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THINGS THEY DIDN'T TELL YOU ABOUT TEACHING
(by Carolyn Roberts and Bunki Kramer)
1. That there will be times you will break the 4-min. mile getting to the
restroom during passing periods.
2. That you might find yourself suddenly in front of 38 students...none who
speak English and 3 who have no desks.
3. That the air conditioner only works in winter and the heater...you guessed
it...only in summer.
4. That just when students are halfway into paper mache, there will be a fire
5. That parents who come to open house are not the ones you need to see.
6. That the rotten kids are never sick.
7. That if you give clay to 8th graders, half will make toilets.
8. That your paycheck will be used for classroom supplies.
9. That you will get laryngitis in September...and again in May.
10. That you'll stop eating in the cafeteria.
11. That if a child is tapping your shoulder for attention, he will continue
tapping unti he gets it...even if it's for 5 mins. ..just like a woodpecker.
12. That after a few years, you'll stop dressing up for school.
13. That teachers do not automatically become smarter when they become
14. That you're more likely to be out sick on days you're assigned "duty".
15. That you'll hate rainy teaching days.
16. That new teachers should never quit immediately after the first year.
17. That teaching can be lonely in a room full of 35 kids.
18. That trash cans and dumpsters hold unique things for your classroom.
19. That substitutes can write really nasty notes.
20. That when your worst class can't get worse...surprise!...they do.
21. That when you're yelling at the kids to shut up, the intercom will click on
and everyone in the office will stop and listen.
22. That good, comfortable shoes will mean more to you than new clothes.
23. That you'll never, never be able to completely clean out the trunk of your
24. That when you demonstrate something to students, it rarely works.
25. That if you haven't had all those childhood diseases by now, you're in
26. That kids will remember if you have been wearing the same clothes for the
last four days.
27. That the one day you're not at your "duty" post is when the principal makes
rounds to check.
28. That the day you're being observed by the principal, you get two new
students and you're in the second day of a 3-day lesson.
29. That if you gain weight, a student will raise his hand and ask if you're
30. That the day you look your worst is when the school board visits...which is
also the same day the yearbook takes faculty pictures.
31. That while you are in the middle of a serious classroom discussion on
behavior and consequences using your best "evil eye" stare, another
will want to "borrow" 33 sheets of yellow construction paper.
32. That if you say there's nudity and violence in a video you're showing, the
students will stay awake waiting for the good stuff.
33. That if there is a stray dog on campus, you can guess where he'll come and
34. That if you come out of a bar, you'll run into a student and her parents.
35. That there's always a "good" class.
36. That at the end of the day you'll find ALL of your supplies...elsewhere.
37. That EVERYONE in the class will say, "I didn't do it."
38. That while you were out sick, "someone" borrowed all your classroom
and didn't leave a note.
39. That you came to school with two shoes of the same style....but differenct
40. That you gave an inspiring welcome talk at open house, only to discover
later that half the parents do not understand English.
41. That someone will put clay in the keyholes of all the artroom doors.
42. That the student hand drawings you displayed in the office have gang
and the wrong finger projecting....but drawn beautifully.
43. That you have been asked to do all the signs for the cafeteria by tomorrow.
44. That no one will really understand what you are going through.
45. That school supplies are delivered only on rainy days...one week late.
46. That directions will have to be repeated more than 5 times.
47. That when you've decided you hate all kids, one of them will give you a hug.
48. That the moment kids are cleaning up paint, the water is suddenly
by a worker who just left for lunch.
49. That kids will stand around an overflowing sink smiling and no one will
check for a sponge blocking the drain.
50. That you will probably get sick on Friday afternoon, feel miserable all
weekend, and recover Monday morning....thereby ruining a whole, lovely
weekend of rest.
51. That if you get a piece of masking tape stucked to your rear, no one will
tell you the entire day.
51. That a bulletin board display you designed can have a life span of
three....five...or even 20 years.
53. That in a student's mind, there is no such thing as school after March.
54. That the spring season is not for "renewal"....it's for "burnout".
55. That you get to repeat it all over again for the next 35 years.
Bunki Kramer - Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Rd., Danville, California 94526