Important stuff I learned about teaching from waiting tables

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Yes, it’s true, the years spent slinging hash in my youth have helped me tremendously in my career as an educator.

  1. Kill ‘em with kindness: The meaner the customer/parent/colleague the nicer you should be, take the high road and let karma sort them out!
  2. Never let them see you sweat: Always act like everything is fine, even if there’s a fire in the kitchen and the cook just quit. Don’t pay any attention to the kid who is throwing a tantrum because somebody looked at him funny, just keep teaching and act like nothing is happening.
  3. Patience, Patience, Patience: Having plenty of patience with the woman at table 27 who has changed her order fifteen times will get you a better tip. Having patience with colleagues, parents, and especially students is crucial.
  4. Bite Your Tongue: No matter how bad you want to scream at the pregnant woman who ordered a margarita with a double shot of tequila- don’t! No matter how bad you want to scream at the parent who just dropped their kid off at school with the stereo blasting and cigar smoke rolling out the windows- don’t!
  5. Using Love & Logic works on customers, colleagues, and parents:
  • Me to Customer: We’ve got refried beans or mashed beans, which would you prefer?
  • Me to colleague who steals my lunch from staff lounge: Don’t worry about it, we’ll talk later (smile and pat them on the back)
  • Me to parent: I’m sorry you weren’t able to attend our conference yesterday that was scheduled for 5:30 pm. I’m available tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 pm, or I can come to your house at 7:00 am on Saturday, which one works best for you?

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One Response

  1. Great words of wisdom!

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