What are some important things to remember when addressing students?

jolly asks: I want to address my students on teacher’s day. Please give me some suggestions.

Hi Jolly –


I have to confess, I don’t know what Teacher’s Day is.  In my training classes, we didn’t have anything like that; the teacher just showed up with treats, noisemakers, and a leash – and from then on everything kind of went the way he wanted.


I also don’t know how old your students are, so I have no idea what interests they’d have.


But I can tell you a few definite constants:


1)    Be funny.  Most teachers aren’t, and kids get bored.  Also, humor tells the kids that you’re a good person, and can speak to their hearts.

2)    Only talk about yourself in ways that they can relate to.  If they’re teenagers, don’t spend a lot of time telling them how you learned to read.  If they’re six and seven-year-olds, don’t spend too much effort telling them about your politics.  Teachers are fascinating to young people, especially when they talk about what they were like at those kids’ age.

3)    Speaking of age, no matter how young you are, you’re old in their eyes.  Accept that, and even make a joke out of it.  That’ll help.  Let other teachers try to prove how cool and hip they are; be cooler and hipper by honoring how different you are from them.  It’ll give them license to be different themselves, which is great.

4)    Tell them why you’re a teacher.  Is it out of a great interest in the subject you’re teaching?  Is it because you want to be around kids all day?  Is it because you had another job before and changed it?  What’s your passion that you want them to see?

5)    I know everything I’ve said connects to this, but overall – Speak to your Audience!  Handsome once went to a preschool graduation to watch a little girl he knew.  The teacher got up and started to make a speech to the parents about how much the year had meant to her.  Of course, the children didn’t care a bit about this, and in the middle of the speech, that little girl stood up and told everyone in the audience who Handsome was and why he was there… and then proceeded to tell them about me!   What she thought of me, how we played, etc!  Hopefully that teacher learned her lesson that day!


That’s about what I can offer, Jolly.  If you can tell me some more specific things about what you’re doing, maybe I can offer more.


Good Luck!



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