I have lots of thoughts about the importance of being a teacher.  Those thoughts have changed over time, but my basic beliefs are still recognizable.


As a young teacher I simply wanted to impart all the things I had learned in college and during my short lifetime to my students.  I wanted them to have a leg up on life and especially so when they went to college.


After I had children, I realized the my zealous tactics were not always playing well with all my students!  My failure to sympathize with  lackadaisical students became apparent to me:  the dog does sometimes eat the homework!


All of that aside, I still, even now, believe that good teachers should hold certain principles. Among them are these:


1.  A teacher should always try to be fair. This is a teacher's most important attribute.


2.  A teacher should always make "please, thank you, and you're welcome" a part of his daily vocabulary.


3.  A teacher should grade his papers and tests the same day his students create them.


4.  A teacher should be able to readily say, "I was wrong."


5.  A teacher should compliment each of his students every day if possible.  One can always find something nice to say about a person.


6.  A teacher should learn at least his students' first names by the end of the first day of school.


7.  A teacher should smile most of the time.


8.  A teacher should not talk about his students in front of other students, teachers or administrators.


9.  A teacher should stand at the door of his classroom between every class to monitor the hall and greet his students.


10. A teacher should let his students sit anywhere they like as long as they always keep that seat after the first week.


11. A teacher should not punish the whole class for the misbehavior of one student.


12.  A teacher should never leave a student in charge of the behavior of a class while the teacher is out of the room.  A teacher should never leave his students alone in the first place.


13.  A teacher should treat the parents of his students as if they had at least as much sense as the teacher.


14.  A teacher should always send written thank you notes if a student is kind enough to give her a gift.


15.  A teacher should attend PTA meetings considering it part of his job.


16.  A teacher should try to attend school events as they happen to show support for his students.  He should also offer to volunteer as a chaperone.


17.  A teacher should volunteer for school leadership positions without expecting monetary stipends in return.  To do so is part of the job.


18.  A teacher should not assign homework every day.  To do so indicates the teacher's inability to get his job done during the allotted time period.


19. A teacher exists to impart knowledge and therefore, the teacher should be certain that he has plenty of knowledge to impart.  He should continue to read in his subject field even after graduation from college. He should go back to college from time to time to take ACADEMIC course work in his field.


20. A teacher should not create tests that have so few items that to miss one or two is to fail the test.


21.  A teacher should create multiple tests giving each class (and also make-ups) a different test.  A teacher should closely monitor students during the testing period, and she should never sit down during a test.


22.  A teacher should always keep abreast of current events, popular culture, politics, entertainment, electronic genres, and sports events and figures as well as the jargon of his students. To ignore this aspect of teaching is to render one's self boring to one's students.


23.  A teacher should be cognizant of a student's personal life as it affects his classroom work, but he should not become personally involved with a student's home life.  That life is none of a teacher's business.


24.  A teacher should always think of those he teaches as his "students" not his "kids."  "Kids" are children that belong to their parents.  They are NEVER the teacher's "kids."


25.  A teacher is never too old to teach as long as he adheres to these rules, however, a person should not teach unless he is really happy doing so.


26.  A teacher should not praise a student just for the sake of praising!  Telling students that they are great or superior when they are not is deceptive.  When students discover that they are NOT so great, then they are disappointed and sometimes devastated.  Be honest with your students.