Important stuff I learned about teaching from waiting tables


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?


One Response

  1. Great words of wisdom!

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