It seems a lot of people have an opinion about what teachers should and should not do. Ironically, the majority of those opinions that are talked about in the media are from those who have never set foot in the classroom.
So what do teachers really think about teaching? Their unpopular opinions may surprise you!
Teachers Share Their Unpopular Opinions
(For the sake of confidentiality, we have omitted the names of the teachers who participated and gave their opinions.)
Teaching is not a service industry. We should be able to respect parents, but it is not our job to cater to them. – T.R.
Parents need to be held more accountable. – D.K.
Teaching is a lifestyle, not a 9-5 job. – S.D.
Teaching is not for the weak. – E.G.
The entire school system needs to be reevaluated. Our current classroom environments are not meeting or surpassing children’s developmental goals as they should be. Learning should be organic and explorative not worksheets and curriculum. We focus too much on “education” and not learning. – C.O.
Electives are just as important as content areas. Many students only go to school for those classes and electives use all the concepts used in content areas often in authentic ways that make sense to students. – J.R.
Teachers’ mental health has got to become a priority for the administration, school boards, and everyone else involved. – K.R.
Kids deserve to be treated like people too, and not yelled at, belittled, threatened, or humiliated in front of their peers. – J.B.
Teachers get taken advantage of by emotional guilt way too often. And end up teaching summer school / Saturday school / paying for additional supplies and burning out. – J.B.
Taking off points for late work is an equity issue and doesn’t prove mastery of the content. – B.M.
Students are not held accountable often enough. – L.A.
Claiming to need a whole summer to recover from your job is annoying. – E.T.
Tests should be diversified assessments. – A.P.
The education system is outdated. It is lead by politics and not the interest of teachers or students. – N.T.
The First 100 Days is the absolute worst book ever written. Teacher shaming, poor content…throw it out. – S.A.
Grading shouldn’t be the Wild West. Uniform grading systems should be in place at all grade levels/content areas. – B.E.
Fundamental/Evangelical-based religious schools should not receive state funding of any kind unless they prove they are teaching appropriate science and history curricula. – T.L.
There shouldn’t be grade levels. Just learning goals. – B.D.
Learning starts and continues at home! – S.E.
Teachers shouldn’t take work home. – S.T.
It’s OK for students to experience boredom now and then. – S.L.
You should not be allowed to obtain an admin certificate/license and/or an admin position unless you have multiple years of experience IN the classroom as a teacher. – S.E.
Teachers should not get financial compensation based on student achievement scores on state exams. – B.T.
Being the “tough teacher who yells” doesn’t make you a good teacher. – J.A.
Homework is meaningless and also an equity issue. Abolish it. – J.D.
Teachers are not met with the respect they deserve. Even though the children receive it. – H.L.
Teachers should have paid mental health days! – H.S.
Grades suck the fun out of learning. – M.M.
I wish I could pull my own kids out and homeschool them. – L.S.
Granting additional concessions to high-needs youth is not “culturally sensitive” and “trauma-informed” it’s setting up already disadvantaged kids for continued failure. There’s a difference between treating kids like humans who endure struggle and treating kids like they are irreparably limited. It’s demeaning and disheartening. SIGNED – an urban youth who would have benefitted profoundly from more rigorous expectations. – M.L.
Bulletin boards stink! – A.H.
Academic coaches / instructional coaches should write lesson plans for teachers across grades levels. -A.E.
Teachers make a lot of excuses for bad behavior and make it so that other teachers need to accept it too. Therefore creating entitled children. – S.H.
PBIS doesn’t work for every child. – K.O.
Our education system is too heavily focused on testing. – S.S.
Mutual respect is key. – N.W.
TpT has not improved planning or teaching. It’s made it easier for teachers to find something that looks cute & assign it without really evaluating whether or not it is a valuable source. It also doesn’t help teachers to learn how to plan for their own instruction. It definitely saves time, but is it always worth it? – C.A.
The profession often abuses teachers, and we should all refuse to work until pay and workload are equal and fair. – M.L.
Humans learn by living, not structured, organized curriculum. – J.R.
Differentiated learning in the classroom and then expecting students to do standardized testing does not make sense. – E.P.
The U.S. school system is still behind in teaching a foreign language. Even third world countries teach another language since early preschool all the way through college. – W.P.
Kindergarten should be played based. – C.S.
Stop not allowing students to go to the bathroom. Even if they are doing it to “mess around”. Sometimes I leave meetings to go to the “bathroom” when I really just need a break. – B.R.
