Yes, there is a set of Murphy’s Laws for teachers. You’ve
probably already discovered that no matter how well you plan—if something
can go wrong, it will.
Don’t let these missteps trip you up. With each year you teach, it will
get easier to deal with the unexpected. Remember—there’s always
1. The more important the occasion or the larger the audience, the greater
the chance that the bulb on the projector will burn out in the middle of
2. Students with behavior problems are never absent - not one day - all
3. After 27.5 hours of intense creative work, your bulletin boards—the
best ever—are finally complete. Ten minutes later you’re notified
that you are assigned to another classroom.
4. The day the cafeteria serves mini-missiles—raisins, peanuts, peas—is
the day the superintendent has lunch at your school and decides to eat with
5. Once your notebook is full of good ideas, tests, sample lessons, films
and a list of 500 library books for supplemental reading, and all of this
is correlated to the textbook you are using, you get the message: “We
will be adopting new textbooks next year!”
6. Your first experience with a vomiting child will take place with a guest
speaker in the room.
7. The larger the mistake in your paycheck (in the district’s favor),
the longer it will take to straighten it out.
8. News of what you failed to do travels at 1,000 times the speed of news
of what you did well.
9. The week after you have completed your lesson plans that will keep you
on schedule with the curriculum and allow you to teach all you need to before
the school year ends, you will lose four days of school because of snow.
10. PTO Open House will be held on the night of part two of the best three-part
TV show of the year.
11. The percentage of absenteeism on any day is directly related to the
number of tests being given on that day.
12. The only time you are a few minutes late all year is the time your principal
will be waiting in your room for you. . .looking at the clock.