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. Reblogged this on That Lesbian Teacher and commented:
    This is so perfect! Only a teacher that respects herself and her students enough to care about classroom management and teaching self-sufficiency could write such hilarity…and only a teacher with those qualities could appreciate such a post! 🙂

      1. Love this! However, you forgot one of my favorites…if, by chance, you plan on being absent on a future date, no, we will not be doing anything important that day, and if you already were absent, of course you do not have to make it up, and it will not be counted against you. 🙂 — Oh, for the love of teaching!

  2. Satire v. Sarcasm I teach to my AP Language students. This is satire because you CARE about your target and want to effect change. Spot on and hilariously written! The kids see themselves in some or all of these and hopefully will change their behavior.

  3. Oh good…I thought I was the only one who thought this way! 🙂 Hilarious! Thanks for being honest…it’s the only way to keep perspective and continue this wonderful journey in education!

  4. Love, love, love!!!! Spot on, hilarious, and let’s not for amazing!! Your addendum is also one of the greatest things I’ve ever read!! Thank you for posting.

  5. You also forgot, “Please feel free to go to the restroom anytime you choose. You are even encouraged to approach me while I’m explaining the instructions on the test you are about to take for me to sign your hall pass. Additionally, take as much time as you need – perhaps 15 to 20 minutes – to go to the restroom, get a sip of water, walk the long way around the building, stopping by the lost-and-found, and peeking in to wave at a favorite past teacher. The time you are missing from the classroom is of no importance, and your absence will have no consequences.”

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your message. 🙂

  6. Do you mind if I translate this into Korean for my students’ parents? They don’t understand satire and seem to think that this is how a class should be run.

  7. As a recently retired teacher of English, I related to what you are saying. I would amend #9. “Start every other sentence with the interjection “well.” It makes me feel as if you’re right there talking to me.” I would include….If you realize that you are using the word well too often, please feel free to use so or and then. Using these three, well, so, and then, your paper will be remarkable.

  8. This teacher of 35 years gets your satirical rant and imagines that your students adore you. Trolls are everywhere in comment sections. I recommend taking the stance of The British royal monarchs, “Never complain, never explain.” After all, you ARE the Queen of your classroom. Gotta go. It’s time to hold court in mine.

    1. That’s actually Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister. I know because I teach AP European History…and because it is written on a coffee mug I just bought in Homegoods (just so my kids could see it!)

  9. So this was written for your own entertainment and that of fellow teachers who express themselves best with sarcasm. OK. I just hope you never present this to your students as a teaching tool, as you must surely realize that the same kids who might benefit from these reminders are the ones who WON’T get it, and will just give you a blank stare and say, “Wait…what?”

      1. Of course not…it’s just me. Please forgive my aversion to sarcasm (which you may prefer to call irony because it sounds classier)…Although it does have its place in writing, what I read here sounded very much like you were just mad at somebody. This despite your addendum to the contrary. Obviously, hundreds of other people thought it was stellar. And I believe I was just called a troll for not praising it to the heavens. Your writing is clever and I did enjoy it. But I didn’t laugh out loud because I thought it was a little edgy. I realize teachers need their outlets (my daughter is a teacher and conversations with her are full of the frustrations you allude to) and I probably should have just kept my mouth shut. I’m really a pretty nice lady.:-)

    1. Thank goodness, for a minute I thought you were a teacher. Teachers get a lot of opinions from well meaning non-teachers.

  10. Loved it all until the addendum, where one senses bitterness, or revenge, or entitlement…? I don’t know. It’s like you must interdict, in a paranoid kind of way, the faceless onslaught you assumed you might receive. If this is all humor, why the compelling need to destroy opposing opinion of a public post even before it arrives? Maybe you’re the one who needs a snow day. The addendum leaves peoples believing this post could also have been written by a failed teacher who is angry at kids and society’s woes and needs to vent. Let your classroom rules stand on their own merit without a slashing and incongruous addendum.

    1. The addendum was added because of the mail I actually received, not some imagined “faceless onslaught.” I was hoping to head off annoying people who feel the need to comment negatively on humor posts, but I see that in your case, it didn’t work.

