Week 9: The Top Ten Myths That You Were Told Before You Started Teaching!

Myth: Avoid The Staff Lounge

I still remember like it was yesterday, when my professor told me to AVOID the staff lounge like it is a plague. Although we all know that there are some Negative Nancy’s out there, we need to build relationships with co-workers. It is important to take one lunch a week and eat with your team. This is a wonderful way to bond and learn more about one another. I know that the relationships piece is what matters when you work on a team with other educators. Take some time to share about your weekend, your dreams, or even the current fix on Netflix.

Myth: Never Smile Until January

“The students won’t respect you if you’re too nice! Don’t smile until January!”That’s what my very first principal told me about my first set of six, seventh and eighth graders. That was the worst advice I’d ever heard in my life. How can I build a relationship if I don’t smile. The students need to feel safe. They need to know that you care about them.That is a basic human need. If students don’t trust you or feel safe you will not be able to build a relationship with them and no real learning will occur.

Myth: Curly/Natural hair means you are unorganized

I will never forget being told that I must wear my hair up if it is curly. Apparently, in 2000…..aging myself here, curly hair meant that you were disorganized. Although, this may be the case for me…..but not all my curly hair teacher friends!!! So for the first two years I taught, I always wore my hair up so people would see me as someone who was organized.

Myth: All teacher’s love apple accessories

Please forgive me….I am not a fan of apples. I still remember thinking I needed to buy clothes with apples and cheesy attire when I first started teaching. Everyone needs to know that not every teacher loves apples! I may like eating apples, however I don’t need a bookmark, coffee cup with apple design, or even apple earrings. Please refrain and remember not every teacher loves apples!

Myth: You should not show your true emotions

Teachers need to make sure they don’t show emotions. Well, although we are the Teacher Monster Club we are actually humans and the last time I checked having emotions is part of life. As a matter of fact our job is to teach students how to express their emotions in a positive manner. We are the models for the students, so of course we want to show emotions. Now that doesn’t mean you want to burst into tears in front of your class or go completely left field with the students when they make you mad. You actually want to do the opposite. You should model how to handle emotions effectively.

Myth: All teachers wear vest, jumpers, and holiday sweaters

Apples, paper and pencil, notebooks and erasers. That’s what teacher vests are all about. Not exactly! Teachers don’t wear vests. We like to wear comfy clothes. We want to be able to sit on floors and play with kids. I still remember thinking I needed to get a vest or even a jumpsuit, so I would look more like a teacher. No joke, I really thought I needed to look a certain way. However, quickly I learned that was not the case. I am now known as the teacher who wears boots, my students always joke with me about my boot collection.

Myth: All teachers are angelic

I won’t lie, I know I swear like a sailor outside of school. My best friend’s at times can be wine, liquor, and beer! I guess you could say I am like a pirate, yes to rum for me. We are not perfect and outside of work we like to have some fun! Surprise...you may see us out at your local winery, club, or bar.

Myth: Teacher’s Don’t have a personal life (they only work)

There is a book that I use at the beginning of every year called “Mrs. Malarkey Doesn't Live in Room 210.” Some people may believe we have a cot and live at the school. Teachers have homes, families and bills. We have real life events. School is a small part of our lives.

Myth: All teachers have loads of patience

Teachers are mythical creatures. Nothing bothers us ever. We have all the patience in the world. At least that's the first thing people say to us when they find out we teach. But the truth is we load up on coffee and are actively swearing in our heads. We are human. We are real people and as much as we love the job some days our patience runs out. But most of us keep that smile plastered on our faces. The Keep Calm and Carry on slogan is a teaching motto.

Myth: Anyone can be a school teacher

So now that the students have been home do you still think that anyone can teach? Nope, not at all. You either have it or you don’t. You need to be patient and have an unwavering dedication. As a teacher you are an advocate for their every need.

From the TMC Team

Latoya Wilsom

Katherine Hughes

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