Teachers - Expectations

Since my grandchildren are all in school in a variety of grades and educational venues, I hear a lot of talk about teachers. It’s not always good. Some of it is not fair.  There are many retired teachers among my fellow CCRC residents.  I ask them about their experiences. I remember my own student experiences in public school. My kids remember theirs. My sister is a retired teacher. 

I had very limited experience as a teacher and that was a college course, which is a totally different animal. After retiring from my full time job, I worked part time as a math tutor. Working with one student at a time and therefore being able to adjust my approach to the needs of each one, is very different from the demands of a classroom. I really liked it.

I want to talk about all of this, but it is too much for one blog. However, a series of blogs might do the trick.

First, what do we expect from teachers?

In colonial times most teachers were expected to be female (this gender bias became a major social influence on the profession), unmarried, “of good moral character” and willing to work for little more than room and board.  Although at that time a lot of early learning was in the home, by the mid-19th century, the role of the school had expanded to tasks previously handled by parents.

When I ask people of all ages, “What do you expect of teachers?” The answers are as follows.

A teacher should: 

  • Be nice.
  • Be on time.
  • Look nice.
  • Be a good communicator. 
  • Be patient.
  • Be smart.
  • Be kind.
  • Teach basic skills like reading, writing, and arithmetic.
  • Teach you how to tie your shoes. 
  • Teach the class how to cooperate, take turns and share.
  • Explain and enforce rules.
  • Encourage Imagination.
  • Accept alternate methods and views.
  • Impose discipline without being mean.
  • Challenge you.
  • Be dedicated
  • Scare you into doing your work and behaving.
  • Teach life skills.
  • Be funny.
  • Create exciting lesson plans.
  • Grade papers promptly.
  • Teach you to be kind. 
  • Always be there.
  • Be willing to work for “reasonable” pay. 
  • Not challenge the administration.
  • Not be political. 
  • Not talk about religion.
  • Talk about religion. 
  • Teach about evolution.
  • Not teach about evolution. 
  • Be unselfish. 
  • Use their “spare time” and money to shop for supplies.
  • Show concern for individual students and their problems.
  • Know about everything!

Wow!  That’s a really humongous assignment!

Until next time, here are some amusing quotes to ponder:


"I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework."

Lily Tomlin


"If you really want to know about the future, don't ask… a scientist.  ...if you want to know what society's going to be like in 20 years, ask a kindergarten teacher."

Clifford Stoll


"Not all superheroes have capes, some have Teaching Degrees."

Heidi McDonald


"Teachers are the only professionals who have to respond to bells every forty-five minutes and come out fighting." 

Frank McCourt


 “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”  

Henry Adams


“I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well”. 

Alexander the Great


 "To be good is noble, but to teach others how to be good is nobler—and less trouble."

                                                                                                             Mark Twain


Betty Ago


Betty is a real person who resides in one of our Brookdale entry fee communities. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Brookdale Senior Living.

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