35 Things A Teacher Should NEVER Do

Recently I wrote a blog which asked whether you were SANE or just plain quackers.

This listed 14 key qualities of Self-Disciplined And Nurturing Enthusiasts and what they do as a happy and positive band of ‘extra-milers’.

One of the things they do is live by a list of ‘NEVERS’.

Neila A. Connors is the inspiration behind this blog and it is to her that we can thank for showing us the difference between SANE teachers and DUCKS, those teachers who are Dependent Upon Criticisng and Killing Success.

She says,

The SANE don’t acquiesce to the old adage “NEVER say NEVER” Their personal and professional missions include character and integrity as a foundation. Consequently, they do believe in NEVERS.

So what are the NEVERS Neila says the SANE live by?


1. NEVER say anything, or treat a person, in a hurtful or harmful manner.

2. NEVER demand someone do something you wouldn’t do yourself.

3. NEVER put down or humiliate a student or colleague.

4. NEVER forget why you are in the business of education.

5. NEVER stop learning and improving.

6. NEVER forget what it is like to be a student.

7. NEVER let a day go by without living, loving, learning and laughing.

8. NEVER forget the list of NEVERS.

There are probably other NEVERS you can think of that you could add to the list. What would you NEVER do?

Every teacher will have their own list of things they say they will never do.

For me, I’d add at least 35 others to Neila’s list such as:

  1. NEVER aim for outstanding.
  2. NEVER label children.
  3. NEVER use learning styles.
  4. NEVER use the ‘learning pyramid’.
  5. NEVER use Maslow’s hierachy of needs.
  6. NEVER refer to the left-right brain idea as being real.
  7. NEVER fall for the idea that you only use 10% of your brain.
  8. NEVER do brain gym.
  9. NEVER believe that boys are better at maths than girls.
  10. NEVER copy and paste reports.
  11. NEVER use traffic lights in class.
  12. NEVER use a red pen.
  13. NEVER mark by frequency.
  14. NEVER taking a teaching assistant for granted.
  15. NEVER say “You’ll never amount to anything!”
  16. NEVER say “What is wrong with you?”
  17. NEVER say “I’m disappointed in you”
  18. NEVER shout.
  19. NEVER give up control.
  20. NEVER become friends with your pupils.
  21. NEVER punish the whole class for the mistakes of a few.
  22. NEVER discuss your personal problems with your pupils.
  23. NEVER use your mobile phone in class for personal reasons.
  24. NEVER try to relive your own school days.
  25. NEVER claim to have all the answers.
  26. NEVER accept pupils as friends on social media.
  27. NEVER play favourites.
  28. NEVER make promises.
  29. NEVER ignore peer pressure.
  30. NEVER buy school resources out of your own pocket.
  31. NEVER compare classes.
  32. NEVER try to teach too much in one day.
  33. NEVER ignore misbehaviour.
  34. NEVER over-decorate a classroom.
  35. NEVER give up.

Does the list end there? Of course it doesn’t. There are still more to add but that’s for you to decide.

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