Just for fun, I asked some of my teacher friends what some things they swore they would never do, but then, of course, did once they became teachers.
Sit in groups. I always had rows of desk, but this year after much thought about what kind of learning I want to happen in my room, I put my tables into groups of four. There is more conversation, but there is also more collaboration.
I thought I would never "shush" students saying "SHHHHH!" I noticed as a student that it didn't work and sounded so ridiculous to me. I hate the fact that I do find myself doing it, even though it is definitely not the most effective way to quiet a class or get attention.
If we finish a couple of minutes early, I let students line up at the door. Some battles aren't worth fighting.
Never eat in my classroom! But my first year our lunch time was so late, we were last ones to go to lunch so I let my students bring snacks and eat. They do know they have to clean up afterwards or they lose that privilege. But I do tell them they cannot bring in a Big Mac or Fried Chicken!
I was adamant about not becoming a teacher, because teachers collect trash to reuse in their classrooms for various projects. So I became a teacher. Not only did I collect trash (wine bottles and tissue paper for fabulous Mother’s Day projects), I also collected an enormous class library, videos and DVD’s for the class, 20 class sets of novels, and I also yearly bought 60-120 notebooks, pencils, erasers, and binder paper for my students. I spent a bloody fortune on teaching supplies and that included modifying a metal cart with locking doors to store my laptop, LCD projector, and Document Camera. My collection of books and DVDs and videos fills boxes lining the wall from floor to ceiling in my garage.
I swore I would never give out a detention, restriction, demerit, etc. Never. I truly believed that all issues could be handled with kindness, compassion, and LOGIC (and no, I don't have my own children yet). And in my first years of teaching, this was easy! I taught at an all-girls Catholic high school. My biggest discipline issue was girls not wearing their socks high enough ... teaching heaven? Yes. But then. Then I moved down to teaching middle school and this worldview went right out the window the first time my boys got into a fight at recess! I still don't give detentions out very often, and if you get one from me, you know you did some seriously wrong. But sometimes, you just have to hand those bad boys out!
I swore I'd never ask, "basic" questions. I wanted my students to delve deep into the material, not just memorize who did what on page 13. Here's the problem. I found my student's weren't retaining the information in the text enough to dig deeper! Turns out there's a time and a place for "easy" questions, and they aren't just busywork.
Get really excited and start dancing when you hear the Bill Nye theme song in class. (Yes, high school students still love Bill Nye!)
I swore I'd never let students do math in pen. A teacher pointed out to me the other day that international tests and AP exams are done in pen. So, here I am, letting students do math in pen. I cringe each time I see it in pen, but I'm sure I'll get use to it. Thankfully, most students still prefer to do it in pencil....those are my favorite students...LOL, just kidding.
Is there something that you swore you'd never do, but find yourself doing now that you're a teacher? Share in the comments!