- Overdressing for summer meetings. That usually means this is their first teaching job and they think they have to be dressed up every time they go to the school. You only have to be dressed up when there are students at the school. If it’s a day full of teacher meetings and setting up your classroom, jeans or even sweatpants are fine.
- Overly detailed lesson plans. This usually means the teacher is fresh out of college or hasn’t learned to build flexibility into their lesson plans, which is a critical part of teaching. Laminated lesson plans are a bad sign, too. It shows the teacher is not open to change.
- Planning small-group work within the first few days of school. Small-group work is one of those things that colleges say teachers should do more of, but you really need to know your students before you start letting them work in groups. It can turn very chaotic very quickly if you don’t know them well enough to keep certain kids away from certain other kids.
- Non-traditional seating arrangements on the first day of school. You have to establish alpha-dog status in the classroom at the beginning of the year. The best way to do that is with all of the student desks facing you. If you want to do desks in groups or rows or whatever, that’s great! But not on the first day. Every time one of my coworkers has done this, they’ve had discipline problems in their classroom throughout the year.
- Teachers who show up (as in ARRIVING IN THE BUILDING) immediately before their class (as the bell is ringing in some cases) or who are repeatedly late, and/or leave the school building immediately after their class is over.
- Teachers who are not available to students at break and lunchtimes ever. I’m no martyr and *always* eat lunch, and of course there are sometimes things to do (e.g. photocopying, meetings) that will mean I’m not *always* available to students. But I’ve literally had colleagues who will shout “go away” when a student knocks on the staffroom door at breaktime.
- Teachers who are always derisory of any training opportunities they do receive and never seek out any training for themselves. (What, because you’re a perfect teacher? The best ones I know are still learning after 40 years on the job. It’s a complex career.)
- On that note, teachers who act like they know it all/are constantly emphasising their professional status. It doesn’t make people think you are an expert. It just makes them think you are paranoid (at best).
- Teachers who don’t plan *at all* for their lessons. I have observed colleagues who are just all over the place in a classroom and it shows that they have not even thought about what they will ‘teach’ before they walk in (and frankly are not even thinking about what they are doing *while they are doing it*).
- Teachers who swear and shout at kids so loudly during lessons that they can be heard halfway across the school.
- When other teachers start missing a lot of school there is definitely something going on even if that teacher did not share the problem with other teachers.
- Also teachers who don’t bother to call in for a substitute nor leave lesson plans are sending a gigantic red flag.
- Teachers who have students who are constantly having students leave the classroom are sending up a red flag.
- Teachers who have students leaving the building to drive to a Pizza place to pick up Pizza or another fast food item every single day during class periods are sending up a gigantic red flag. (And yes, I know of a teacher who did this. That individual was not hired back in that building the next school year.)
- Teachers who never do lesson plans are obviously sending up a red flag.
- Teachers who don’t bother to check roll and mark every student present plus give every student an A are sending up red flags. (And yes, I know of situations where these have happened.
I know several more red flags but I honestly do not care to talk bad about teachers. But these teachers do need prayers and help!
A few teacher statements