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5 Things You Should NEVER Do in the Teaching Profession

Janelle Cox

Whether you’ve been in the teaching profession for 20 years or two years, there are a few things that teachers should never do. From losing your temper to playing favorites, some things should always be avoided. To help you evade these missteps and make sure that you’re being effective in the teaching profession, here are a few more things that teachers should never do.

1. Don’t Take Student Behavior Too Personally in the Teaching Profession

Students say and do inappropriate things all of the time. They will push your buttons to the limit, and you may find yourself losing control. You have to remember that your students are still learning and developing. You cannot take student behavior personally, because if you do it’ll send the message that they can ruin your day if they want to. Your role as an authority figure is then weakened, and the control is shifted to the students. You must remain in control, even when you feel you may have lost it. You need to remind yourself that you’re not responsible for your students’ actions. You are only responsible for the way that you react to their actions. The next time a student misbehaves, your job is to enforce a consequence then move on without a second thought.

2. Rely on Others to Deal with Student Misbehavior

If you’re the type of teacher to always pass the buck to another teacher or even the principal when things go awry, then you’re not being an effective teacher. Do not rely on others to handle any problems that may arise that can be handled in your classroom. Not only will it make you look incompetent to your colleagues, but it’s also showing the students that you can’t handle the situation as well. The only time that you should ever rely on others to help deal with a student situation is when it’s out of your hands and absolutely necessary for an administrator to step in. Other than that, you should always deal with student misbehavior in the classroom.

3. Gossip with Colleagues

Teachers should absolutely never gossip with colleagues about other colleagues, students, their parents or any other faculty member. Gossiping with others will only make YOU look bad. Stay clear from any and all gossip, it will not serve you well. If you find that others are talking about you, then ignore it. There is nothing gained by fueling the fire. Your best bet is to take it with a grain of salt and not take it personally. As far as gossiping with colleagues about parents, students, or other colleagues, just simply stay quiet or walk away. Your best bet is to never get involved in the gossip. If you feel it’s your job to discourage gossip among the adults in your school, then that’s okay too. Just make sure that you’re not the teacher that is adding to the gossip.

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4. Humiliate Students in Front of their Peers

Never intentionally humiliate your students in front of anyone, especially their peers. Adolescence is an awkward development time and being humiliated in front of your peers can have a major effect on a child’s self-esteem. Embarrassing your students in front of their classmates will never give you positive results, it will only push the student further away from you. Don’t engage in this negative behavior. If you need to reprimand a student, then do it privately. Not only will it help the child learn from their mistakes, but it’ll show that you have respect for the student because you talked to them privately versus publicly.

5. Give Up on Their Students

Another thing that teachers should never do is give up on their students. No matter what a student says or what a student does, an effective teacher will never give up. It’s the teacher’s job to keep pushing and challenging their students to do better. If you feel that you want to give up on a student and that you gave it your all, don’t. You need to remember to not take anything the student says or does too personally. You must find a way to relate to the student and connect with them. Remember to focus on the positives and try and find the humor in the situation. Your job as the teacher is to never give up, even if that means finding someone else to help the student.

Teachers are not perfect, they will have their good days and their bad days. There will be times when you may lose focus or your temper, and that’s OK because you always have tomorrow to start over and do the right thing. As long as you show kindness and compassion to all of your students, your heart will shine through.

Can you add to this list? What things do you think those in the teaching profession should never do? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below, we’d love to hear what you have to say.


Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @empoweringed, on Facebook at Empowering K12 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.