10 top things I have learned after 20 years of teaching high school

Graduation was yesterday.   Along with 84 seniors from the class of 2012, I graduated also.  I will be back at the school next year in a very part-time role, but the era of full-time teaching is over for me. So in honor of this transition, here are the 10 top things I have learned after 20 years of teaching Bible in the high school classroom.

10.  If the classroom has a lot of laughter, students are more likely to learn.

9.  The three most important words for a teacher are “I don’t know.”

8.  Driving your own children to school and then being with them each day is an amazing privilege as a father.

7.  Don’t be afraid to admit mistakes.  Students will love you more for it.

6.  High-fives and knuckle pounds in the hallway are a powerful pedagogical tool.

5.  Writing personal notes to students may be one of the best uses of time.

4.  Senior slide can start early and always ends late.  Just keep seniors moving to the end.

3.  Kids need hugs, not drugs. (I really do say that all the time!)

2.  Teaching high school is incredibly exhausting and incredibly rewarding.  Wear comfortable shoes.

And for the most important lesson of all…

1.  Never, ever leave a classroom full of freshman boys for 30 seconds.  Not even 5.  You will regret it.

More about my future in the next blog.

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About Coach D

I have been a teacher and a coach for many years. My real name is Bill Delvaux, but my students call me Coach D, hence the user name. This blog is about the journey into the unknown I am walking and the landmarks I am navigating along the way. The destination: becoming who I really am as a man. I invite you to join me by reading along every Monday and Thursday.
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14 Responses to 10 top things I have learned after 20 years of teaching high school

  1. David Letterman has NOTHING you Bill! This is the best TOP TEN I’ve ever seen. Thank you for your mentoring of my children–an eternal legacy!

  2. Sandy says:

    Congratulations on your major life milestone and thank you for sharing. It sounds like there may be a really good story behind #1 we might like to hear someday. 🙂

    • Coach D says:

      There is a really good story behind #1. I have had freshmen boys taking down the acoustic tiles in the ceiling and hiding food up in them. No kidding. Incredible what they think of doing.

  3. Melanie says:

    Love this list! I only taught HS for two years but I could relate to almost all!

    • Coach D says:

      Melanie, there is nothing quite like teaching high school. I’m glad you could personally connect to the list!

      • Melanie says:

        I was moved to the HS involuntarily but it was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. I only stayed two years but I learned so much more than any other job.

      • Coach D says:

        It has also been an incredible learning experience for me!

  4. Mark Nester says:

    Thanks for the tips and most certainly the laughs, but most of all for teaching men as well as high school students. Bless you as you ride off into this next adventure. Our prayers will follow you.

    • Coach D says:

      Mark,
      With your stint in teaching, you know what I mean with these tips! And thanks for the prayer. So needed! The unknown awaits me. But so does Jesus.

  5. ben rucker says:

    I still have a hand-written note you gave me 11 years ago, Coach. Thanks so much for your years of teaching and mentoring. May it only continue from here….

    • Coach D says:

      Wow. Ben, I had no idea about the note. That kind of stuff still floors me! Don’t worry. I’m still going to be a teacher and a coach. Just changing the venue. And I’m going to try to keep those personal notes going…

  6. Rather, NOTHING On you, Bill!

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