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Teaching – Things Teachers should Avoid

Updated on March 13, 2017

There are certain things Teachers should never do. A few are below, which I have learnt from my Teaching Experience.


a) Never lose your temper in class.

Once in a while, there are a few learners that can rub one up the wrong way. Maybe, by shouting in class, trying to correct the teacher, being rude/disrespectful to the teacher or peers in class. Always keep your cool. If you feel you are extremely angry, ask everyone to take a 10 minute break. Leave the class and gather your feelings together, otherwise the lesson will not be effective and you will no longer be in Control.

Sometimes, I deliver Employability Courses for Job Seekers from Job Centres. On one particular occasion, there was a guy who was giving me a tough time. He just didn't want to be there and kept on making negative comments. I didn't lose my cool...just smiled and told him,not all Training Centres would accept his behaviour. He said, he knew that and told me how a Trainer once lost his cool and pushed him. He pushed him back and I can't remember who punched who. But this stuff happens, people lose their marbles!!


b) Never give students Medicine.

Sometimes you mean well. A student might have a headache and ask if you have any paracetamol. I was advised never to give out tablets because if they have a bad reaction to them, it would be the teacher’s fault.


c) Checking your emails while computer is projected on Screen.

If ever you are using an overhead Projector with your computer in class. Ensure it’s switched off, otherwise, students will be reading your emails along with you because it’s projected on the screen. It might be personal.


A Music Teacher and Pupil

d) Making Physical Contact.

Physical contact can be misinterpreted and there could be accusations of paedophilia. I have to admit this is a hard one. In my early years of teaching, I dealt with Asylum seekers and refugees and there were times, they broke down in class and cried. I couldn’t help rubbing their shoulders and I am glad no one misinterpreted my action. It was just a comforting hand.

Another time, in a London College, I got in the middle of 2 female students who were hitting each other – one was crying. I tried to separate them. I was later called aside by another Teacher and asked never to do that again as it could get me into trouble.

What was I to do? Stand there while they were punching each other and just say “stop fighting please?”

There are probably more but these are the ones I share through my teaching experience.

If you feel other points should be added, or have any thoughts, please share below. Thanks.


More things to avoid.


After publishing this article, there were some useful “Should Not’s” in the comments Box. I have included them here and a “Big Thanks" to all who contributed. I wrote this article from my experience, so colour, gender etc didn't come to mind, as I don't treat learners differently.


More things to Avoid...

** Teachers should never discriminate against pupils on the basis of race, creed, colour, religon. (Thanks, Safiq Ali Patel)

** Teachers should not discriminate against Gender. (Thanks, J Dove-Miller)

** Don't discuss your personal problems with students. This is so easy to do, if you are teaching adults. (Thanks, Giving fairy)



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    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from London, UK

      Hello James, I'm not sure I'm based in UK.

      I think it should be up to the Teacher. I always give students my mobile number and inform them it's only for important issues. E.g if they can't come to class or have some learning issues. Yes... Colleges have an answer phone but I would rather they feel free to call/text me directly. They do and have never abused it. Take care.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      are teachers allowed to hand out cell phone numbers to student in ohio?

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from London, UK

      @jainismus - Thanks. I am glad you found it useful.

      @onegoodwoman - Aaawh... thanks for your kind words. Lovely of you to stop by.

    • onegoodwoman profile image


      6 years ago from A small southern town

      Lady E.....

      I am thankful that people such as yourself are still around in the world.

      It makes it a bit easier for people like me, to hang on and to trust!

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 

      6 years ago from Pune, India

      A must read Hub for teachers and to be teachers...

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from London, UK

      @Teaches Oh... thank goodness for that. Thanks for sharing your experience. :-)

      I appreciate you stopping by.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      Good tips! I forget the overhead was on one day last semester and was inputting grades. I looked up to see that they were very visible to the few students who had not exited the room yet. Ooops. Fortunately, all entries were good scores.

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from London, UK


      Thanks for stopping. Unpublishing articles is frustrating to Hubbers. A few have gotten so frustrated and left Hubpages but I will just take one day at a time.

      Good luck if you are doing the March Challenge. :)

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

      Sondra Rochelle 

      6 years ago from USA

      Nice article Lady_E. Voted up and interesting. I read another about airplane seats but could not comment there. Cannot figure out why some of your articles went unpublished and was sorry to hear this happened to you. You're a lovely writer and hopefully can stay online with your other hubs.

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from London, UK

      @rasta1 ~ Aaawh... that's nice and that's how it should be. Thanks for stopping by.

