Archives › Common Teacher Mistakes

Jul 07 2010

Common teacher mistake #7

Common Teacher Mistake #7 — Overconfidence. This is one that particularly applies to new TFA teachers. I was a victim of this myself, back in the day, and the fact that it’s still a prominent issue makes me worry that TFA contributes to building that overconfidence. You know the famous Western movie cliche “It’s quiet…

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Aug 03 2008

Common teacher mistake #6

Common teacher mistake #6 — Telling a misbehaving student that you are calling home. Calling parents is a great thing to do. Even for students whose parents don’t have a lot of control them, a parent call is still pretty annoying. In the beginning of the year, once I identify some distruptive students, I am…

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Jul 30 2008

Common teacher mistake #5

Common teacher mistake #5 — Making the first test too difficult. It’s important that all your students succeed on the first formal assessment. Even if you’ve conducted enough ‘informal’ assessments that they’ve convinced you that they’ve learned, the students need to convince themselves that they’ve learned, and for them that means success on a test.…

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Jul 27 2008

Common teacher mistake #4

Common teacher mistake #4: Too much enthusiasm on the first day. My first year, I was wrongly under the impression that my task on the first day was to ‘wow’ my class and get their attention. As good as this sounds at first, it’s the absolute wrong thing to do and here’s why: When you…

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Jul 24 2008

Common teacher mistake #3

Common teacher mistake #3. Overusing cooperative learning. Cooperative learning is a great tool when used properly and when used in moderation. Unfortunately some schools have ‘bought in’ to this method so much that teachers are actually mandated to seat their students in groups at all times. As a teacher, I’d like to be trusted to…

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Jul 14 2008

Common teacher mistake #2

Common teacher mistake #2. Teaching effectively is mostly a process of elimination. Don’t make the most common teacher mistakes, and everything else you do will be OK. Unfortunately we’re programmed to make these mistakes. The only way to avoid them is to be keenly aware of the most common ones. Here’s #2: Allowing students to…

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Jul 13 2008

Common teacher mistake #1

Common teacher mistake #1 Teachers, especially new ones, are prone to making many mistakes. Some mistakes are made unintentionally, but the worst, and most avoidable mistakes, are ones that are made while actively trying to follow some advice from new-teacher training. I’m going to write a series of blog entries cataloging the most common teacher…

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By a somewhat frustrated 1991 alum

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