.

6.    DON’T; Let students disrespect you.

While we want our students to be free with us in the classroom and outside, we usually let them cross the thin line and they might offend you in a way.


Always keep students in line, and let them know if what they’ve done has offended you in a way.

7.    DON’T; Get into a lesson that you haven’t planned.

Diving into a lesson that you haven’t planned can always go wrong, and one mistake you make will mislead your students to a point of causing their failure.


Always plan every lesson before it happens, so you know the time during which you’ll cover whatever you intend to cover.

8.    DON’T; Use fear to control your students.

Every teacher wants to be respected, but fearing you is another thing because it has far different effects. If you introduce it as a way of learning, all teachers might have to do the same, which is impossible.


Respect yourself first, so that students can respect you without having to make them fear you first.

9.    DON’T; Take the attitude of your students personally.

Your students are like babies, no matter how old they are. Whatever they say to you is usually unrevised, and out of their fragile egos and emotional disturbance, they might piss you off. Just don’t take it personally.


Forgive all their mistakes, because you’ll see new faces every year, and your heart has no space for all those feelings.

10. DON’T; Let your personal problems control the way you teach.

We all are human, and we have our own problems. You just don’t have to let your family, financial or love issues affect the flow of your lesson.


Be a good actor the moment you step into the school premises, because your problems have nothing to do with your students, and jumbling the two is unprofessional.

11. DON’T; Fall in love with your students.

High school and university students can be a great temptation to even those with fairly tough mindsets, but the student-teacher line cannot be crossed, because it’ll affect the way you work, and the moment these affairs get noticed, losing your job is quite obvious.


Be nice to your students but remove all temptation that’ll force you to lose your self-control.

12. DON’T; Leave a stone unturned.

As you’re teaching your students, you might tend to miss out on teaching something, because you assume they know it already, or they won’t face a hard time understanding it.


Teach your students everything before you close a topic because even the smallest thing can be examined.

13. DON’T; Think you have grasped everything.

Many teachers become complacent because they have taught the same thing for a good number of years, and they don’t look through it. I’ve ever seen some cases where teachers don’t look in their books. This is really dangerous because our chemical minds can turn things around.


Always revise what you have to teach, no matter how many times you’ve taught it.

14. DON’T; Have feuds with your colleagues.

You have lots of colleagues, and some might want to prove to you that they’re better or can have better than you. This might bring bad blood between you and them, but it is not healthy.


Maintain safe relationships with your fellow teachers and stay away from those that prove provocative.


There are a lot more dos and don’ts, and some slightly different, depending on the school in which you are an employee. Being careful is really hard, but knowing what you’re up against, makes you a better fighter.

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