Things I Never Thought I’d Say To My Students

When I was a kid, there were a few phrases I swore I would never say to my a kid.  I did not want to sound like my parents, but I find myself saying these things to my students.
Oh, I had a plan.  I would reason with my kids. I would explain to them why they needed to do what I tell them and how it would help them be a better student. Learning can be fun, if you just give it a chance.  We are all part of our school and must contribute to the classroom because we are all in this together, and I should never, ever, have to threaten them.
We would be so close. I would be so understanding. They would respect me. I wouldn’t have to threaten them. I was going to be that good.
In one of those curveballs that life likes to throw, I’ve heard some of the things that have come out of my mouth lately. I’ve realized that I’m saying things I never even anticipated having to have to say to my students.  Here are twenty things my parents used to say that I catch myself saying:
  1. I don’t care who made that mess, I’m telling YOU to clean it up.
  2. Don’t ask me to repeat myself! I will repeat myself three times.
  3. Deal with it. I don’t have the time or patience for your complaining.
  4. Go to your room, or in my case “Go to the office!”
  5. Stop it.
  6. Hurry up!
  7. Say “please.” or say “thank you.”  (I live in the South, I should not have this problem, but kids are not raised the same way I was.)
  8. Shush! Or more likely “SHUT-UP!!!”
  9. What did I just say? or What did I tell you?
  10. When I was your age…
  11. You’ll understand when you have kids.
  12. Because I said so.  (Why do kids always have to talk back.  I used to always talk back to my parents, but never a teacher.)
  13. My Classroom, My Rules! (The way my dad used to say this is “My house, my rules.”
  14. As long as you are in my classroom, you will follow my rules!  (The way my dad used to say this is “As long as you are under my roof, you will live by my rules.”)
  15. Were You Born in a Barn? Just shut the door.
  16. It’s Not My Problem! (The other way of saying this is, “I don’t want to hear your excuses!”
  17. Who Do You Think You’re Talking To?!  (I’ve also caught myself saying, “Don’t turn away from me when I’m talking to you!”)
  18. 1, 2, 3 … Though I usually just hold my fingers up.  (By now they know I don’t even have to verbalized it.)
  19. Listen to me!
  20. Huh?  (My mother always has the habit of half listening to me and then when I want an answer, she says “Huh?”  I catch myself doing that too often.)

Top four things I wish I could say, but can’t:
  1. Quit being a smartass!
  2. Shut the fuck up!
  3. Get the hell out of my room!
  4. Quit your bitching!

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

10 responses to “Things I Never Thought I’d Say To My Students

  • Loki's Log

    Awesome list. I published a hilarious list a few weeks back that includessome pretty awesome guidance from a guy in a band. The title of the post is Thor.

  • Coop

    My greatest fear about having children is this… looking at them straight in the eye with my second iced coffee of the day in my hand and a cigar hanging out of my mouth."Do as I say not as I do". Raising a child is probably one of the only things I'm afraid of. It's too much responsibility to do right by the kid.

  • Chris

    I found myself writing "PSSSSSST" on the blackboard once. I was teaching a university class and felt yelling would have been counterproductive. It worked 🙂

  • gaygroom

    I once considered a career in academia but ultimately decided I didn't have the temperament for it. Very impressed with folks, like you, that do! Hope you had a great Easter!

  • silvereagle

    I could never be a teaher in a public school…no authority, no disciplin and for the most part, just keeping order for an hour….your's would be the exception I feel.Is the guy in the photo a member of your faculty???—Hot!!!

  • gerry

    Joe… My variation on #4 is "Get over yourself, and Grow Up. People who get it from me, don't like it much or me either for that matter but I've used it in a lot of settings.

  • Jay M.

    Yep, looks (sounds) familiar from my time in a high school! Amazing that "parents" expect teachers to teach respect, manners, how to behave, etc. etc. as well as how to pass the standardized testing that is taking over the public educational world. I know you don't have so many tests, but perhaps you have to make sure they "make the grade". You have my greatest respect!Peace <3Jay

  • David Jeffreys

    It's interesting how parents rub off on their kids. My oldest son always thought I was much too strict, but when he became a father, he is just as strict with my grandson (who is in college now).

  • fan of casey

    32 years later and I still remember this line from my high school teacher when I tried to provide an excuse for whatever issue: "My heart bleeds for you . . ."Me: I couldn't finish my assignment because . . . blah, blah, blah.Teacher: My heart bleeds for you.

  • Stew Adams

    A gem that was used on me only once, but I have had the opportunity to use multiple times in life;"A lack of planning on your part, does not make for an emergency on mine."

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