New Classroom Rules

1. Enter the room and socialize at your leisure. The daily “warm-up” is just a suggestion that is not in any way intended to promote the acquisition of grammar skills over necessary social interactions.

2. Every time you enter the room, please be sure to ask me if we’re watching a movie. I may have neglected to plan a movie, and will quickly be reminded that a feature-length film, however loosely connected to the curriculum, will be both more entertaining and more instructive than whatever lesson I had originally planned.

3. Sit wherever you want. If you feel like sitting. Standing up is good, too, or sitting on top of the chair and rocking in it. It’s important for those of you who are kinesthetic learners to feel comfortable.

4. Please don’t put your name on any papers that you turn in, especially on multiple choice quizzes. I enjoy challenging myself to match each of your 125 identities with the intricacies of the way you form the first four letters of the alphabet.

5. When I say “Pass your papers up,” what I really mean is, “Pass your paper to the person either to the left or right of you. Or behind you. Or just keep your paper at your desk; it doesn’t matter.”

6. When I say, “Put your papers in a stack,” what I really mean is, “Throw your papers in a pile facing all different directions. Unless you don’t want to put your paper in the pile. Which is fine too, because I don’t want to stifle your individuality.”

7. When preparing formal essays, feel free to abandon all conventions in the interest of expressing your creativity. For example, use titles like “My Super-Awesome Essay.” Festoon your papers with patterned borders, and use interesting fonts in colors such as bubblegum pink and seafoam green. Making your font size extremely large ensures that I can read your essay from very far away. Making your font size extremely tiny serves as a gentle reminder to visit the eye doctor. Either is encouraged. Or, alternate a sentence in very large type with a sentence in very small type. That keeps me focused.

8. Read your essay aloud. Then put commas wherever you breathe.

9. Start every other sentence with the interjection “well.” It makes me feel as if you’re right there talking to me.

10. Use the time when I’m giving directions to multitask. Doodle, stare into space, gesture to someone across the room, pick your nose. Even if you don’t hear how to differentiate among the four types of noun clauses, it’s still good for me to practice explaining it, just so I don’t forget! LOL!

11. Sharpen your pencil at any time, even if you have to walk in front of me while I’m talking to do it, and even if the incessant grinding of the sharpener drowns out anything I might be saying.

12. It is a good idea to verify all directions by asking the same question three, four, or five times.

13. Encourage your parents to email me often, and to use capital letters, multiple exclamation points, and an accusatory tone to get my attention and ensure that I will respond promptly.

All classes this year will involve parties with piñatas, paper-wad basketball, and hair braiding. Should I bore you at any time, please raise your hand and I will unzip my face to reveal that I am actually a magical giraffe-llama-unicorn hybrid who will entertain you with magic tricks and grant each of you 500 extra credit points in addition to a lucrative career in which you will not have to write coherently or have any knowledge of grammar.


Looking forward to a fun year!

Holy shit IT’S RAINING CANDY!!! Or prescription drugs, I can’t really tell which.

392 thoughts on “New Classroom Rules

  1. The point of our profession is not to add meaning to our lives, it is to add value to those we teach. I am not humorless or unfamiliar with some of the sentiment contained in your self generated list based on what must be weeks of experience in the classroom. I also recognize well your attempt to inoculate yourself from criticism through your protestations and blame shifting. Perhaps if students arrive to your classroom not expecting to do much you need not look far for the reasons why, you self absorbed, self important, vulgar disgrace to the profession I have practiced for more than thiry years. Have a nice day!

      1. “Oh dear”, is right! I have worked with many teachers and all are dedicated to their work and love their kids but few have the awesome sense of humour that you have. I will print this list of rules and duct tape it to the door of my teenager’s rooms so they can remember that teachers (and parents) are human too. How kids behave in class says more about the kids themselves and their parents than the type of teacher you are. Keep up the good work!

