Education Humor

Classroom Rules That Should Be Obvious But Are Apparently NOT


Photo Credit:
Does anyone else notice that the little bastard in the bottom right is lighting DYNAMITE next to the teacher’s desk? (Photo Credit:
[nextpage title=”Page 1″ ]

It’s that time of the school year when tensions are high.  In the North, it’s freezing cold, people are in dire need of Vitamin D, our skin is so dry it’s practically flaking off, and we can’t bear to think about the remaining 2 months of winter ahead.

And students have forgotten basic school etiquette.

It could be that their minds are just frozen in a perpetual state of I’ve-forgotten-everything-I’ve-ever-been-taught-about-interacting-with-other-humans-ever because it’s too cold for brains to do anything other than execute primitive body functions (happens to the best of us), or it could be that they’ve just ceased to give a flying fudge.  Whatever the reason, something has to be done about it.  NOW.  I don’t have enough anxiety medication to ride this thing out as is.

In an effort to keep us all sane and on track to surviving until June, I present you with the top classroom rules that should be obvious but are apparently not.

Don’t ask if we’re watching the movie.  Especially don’t ask if we’re watching the movie when I’m in the middle of discussing with you something completely unrelated to movie watching and I’ve already said 5 times that yes, we’re watching the movie when we’re finished with the reading.


Me: “So what do you think the fog in Cuckoo’s Nest symbolizes?  Yes, Johnny?”

Johnny: “Are we watching the movie?”

Me: …blank stareblinkingmore blank stare

It makes the teacher stabby.

Don’t get up in the middle of a lesson and ask me to sign a restroom pass.  Not only is it awkward and confusing when a student gets up in front of all his peers at a time when he shouldn’t be meandering and starts coming at the teacher, but I know you don’t really have to go to the bathroom.  Plus, I’ve just had to pause the momentum of the learning experience to ask if you really have to go, to which you’ve said not really, to which I’ve suggested you wait until we transition into the next activity, to which you’ve replied OK, after which everyone is sidetracked and unfocused, which means it’ll take me 2-3 minutes to bring the attention back to the task at hand and another 5 to recap what I was in the middle of saying.

Don’t do this.  It’s weird and distracting and unnecessarily time-consuming.

Don’t come in the classroom and immediately ask what we’re doing today.  I do not write the agenda on the board every day (since September, mind you) because I think my fingers need exercise.  I write it so you know right away what we’re doing, what the homework is, and if there are any important announcements of which you must be aware.  Unless you have a question about something in the agenda, sit tight.  I promise I’ll reveal the details in time.

Don’t start talking loudly, passing notes across desks, listening to your music on volume brainblaster, hitting other students in the crotch, twerking, taking your pants off in the front of the room (Yeah. It’s happened, and more than once.) or otherwise doing anything other than sitting in your seat quietly during a test.  I just…ugh.

Wear clothes.  It’s minus 400 outside.  Why the tank top and booty shorts?  Your boobs/belly/back/biceps/butt are 3 seconds away from frostbite.  I’m not even kidding.  They turn the heat off during 4th hour and expect us to tough it out until the final bell.  How have you not noticed this?

Quit texting and tweeting during class.  You think you’re clever and I can’t tell what you’re doing, but you’re not and I can.  I know you don’t like to sit and stare at your crotch for 59 minutes straight (well, maybe some of you do).  I also know sitting with your hand in your cargo pocket for an hour is neither a comfortable nor a natural position.  Can we please just avoid the whole song and dance where I tell you to stop playing with your phone and you claim you’re not and then I see it again and call you out and then you admit to texting but promise to put it away and then I see it again and have to confiscate it and then there is an altercation in which you mention how upset your mother will be that I took your phone and do I know how expensive it is to which I reply I guess maybe you shouldn’t be texting in class or have to be told eleventy times to put it away?  Can we please just avoid that?

Next time I’m posting to all your social media accounts about how you can’t wait until spring break when you get to travel the bingo circuit with your grandmother and her bridge club and how you promise to bring back a t-shirt that says “I went to Naples for spring break and all I got was this lousy t-shirt” for each of your closest friends and followers.