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      The Jamaican culture allows physical contacts. The children will pull and tug on you and expects the occasional hugs.

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from London, UK

      Hi Onegoodwoman

      It's a pity the way education sector has turned out. Personally, my heart rules my head, so if a child falls and scrapes his/her kneecap as stated above, I'd be there to help, comfort, hug and reassure without hesitation. I'll face the music later if I have to.

      Thanks for stopping.

      Best Wishes.

    • onegoodwoman profile image


      7 years ago from A small southern town


      I am painfully aware of the world that we live in, and what you surely face...........legalities aside,

      PLEASE, if my child falls and scrapes the kneecap, give him or her a hug and reassurance.

      It is EXTREME that possible lawsuits, now dictate our sense of humanity.

    • Entourage_007 profile image


      7 years ago from Santa Barbara, CA

      Great article Lady_E. I have experienced times when the teacher has lost their temper and its amazing how that "one time" can really amplify everything. Especially when kids go home and tell their parents, it can create quite the domino effect for the teacher.

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from London, UK

      Hi Abdi

      Hope you are doing fine. What a pity about that teacher crying. Hopefully, now she feels more confident in her role as a teacher. Some students can be intimidating.

      So nice to hear from you.


      Elena xx

    • Neverletitgo profile image

      Abdinasir Aden 

      7 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      Lady, this is really very nice tips for teachers and it is good to know you are a teacher. As a student, I never bother my teacher as well as my classmates and I once talk to Ethiopian guy who made my female teacher cry. I told him that she is here to help us and my guess was that he was feeling that she is dictating him like those Muslim men in your class. After I showed him his mistake, he apologized to our teacher as well as students. Thanks for sharing these nice tips and I may be apply if I become a teacher or may be share with my friends.

      Best wishes


    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from London, UK

      ** Hi Claudin_Dayo I hope you will pursue it. You are very much needed. Thanks for stopping.

      ** Hi Andromida - I agree with your comments. My teaching is relaxed and friendly, so there is a lot of warmth, humour in the class and we get on well. I feel if students are relaxed, they learn better.

      That is not to say i don't face challenges. I teach people of all ages - some older than me and I have had a few Muslim Men who didn't settle in the class at the beginning because they don't like a woman telling them what to do. If they cause friction in class, I tend to ignore them and later I call them aside and explain to them politely that I am there to help them and not to dicate to them. Later, they settle and feel more at ease.

      Another time a Polish lady was rude to me in class, I ignored it (I just couldn't be bothered) and some learners told her off. The next day she walked in with some flowers and apologised. I enjoy teaching, so a lot of times I over-look things.

      If things are getting on top of teachers, the best thing to do is to ask everyone to take a 10 minute break, so they have a breather and regain composure.

      Sorry for long response, but you asked. lol. :)

    • andromida profile image

      syras mamun 

      7 years ago

      I found keeping one's temperament cool in a class is pretty difficult for a teacher, especially when some students intentionally try to disturb a teacher.I believe teaching is an art that needs not only academic knowledge but also a significant amount of understandings of the psychology of students.I would love to know from you that how your students(I guess mostly are much older than you) behave in your class.Thanks :)

    • Claudin_Dayo profile image


      7 years ago from Southeast Asia

      I once hoped for becoming a teacher, maybe in the future I'll pursue that.. . All I can say is that I totally agree with everything in this hub! =) nice hub

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from London, UK

      ** Hello Nancy - Thanks for sharing those wise words. I wish me and you could have a coffee and discuss what's happening with Libya and Egypt. I know you are into politics.... a lot to talk about right now. Take care. x

      ** Katie, thanks so much. That's true they are fragile. May God give us the wisdom to teach/care for them.

      Cheers. :)

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from London, UK

      ** Stars439 - thank so much for your encouraging comments. So, glad you stopped by.

      ** Giving Fairy - I appreciate your comments. It's true some teachers mean well, but don't know where to draw the line. We need wisdom. I have crossed the line before but meant well. Example, a very heavily pregnant student of mine. I used to pick her up on my way to a Training Centre. She was in my Class but found it difficult getting there and exams were close. I finished the class at 1pm and also gave her a lift on my way back home. It made life easy for her.

