10 Teacher Clichés You Promised You’d Never Use (But Do)

You wanted to be an inspirational, unique educator. Then you started teaching. Illustrations by Jack Noel.


“I’ll never be a dictatorial teacher,” you swear. “My classroom will be a sanctuary of rational discussion and cooperation,” you promise. Then comes Friday afternoon, a flood of “But why?” and it all goes to hell.

ID: 2061743

There is nothing more fist-bitingly awkward than a teacher trying to be down with the kids. Slap yourself on the wrist for slang, high-fives and, worst of all, addressing groups of teenagers as if they were your buddies.

ID: 2061754

So true! So snappy! And so utterly clichéd as to communicate nothing other than your penchant for grating turns of phrase.

ID: 2061756

Among the many methods of getting a class to pipe down, “Shhhhhhh” is at the bottom of the heap. For good reason. If you’ve tried and failed to grab their attention, you know that blowing like a possessed bicycle pump at the front of the room is not going to do the trick. But you do it anyway.

ID: 2061758

Technically true, yes, but also an unfortunate sign that you’ve turned into the kind of teacher you used to daydream about pelting with pens.

ID: 2061760

Another flashing marker on your one-way journey to ludicrous teacher stereotype. And, actually, it is your time they’re wasting, as that hurried break time cup of tea fades out of view.

ID: 2061764

You know it’s going horribly wrong when this one flies out of your mouth. Intended, of course, as a motivational tool (read: kick up the arse) this comes across as weirdly petty and competitive against someone you’re employed to support.

ID: 2061766

Emotional blackmail for beginners. It can be devastatingly effective when deployed by a tearful parent, but infinitely less so from a frustrated teacher to a roomful of off-the-wall students.

ID: 2061769

You want to connect with your pupils, and show them your human side. But you both know they’re only nodding along to stories of your favourite book/first pet/teenage band so they can switch off while you gab on.

ID: 2061770

We’re certainly not in it for money, are we? Dreams of “You changed my life” speeches might be what’s keeping you going, but asking a grumpy pupil to conceive of gratitude in the throes of a strop is like asking them to sketch a fourth dimension.

ID: 2061773

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

  Your Reaction?


    Now Buzzing