    1. Oh, Chris Allen @allen_chris77. Lighten up, huh? It’s OK. I think maybe you’ve been having out-of-body experiences for 30 years if you haven’t seen even one of these silly student practices in your time. And it’s a joke. If you’re truly a teacher, you of all people should know the profession carries with it the need to laugh. I hope you’re not really like this when you step away from the computer. If so, I imagine “No fun” is first on your list of classroom rules. You will not be smote if you laugh about the goings-on in the classroom once in a while. Promise.

    2. You know, I mostly ignore Trolls (you). I usually read their snarky posts and roll my eyes and move along with my day. But, you see, you are a special breed of douchebag. A normal Troll starts with the same Troll banality. Typically with “Look, I have a sense of humor, but…” and then ends with some some comment that makes me wonder if they were born with an extra chromosome.

      But, you my ageing know-it-all, had to go the extra mile. Like a sprinkling of prick-paprika. You disagreed with the OBVIOUS SATIRE AND HUMOR BLOG and had to say so. But then, heh heh, you had to just put your assholeishness into 5th gear and finish with ” you self absorbed, self important, vulgar disgrace to the profession I have practiced for more than thiry years.” (BTW: You misspelled thirty and you don’t know how to use a hyphen. Tsk tsk my 30yr educator).

      So, since you decided to climb right on up that high horse which was standing atop a soapbox at an altitude where you just might have a nosebleed let me respond in kind:

      You are a bad person, my mid-50s know-it-all-who-refuses-to-see-a-POV-other-than-my-own. arrogant, sanctimonious, spiteful, hypocritical f*cker. From your own Twitter page you follow satirical pages (George Carlin quotes and Archie Bunker) and that makes you a hypocrite. Your posting of intentional hurtful comments clued me in on the rest of your character flaws.

      As a military man, in just about 20 yrs, I always support the Constitution and the right to free speech. AbbyByrd’s to post her blog, yours to say your drivel and mine to tell you what a jackhole you are.

      I know I am an asshole, I own up to it. Why don’t you take a little swim in lake you and stop pretending you are a good man

      Have a Nice Day!

      1. Love it!! Thank you for that well written reply. I am a teacher of 20 years but still have a sense of humour. As all teachers should!

    3. Chris Allen, troll and jerk, confirmed. 30 years? I pity the 30 years worth of students you have tortured, if you have really taught 30 years.

    4. Oh, Chris Allen, you gave yourself away in your first sentence. The most sanctimonious gasbags that I have had the displeasure of teaching with in MY 30+ years are those who “are in it to bring somethng to the students”. They are always disappointed because guess what? Kids don’t want it! They’re kids and they value little except fhemselves and their childish point of view. Be in teaching because of what it brings YOU. Fun, diversion, excitement, an audience, a chance to make a real difference and an opportunity to do important work. Find your sense of humor and your ability to see the ridiculous in every situation. Teachers like you are why newbies leave our profession. Little Miss Perfect, come teach next to me.

    5. wow, that dude is a dick! I enjoyed the read! Laughed my ass off and I think I’m going to use this to steer my students to created their own student-centred rules for their class periods.

    6. I hate teachers like you who view themselves as the elitist portion of the profession and feel it necessary to inflict your inane prose about the righteousness of your mission. Sorry, but that’s not what teaching is about. It may be what it’s about for you, but I highly suspect that that’s just your self-righteousness speaking rather than what you actually do for students. The best teachers I met teach because they enjoy teaching, not because they’re on a holy mission to save children or whatever. Those teachers are the worst. I too am sorry for the 30 years of students who had to put up with you.

    7. You have to develop a sense of humor on some days. You must be at the perfect school with perfect children to not experience any of these.

  2. HA!!! Thank you for this hilarious post!!! I needed to read this today!! ❤ from another young teacher who has a sense of humor. 😉

      1. I appreciate every single one of these, and as a young teacher who thinks humor is sometimes the only way to reach students, I hope I find a school where I could post something like this, because every single one of these is soooooo true! You rock!

