Ten of the best myths from the chalkface. But are they true?

31st October 2013 at 12:30
Is there another profession or area of expertise so bogged down with hearsay, half-truths, urban legends and myths as teaching?

Of course we at the TES know that what everyone “knows” about teaching has as much to do with real life in class as Tom and Jerry does to Rentokil.

But what of the myths of the staffroom? What about the truths that all teachers know, and most will propagate? What are they? And are they actually based on fact?
We’ve been on a mission to curate some of the best and we’re hoping to provide some insight into where they came from in a future feature. Here’s where we’ve got to so far:

1. Don’t smile until Christmas. It’s the only way you’ll earn the respect of the little bu***rs, say some staffroom sages

2. Teaching is a performance. You have to be entertaining for the learning to truly sink in. Or do you?

3. Never turn your back on a class. How else are you expected to keep them under your watchful eye?

4. The internet revolution means that teaching needs to be revolutionised. They don’t have the same attention span that they used to. Or do they? 

5. Once you've taught for a couple of years you won't need to plan again: All together now: If only.
6. Behaviour gets worse when it’s windy. It’s definitely true, teachers universally agree. But no-one really knows why.  
7. Level of academic ability does/does not correlate to teaching ability. Who can possibly tell?   
8.You need to know all the answers to any pupil question on subject content.. Otherwise they’ll think you’re stupid, right? Wrong. Probably.
9.Boys are better at exams, girls at coursework. Everyone knows this is true. But everyone also has a boy in their class who loves coursework and a girl who only performs on the exam hall
10. If you’re just tired or hungover or it’s the end of term you can just show them a video. Um, maybe. Or maybe not…
This isn’t the final list. We want more myths. Please tell us what you think.


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today