Leaving before the busses is okay. – S.H.
Stats should be a required class (drop algebra 2 if necessary to do this) to increase scientific literacy in the population. It’s scary how many people think an observational study in 80 people is strong evidence of anything. – C.P.
Kids have been falling further and further away from being on grade level. We should consider teaching the way we did 20 years ago (or incorporating some of those older strategies). It was working better than what we’re doing now. – A.N.
It’s okay to give students downtime, *especially* if you accomplished your goals for the day. Busy work is pointless. Let class end on a relaxed note! – A.C.
I think there is an overall push to get veteran/tenured teachers out of the field. I think it’s purely money-based. And the kids are paying the price. – A.P.
The system of letter grades is a false dog and pony show. You have no idea what the rigor behind the grade really means. Students should be assessed on performance, portfolios, and oral examination. – T.B.
I like going by my first name and talking to my students as people, not just pupils. That whole “because I’m the adult and I said so” mentality is toxic. I believe that if we treat students as learning equals to their teachers (because even teachers are always learning something new) it will help to establish more respect and better classroom management. Treat students as research partners in a classroom, they’re not there to just tell things to and expect them to remember. -A.G.
We give to many A’s and not enough C’s. Not every member of a class should be in high honors….maybe 10-12. – C.H.
Stop advancing students who haven’t mastered critical skills. I’m remediating high schoolers who can’t do basic multiplication or add/subtract with negative numbers. I can’t help them master OUR content because they came in with no foundation. – M.F.
Learning needs to be project-based with real-world application. We need to measure growth holistically not by a state/national average. It’s okay for kids to have downtime and do projects just for fun. – X.O.
Group work is the worst!! I hate being in a group and I hate that I am supposed to make my students work in a group and the state tests them individually for mastery! – R.R.
They need to put trades in all public schools. -V.W.
That “drill and kill” and memorization just plain works for base content. If a student doesn’t memorize things like multiplication tables up to 12 or dates of major world wars, they can’t “think critically” because they don’t have the basic knowledge to do so. – L.B.
Eliminate state testing and use the funding to provide resources in classrooms that actually foster growth, success, and skill development. – A.E.
The research says that other countries that beat us testing wise do so because learning is integrated, teachers are highly educated with master’s degrees, the content is delved into deeply instead of rushing through a war in 2 weeks, peer teaching, real-life problems, coteaching, the culture, everything!! Basically, we do none of that but we buy cute stuff on TPT that is low rigor because our curriculum is lacking and we don’t have time or high standards. – A.K.
General Ed teachers should also have SPED training. – S.H.
There’s too much micromanaging. We are professionals. Let us do our thing! – A.F.
Everyone is not a winner. – B.H.
Inclusion at all costs is actually a giant waste of time and hurts more students than it helps. – J.A.
Working yourself to death and staying all hours of the day and night shouldn’t be the standard we’re held to. – H.M.
Inclusion is not the panacea it is made out to be. It is very often better for a student than pull-out, but structural pressure should not be exerted on the team when making this decision. – J.W.
English teachers focus too much on reading and not enough on writing. – N.H.
When asking for teachers’ opinions on what’s best for students actually listen and not just pretend! – C.S.
Cute is unnecessary. Also- cute fonts are awful to read! – C.H.
Class rank is a terrible idea. Treat it like college and change the ranks to Summa, Magna, and Cum Laude. My students are such grade grubbers because of class rank. I’ve seen fellow teachers cussed out in conferences because the student dropped from 4th to 6th in the class. It’s just toxic! – B.M.
I love having families in the classroom! – D.S.
Special ed teachers can handle both general ed and special ed, but general ed teachers can’t handle special ed students 99% of the time. – B.V.
Academic “years” should NOT be based on age/birthdates but by subject mastery. Children should not be conditioned to feel stupid or “bad” at a subject simply because they are not physiologically developed enough to understand and comprehend that subject. – R.M.
Although implementing a basal reading series may be convenient, it is not always a best practice. Curricula do vary, but many popular choices are not backed by research. They are relatively easy to implement. That is what makes them a popular choice. – J.E.
The pay should be aligned with other professions that require a similar education (4 yr degree, masters +). – M.K.
No child left behind leaves kids left behind. – M.C.
What are some of your unpopular opinions about teaching? Share them with us in the comments below!