  3. I’m an antique. I have been educating students, along with myself, for close to 30 years. This wasn’t my first career either. I was a SSGT in the USAF prior to becoming a teacher. Yet, somehow, I’ve managed to maintain a sense of humor and find abbybyrd’s blog quite amusing. I have taught at every level, from kindergarten to college, and I will not pretend that I haven’t seen many of the things you’ve described above. Chris, if you are that uptight that you can’t enjoy a bit of humor, your classroom must be a ball of fun (stated with a touch of sarcasm).

  4. a friend and I have been adding to the list….

    #14: “Please ask if you can go to the washroom 2 minutes into the class immediately after lunch! Why would we expect you to take care of your personal needs during the 50 minutes of free time you get EVERY DAY at the exact same time?!”

    #15: “please show up without a binder, or at minimum, a binder without paper. There is NO WAY that in the next 50 minutes we would have to write anything down. You won’t likely get a critically important piece of paper during the class… like the pre-copied set of my teaching notes that your IPP/ IEP demands.”

    #16: Please show up the day of a field trip without a form signed by your parents (or legal guardian). My life is SO MUCH richer for having this conversation for the 300th time…

    Teacher to student : “You can’t go on the field trip without your form signed” as we are about to leave for the field trip and student has had more than a weeks notice to get the form signed.
    Student: “Well, can’t you just call my mom right now?”
    Teacher: “Yeah, sure we can make everyone wait while I call your mom!”

  5. Oh my goodness! You are hilarious and this is all completely true -just in three classes today. Plus the past 20 years so I’m an old vibrant teacher and I think this is awesome!

  6. But you come off as such an asshole 😦 and not in the funny way. Then you continue to be an asshole.. you know, when you were defending how funny and witty you are. I think everyone gets how funny it was, but were maybe trying to say you seem like an asshole. An uppity asshole. Happy I don’t know you in real life.

    1. If you don’t like what abbybyrd wrote, don’t read it. The way I see it, the only asshole is you for your nasty reply. If you don’t like a t.v. show, do you just sit there and bitch or change the channel? Abbybyrd, you and I would get along just fine!

  7. I’m not a teacher, but can relate to almost all of your examples of wasted time. This is hilarious, and I loved it. To the critics— just don’t read it and if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all!!!

  8. Whatever happened to the golden rule??? Lol…and especially coming from teachers! As a teacher myself of 11 years, I found these hilarious. I even read a few to my students, who understand my sarcasm and laughed along. Well done Abbybyrd! And you are so right…we must have a sense of humor in this profession! It’s obvious you love your job and enjoy what you do. I’d love for my child to have you as a teacher!

  9. I copied this for my daughter’s teachers this year as a ‘welcome back’ joke. They all loved it. I’m not a teacher, but I see these things happening with kids every day in school. It is a skill to take a frustration and turn it into something funny. I applaud teachers and support them. I don’t know how they do it with the type of kids that are in school today. Thanks for the smiles. Please keep writing.

  10. I think this awesome! I have taught for 18 years, 10 of which have been at the middle level. I plan to use this list on the 2nd day of school this year with my 8th graders as my “rules” . I’m sure it will lend itself nicely to some lovely discussions about what our classroom norms and expectations should actually be.
    Well done.

  11. I’m 56 and a former military officer, and I loved this! I could have added a few more: Go ahead a pack up as noisily as possible while I wrap up and go over your assignment for tonight. I’m sure that you can multitask and/or get this information on Facebook after school by using your 21st century skills.

  12. Reblogged this on Copycate and commented:
    This post was written last year by Little Miss Perfect (Abby – a teacher, writer, and grammarian). Her eternally relevant list of Classroom Rules should be posted in every middle school and high school…just so its clear…
    Check out her latest post about Winnie the Pooh’s stint in rehab…hilarious!

  13. Snicker! Thanks for putting it in writing. These are the type of things that run through my head throughout the day. I I think finding humor in things that drive you nuts is better than getting angry or frustrated. Thanks for the laugh!

  14. I have been teaching High School Spanish since 1975 (yes, that’s 40 years ) and I would not have lasted this long without a sense of humor. This is hysterical !

Comments are closed.