10 teacher sayings I hate

10. “He’s lazy”corporal punishment

9. “She’s loud”

8. “I’m giving a really big test and they’re not ready for it – that’ll teach ‘em to listen!”

7. “I gave him extra credit for _________” (cleaning, running errands, busywork, etc.)

6. “These kids just don’t want to learn”

5. “I found a great website with all kinds of worksheets!”

4. (to students) “I’m not your mom (friend, babysitter, etc.)”

3. “We need stricter punishments”

2. “I was taught that way and I turned out fine”

And the #1 teacher saying I hate….

“He’s not very bright”

Image used under cc license from the flickr photostream of Wisconsin Historical Images

13 thoughts on “10 teacher sayings I hate

  1. I would add the phrase “teaching style”. This phrase deprofessionalizes education. If teaching is a matter of style, then there is no common knowledge base. If there is no common knowledge base, teaching is not a profession, but a matter of opinion. Also, people use the phrase as an excuse. When they see highly effective teaching, they assume that the teacher’s “style” is what is different instead of learning what they do and why.

  2. Nice! Agree with all. My pet hate is teachers who say “These kids don’t know how to _____.” If you are a teacher, isn’t it your job to make sure they learn how to do it?

  3. Oh, I soooooo agree! I have one to add! In response to a trip “This is why I hate trips, children just are that way” (in a very annoyed, negative way though).
    Kids were happy, excited and showing it!

    Also, “this is too hard for them” or “when we write reports, other things will just have to suffer”

  4. Jerrid,

    I hear you on that one. I’ve heard that very excuse from my colleagues.

    “Sure, that works for her, but it wouldn’t work for me.”

    Or it’s close relative, “that wouldn’t work for MY students.”

    Another one I really hate is, “but that won’t work in math.”

    No wonder our students hate math!

  5. Ed –

    YES! I have that very frustration with colleagues who expect the assignment and the summative assessment to “teach” the kids. No. We must teach them along the way and assess formatively!

  6. Jessica –

    More great additions to the list.

    I love field trips! I call them field work to get across the idea that we are there to LEARN not just to play. We gather data, make observations, interview experts, etc. All field work is always directly tied to our current project too. That adds to the sense of urgency to learn!

  7. “What do you expect from kids round here?” Aargh!
    “I taught his/her brother/sister so (insert sweeping generalisation here)”

    Great site by the way. I was just working up a few blogs in my head for mine, turns out you’ve said it first and more eloquently!

  8. Hi! I am from Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. As a student, I believe these phrases are quite ridiculous. Although teachers are usually talking among themselves when they use them, we are very aware of the feelings they have towards the “lazy” children. I think the teachers that use these phrases are not hapy with their jobs, and they are not helping the students at all. If a teacher is not motivated, how can the expect their students to be? I can only hope that I will never become this type of teacher. I am so glad that another teacher is speaking up about these phrases.


  9. Mr. Colley,

    I’ve heard both of those many times and they both drive me nuts! Thanks for commenting and I’m glad you enjoyed!

  10. Kayla S.,

    Thanks for reading and taking a minute to comment.

    The fact that you recognize the ridiculous nature of these comments is a great harbinger for your career. Beware the toxic nature of many teachers’ lounges. Also, beware “that” group of teachers who complain about everything – they can bring you right down with them before you even realize it!

    Being unhappy with one’s job is not unique to teachers. These types of people exist in every profession everywhere. Their attitudes become self-fulfilling prophecies for them.

    Teaching is SO relational, though, that I think this mentality is especially dangerous in education.

  11. Great collection of phrases, thanks for putting this up.

    I particularly hate the last one, too!

    Another one that makes me cringe:

    “I have explained this (the passive, the vocabulary, etc.) so many times and they still don’t get it! What’s wrong with them?”

    But do also permit me to say that, on the other extreme end of the scale, you can find teachers who are in constant self-flagellation because they believe that every instance of non-learning is totally their fault. Which may sometimes be true; however it is not always true.


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