      I have included your advice in the Hub. :)

    • katiem2 profile image


      7 years ago from I'm outta here

      Amen, Amen, Amen, I'm so thrilled you've put this out there. Let us always remember the perfect fragile and yet profound soul of a child and the depth of stewardship to teaching a child. Awesome! :) Katie

    • profile image

      Nancy's Niche 

      7 years ago

      This article is a crucial self-exam for “ALL” teachers! Schools regrettably still employ individuals who lack tolerance and interpersonal skills --- especially at the elementary level. Thanks for another excellent article…

      Cheers & Blessings! :o)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Lady E that was a very great hub. There are some teachers who mean well and there are some who do not know where to draw the line. Teachers should not share their personal problems with students . They should seek sympathy some where else. As always another great hub.

    • stars439 profile image


      7 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      A wonderful hub, and you deserve high praise for being a teacher. Teachers have difficult jobs, and as an onlooker I care about your well being first, and foremost, because without you, where would the children be. God Bless You Precious Heart.

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from London, UK

      ** Hi Anglnwu - thanks for sharing your comments. Someone must have reported that teacher and I think it was OTT over the Top to sack her. She is looking after other kids and can't be permitted to take a call from her own kid - a soldier who can't call anytime of the day? I'm fumming.

      It's nice to know you are a Sunday School Teacher. Glad you stopped by. :)

      ** Thanks Ruby - Always a pleasure to see you. :)

      ** Hi Sunmoluwa - The world has really changed. The teachers hands are tied and then people wonder why some kids are wayward... Thanks for stopping.

      ** Cheers David. lol. Best Wishes.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      From an old teacher: Amen!

    • Sunmoluwa profile image


      7 years ago from Lagos, Nigeria

      Great article and just shows what's going on in the world today. My thoughts travel back to 50 years ago and if these were applicable back then... I shudder to think of what will be applicable in the next 50 years!!!!!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      7 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Great teaching tool, No pun intended. How nice to know you are a teacher. Great info. Thank's

    • anglnwu profile image


      7 years ago

      As a Sunday School teacher, I find it hard to ward off kids who are naturally friendly--referring to your "physical contact" part. Sometimes, friendly gestures can be misinterpreted by people out to get you. Also, never answer your cell phone in class...unless it's a call from the President or as in a recent case here, a lady was fired for answering a call from her son stationed in Afghanistan. Later, she was reinstated. Again, interesting discussion topic.

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from London, UK

      ** DeBorrah - Thanks for your encouraging comments. I'm glad you liked the article. Best Wishes.

      ** Acaetnna - Cheers. Sometimes, I have to check my College emails urgently. My manager sometimes emails me messages which could be something to do with a class I will be taking later but yes, personal emails don't need to be checked in class.

      I'm touched by No 4. lots of kids don't get that warmth at home and it's nice to have a reassuring cuddle. It goes a long way.

      Best Wishes.

    • acaetnna profile image


      7 years ago from Guildford

      Lady_E you are absolutely right, in fact teachers are not allowed to administer medicines to children any more.

      I agree with number 2 but a good teacher should always never lose their temper regardless.

      3. Best advice a teacher should never check their emails in class time anyway!

      4. It is a sad story but physical contact should always be with held for fear that it may be misinterpreted. How sad for the child who longs for a reassuring cuddle.

      I also agree with Mentalist Acer about taking care with Facebook.

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 

      7 years ago

      Lady E, This is EXCELLENT! You are a wonderful teacher... You have provided some very wise and practical suggestions! This will help teachers to have healthier boundaries with their students. Helping them to FOCUS more on their desire to instruct them as well as help to safe guard them from someone misconstruing their actions. Wonderful!

      Thank you for sharing, In His Love, Grace, Joy, Peace & Blessings!

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from London, UK

      @Safiq @J Dove-Miller @Mentalist Acer @Harvey

      Thanks so much for your comments. Safiq and J Dove-Miller, I have edited the Hub to reflect your "should not's".

      Mentalist - Obviously Teachers will use Facebook and I agree they need to be careful.

      Harvey - thanks for that. Good luck with the book. I will be in touch at some point.

      Thanks again everyone.

    • Harvey Stelman profile image

      Harvey Stelman 

      7 years ago from Illinois

      Lady, You should also talk about truth. In the U.S. the text books are slanted left. Much of what I learned turns out not to be true.

      Something different: I'm writing a new book, and I'm using good-looking ladies for my research. You qualify, so please contact me. H

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 

      7 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      A teacher must,maybe unfortunatly,be mindfull of what she posts on facebook also.;)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Lady, I agree with all the things on your list. Safiq, There are also problems with teachers discriminating against gender. So add that to your list of "should nots."

    • safiq ali patel profile image

      safiq ali patel 

      7 years ago from United States Of America

      Teachers should never discriminate against pupils on the basis of race, creed, colour, religon.


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