Don’t make me take it that far.  Because I totally will.  Try me.

[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Page 2″ ]

Quit complaining about having to do work or asking if we can have a free day.  Have I missed something and mistaken this building for a school instead of a circus tent? You’ve been in this class for 6 months now.  We have not once done anything to indicate we will suspend the learning process in favor of a free day.  This is is an educational institution.  We do work here.  Please stop acting so incredulous about having to think.

Try to look as if your heads are attached to your bodies.  Sometimes I look out into the crowded classroom and wonder if I should send for EMS because all the blank stares indicate there is no brain activity of any kind taking place.  I am doing everything short of setting off a fireworks display in the front of the room to make this stuff interesting.  I need some sort of indication that you are alive and able to process information and are not zombies waiting for the opportunity to eat my brain.

Don’t say I never told you or that you didn’t know what to do for the homework.  This is humanly impossible.  No, seriously.  I’m pretty sure Newton discovered a law about it.

I not only went over it with you in class and asked you to take notes and raise your hand if there was anything you didn’t understand, but I also provided you with detailed, step-by-step written instructions; an example final product; and how-to videos on the class website.  If you couldn’t figure out what to do after all that, I fear there is nothing I am able to do for you with regard to any facet of life at this point.

Don’t turn in anything blank or anything with IDK written on it.  EVER.  Particularly don’t do this when we’ve worked on something together as a class and all you had to do was listen, look at the board, and copy down the answer.  I just can’t even….

Don’t fail a test for which I’ve provided the questions on the study guide and then get upset that I didn’t also give you the answers beforehand.  I’VE BEEN GIVING YOU THE ANSWERS ALL SEMESTER.  Plus, you had the questions!  Dear GOD, I can’t be the only one who is confounded by the asininity of the whole thing.

Don’t start sharpening your pencil in the middle of a classmate’s speech.  Were you born yesterday?  I’m seriously asking if you were dropped out of the sky 24 hours ago because it seems completely obvious to anyone who has existed on Earth longer than a single day that the loud screeching and munching noise of the electric pencil sharpener is distracting to both the presenter and the audience and that maybe you should, you know, wait until the speaker is finished to sharpen the pencil you have absolutely no use for right now anyway.


Don’t come into class like a cackle of hyena on a meth bender and act like you don’t know you’re supposed to be seated with your materials out.  Definitely don’t do this if you plan to stare at me blankfaced and claim not to know what your own name is halfway through the period.  You do not have multiple personality disorder.  Believe me, I checked into it.

Put your name on your paper.  And I don’t mean in invisible ink either (I’m looking at you, chronic no-namers).  Oh my goodness, is that what you’re doing?  Using invisible ink?  Because I’m legitimately trying to figure out why your name is never on anything you turn in ever.  There’s even a line with the word “Name” printed before it at the top.  I’m not a detective.  I’m not going to launch an investigation complete with DNA evidence to determine whose these are.  I don’t look anything remotely like Columbo.  (I don’t, right?  Please tell me I don’t.)

Accept that I am not your enemy.  Really, I’m not, because if I were, I would have given up trying to teach you anything 5 months ago and resigned myself to doing nothing all day but crossword puzzles and devoting just enough supervision to keep you from murdering each other.

Phew.  Now that that’s out of the way, whadya say we learn a thing or two?

NOTE: I shouldn’t have to say this, but unfortunately, experience tells me I do: I’M NOT SERIOUS HERE.  I would never say anything remotely close to this to my students, nor would most people in the profession.  It’s internal monologue — humorous and sarcastic means of coping with the difficulties of the job.  So before you post your “You should really leave the teaching profession” and “This is what’s wrong with education” nonsense, take a second to conjure a sense of humor and recognize that we are performing miracles in the classroom every day despite great obstacles and that we are people, too, who sometimes just need to have a laugh with others who understand before we suit back up and take on tomorrow’s triumphs and tragedies.