How to irritate your teacher, and other back-to-school advice

by CountryFriedMama on September 2, 2009

As a former teacher of teenagers and a current instructor of adults, I’ve seen students do a number of things they just should not do.

Whether your child is heading to high school this week, or you are planning to make a big return to the classroom yourself, I hope this list will be instructive.

1.  It’s so sweet to bring your teacher a gift for Arbor Day/Teacher Appreciation Day/Christmas/Hanukkah/First day of school.  Spare her the homemade Kahlua, though.  Your little Mason jar full of brown liquid is scary.

2.  When writing a research paper, be sure to include lots of facts and statistics.  Eight-eight percent of teachers love that stuff.  Try to avoid making up statistics. Ninety-six percent of teachers will bust you for it.

3.  If you are selling Avon/Mary Kay/Pampered Chef/Creative Memories, do not put your teacher on your blast e-mail list unless she specifically asks to be included.  Definitely do not send her multiple e-mails about age-defying creams.  She might take this personally.

4.  Underwear is not optional.  This is not Hollywood.  You are not Sharon Stone.

5.  Do not threaten your teacher.  She will try to forget about this when she is grading your final exam, but she won’t be able to, no matter what she tells your mother.

6.  Except for the 105-year-old retiree they found to teach calculus, teachers know about the internet.  If you write in three-word sentences all term and then suddenly bust out with, “The character’s adolescent suffering epitomizes the internal struggles of all human beings as they strive for perfection in the face of a cruel and arbitrary world,” your teacher will cut and paste that sentence straight into Google.  You think is going to protect you?  Wrong, my friend.

7.  If you ask your teacher 12 times in two days when she will have your paper graded, she will smell your fear.  She will look for weird sentences (see #6) to plug into Google.

8.  Freshmen need deoderent.  Someone needs to tell them.  Teachers should not be the ones to break this news to the poor dears.

9.  If you have an unfortunate condition involving pus or oozing of any kind, feel free to talk to your teacher about appropriate accommodations.  Do not provide visual aids when presenting your case, because YUCK.

10. When your cell phone rings in class, do not hold your finger to your lips and make a “shhh” noise.  Please don’t.

Have a great school year!

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Kim @ September 2, 2009 at 9:49 pm

As a former middle school teacher, can I add the following to your list?

Don’t pick you nose while insisting she eat the cookie you baked just for her.


While asking a question before class, don’t invade her personal space by standing within 6 inches of her and scratch youself while asking it.


faemom September 2, 2009 at 11:34 pm

Great post! LOL Hilarious!
Might I add:
Do not forget to set your phone to silent during your final. Do not answer annoying ringing phone during final.
I know and she was so pissed when the prof took her exam and showed her out. (Pss. Not Me. I’m a teacher’s pet.)


September 3, 2009 at 7:50 am

This is awesome.

There should also be some kind of list for “teacher don’ts” – I’ve had my share of stories already and it’s only the 7th day of school!


KathyB! September 3, 2009 at 11:05 am

Underwear is not optional?! Oh dear…

This is an awesome list, CFM! I LOVE it.


Hokkeymom September 3, 2009 at 11:47 am

As a middle school teacher I read this laughing and nodding my head LOL. Also, one for the parent “do not answer the phone when drunk/high and keep talking about the student I had last year rather than the one I had this year! slurring the entire time” oh and “do not continuously insist that I am wrong – you are the 6th grader I have a master’s degree. I think I know the proper grammar structure of the sentence a little bit more.” Or “Do not write your papers as if it is a text message/IM to a friend – b4 or cu or & or bff or gr8 etc. are not appropriate!”


ck September 4, 2009 at 7:05 pm

So so so funny! This is a fantastic post. Please tell more teacher stories!


AGmom September 5, 2009 at 6:12 am

yes, yes, yes. Love 2, 6, and 7!


Sam/Keri September 5, 2009 at 10:35 am

Hiya… just poppin by to see how life’s treating you. Loving your blog and writings. Thanks for sharing. Be happy, Love, Le Gourou (keri)


Jane September 6, 2009 at 1:24 pm

I love this post. It brought me back to my teaching days! I taught at a private school so the “underwear is not optional” comment (thinking of the ‘cool moms’ here) cracked me up! And googling sentences from bogus papers! Yep. Did that, too. Thanks for bringing me back.


Jane September 6, 2009 at 1:25 pm

cracked me up? Ooops. No pun intended!


pehpot September 6, 2009 at 9:02 pm

Cool infos! I specially like number 8.. yes they do need one and it is a shame that some parents are not aware of it LOL..

Dropping by from SITS! I am following your blog too

Make or Break


Rita September 7, 2009 at 11:56 pm

Just hilarious!!!Totally agree on #8 I work with teens! LOL!


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