5 Things Teachers Say That Mean Something Else Entirely

The things teachers say vary from lesson to lesson, classroom to classroom, situation to situation. Do you know the one quality every teacher needs, no matter what? It’s not patience. It’s not passion. It’s not even endurance.

It’s diplomacy.

The art of smooth-talking is one that is ingrained in every teacher. You simply can’t survive without it. Here are five things teachers say when talking to parents about their children – and what we really mean.

Kevin is full of energy and enthusiasm!

Things teachers say vs reality

Kevin is hyperactive and I spend most classes trying to peel him off the ceiling. He’s a one-child whirlwind. Please, for the love of God, stop feeding him sugar for breakfast.

Lisa can be reluctant to put her hand up.

Things teachers say: we've never heard Lisa talk...ever...

I have no idea what Lisa’s voice sounds like. None at all. If I ask her a question, she turns bright red and mumbles into her hand. The idea of contributing in class clearly petrifies her.

Sean is a very confident young man.

Things teachers say: confidence is often code for arrogance

Sean is over-opinionated and needs think about why he has two ears but only one mouth. Yes, his ideas are interesting, but so are everyone else’s.

Sara has some interesting ideas but finds it hard to get them down on paper.

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Sara has written a total of two lines since she started in my class. She refuses to write anything without someone standing over her. Her “interesting ideas” involve opinions on who is going out with whom in Year Nine – they have nothing whatsoever to do with English.

Kamal struggles with timekeeping.

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Kamal is consistently late to every single one of my lessons. He saunters in without a care in the world, and never even acknowledges his tardiness. If he were any more laid back, he’d be horizontal.

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