  11. How about when you ask if there are any questions, feel free to ask if I dye my hair, or if the sweater I’m wearing has to be dry cleaned. There is no such thing as a stupid question.

  12. This is hilarious! I will definitely be sharing it with my teacher friends! I think this is written more about older students, and I work in an Elementary school, but most of these still apply in some way and I’m sure any teacher of any grade level can appreciate it!

  13. I was with you right up until the profanity which I found both offensive and unnecessary. You left 1 important item out. Feel free to use your cell phone at anytime and by all means turn the volume up. If you prefer to use earbuds or headphones and you have both, please use the headphones. Headphones are much bigger and more obvious and will show your classmates that you are not paying any attention whatsoever to the lesson.

  14. I’m assuming those negative posts come from people who don’t teach high school English. If they did then they would get the humor and understand we laugh, and it’s not a Vicious attack. All of those questions and scenarios are real and sometimes you just have to laugh! Loved it!

  15. Thank you, it has been a rough couple of weeks and this makes me realize. That it’s passion I’m feeling more. Smile and make them wonder why!

  16. How about: “Did I miss anything while I was absent?” No, we just decided to sit here and talk about how sad we were that you were gone.

  17. And if you are wondering if you missed anything important yesterday, while you were absent, the answer is no, we stopped class just for you.

  18. That’s frickin hilarious! I have older students, and I believe most of them were your students in the past as they exibit most of the traits you just described.

    Don’t worry about the “Trolls” because they are jealous that you are able to read and write and stream concious thought into written form.

    Thank you!

  19. You must teach middle school, as this fits my 8th grade English classes perfectly! This year I made an illustrated rules PowerPoint and on one slide I made note to mention that contrary to popular belief I don’t manufacture pencils in my freetime nor do I have a closet full of secret candy :c).

  20. This was awesome. Humor is essential when you are teaching. It helps you get through those really tough days and enjoy your students

  21. When passing in papers, please remember that this is ample and adequate time for talking and catching up on all that is not yet on social media.

  22. One I get all the time…….We will be going on vacation so will you please just get all the work together ,a weeks worth, and we will see if we can get it done while we are away,

  23. Science teacher here. Sometimes, my reply to “are we doing anything today?” is: “of course we are, otherwise your being here is a waste of clean socks”. And then I would go on and on about how the use of water, soap, and electricity affected the environment…or some other crazy related phrase

  24. I love this – I find myself saying some of these things as well. I love when they forget to put their names on something they’ve typewritten and forget their name. I tell them that I didn’t recognize their font… Or when they label a graph with “my little bar graph”, in case I didn’t recognize that….

  25. About the plastic covers that someone mentioned – I used to tell my kids that if they used them the first thing I would do is to take the paper out, staple it, and then throw away the plastic cover. Where did kids get the idea that they impressed teachers with a plastic cover?

  26. This was unbelievably funny. It’s funny how students in different schools exhibit the same behavior. Thanks for the good laugh!

  27. I teach freshmen Algebra 1. Need I say more to those who are groaning? I had a particularly trying week and by the oddest means, this post helped me to see I am not alone. Thanks so much to you and the other responders.

  28. I absolutely loved it. I teach high school Math, and I identified with every statement. My colleague (also a Math teacher) shared it with me. This is one hilarious, intelligent and insightful piece of writing!

  29. I teach 2nd and 3rd grade (and I am a male) and laughed a lot…i could see how someone might misinterpret this without the addendum. however, everyone knows the first rule of comedy-it has to be true to be funny. if it was not true, it would not be funny! I loved it.

  30. Love this!!! Math teacher who also gets many if these… Also forgot the one where they come and say, “I’m going to be absent for the next week… Will you give me all my work?” Because I already have everything ready, printed and prepared in a nice packet ready to go…. Knowing that even if that were true, you could take and understand all the notes without actually hearing the explanations.Furthermore if you don’t understand, I know you’ll be sure and check my website that I never mention for the work we completed in class with everything posted that you may need.

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