The 12 Things You Should Never, Ever Say To Teachers

Let me say up top here that I am NOT a teacher — I found this on a blog (listed below) that is all about and by teachers, however. And it's the kind of thing I hope gets legs so that people stop asking these kinds of silly questions. Oh, and next time your state wants to cut the pay and benefits of teachers, speak up!

1. “We’ve all been to elementary school, so aren’t we all kind of experts on it?”


Umm, no. You’ve been sick before, does that make you a doctor?


2. “When I retire, I still want to do something, so I think I might take up teaching.”

Teaching is not a hobby, like gardening or sailing. Teaching will likely make your old job feel like a vacation.


3. “Have you ever thought about making your class more fun?”

No, I do my best to make it as boring as I can.



4. “If you really cared about kids, you wouldn’t worry about the salary.”

I love my students. I love teaching. I also love being able to support my family and feed my kids.


5. “If you managed your time at school, I bet you wouldn’t need to plan lessons and grade on the weekends.”

Okay, I’m a little busy at school. I teach and work with students almost every moment of the day. Spending 20 hours a week outside of school on prep and grading every week is normal for me.


6. “You’ll never be a truly great teacher until you have your own kids.”

Actually, yes I will. The relationship between teacher and student is quite different from that of parent and child.


7. “Why do you make them read so much and write so many essays? Why do you give such hard grades?”

Because it’s my job. Because my students are here to learn. Because they’ll need these skills to survive in the world. How many reasons do you need?


8. “I pay taxes in this district, so technically you work for me.”

Sorry, we’re not your minions. That’s not how it works. Taxes support public goods and services—such as the fire department, police, parks, and yes, public schools—for the community as a whole. And by the way, teachers pay taxes too.


9. “Ohh, you teach kindergarten, that must be fun. Playing and singing all day.”

Yes, my life is just like Disney movie. I sing and the children and the little animals of the forest come running. Actually, in kindergarten, we teach our students the foundational literacy and math skills—as well as the social and emotional skills—that set kids up for success in every grade to follow.


10. “Why are you so strict? They’re just kids.”

We make plenty of time for laughter and fun in my classroom. Rules and routine are not only necessary, they help children to feel safe, secure and valued in the classroom community.


11. “How hard can it be? You have all summer off.”

A longer summer break is one of the benefits of choosing teaching as a career. But keep in mind, it’s not all summer, I spend weeks every July and August on professional development and curriculum planning. And during the school year, I work 12 hours a day all week long and at least one day every weekend. Add it up and our vacation days are about the same.


12. “Teaching is nice, but don’t you want to be more successful and make more money?”

I teach because I want to make a difference. I teach because what I do every day matters for kids.

That’s what success looks like.

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In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

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Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

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