Having been an elementary education major for 3 full semesters I can personally attest to the fact that teachers create and follow a set of POINTLESS rules that have zero benefit to anyone, including themselves.
1. No more than one person in the bathroom at a time.
When I was thinking about this rule I actually thought that it had some reasoning behind it, but then I thought “wait…this was a rule in 1st grade”. Honestly, do we think more than one first grader in the bathroom at a time automatically means they’re completing a major drug deal or there’s an orgy occurring in the third stall?
2. Second tile in the hallway.
I guarantee there will be no head on collision caused by a student walking ¾ of an inch into the third tile. This also goes for walking in a straight line. Little Timmy is not going to get lost walking to the cafeteria if he is not standing DIRECTLY behind Sarah. Promise.
3. No sharing food at lunch.
This leads to children learning how to get creative in how they deal contraband. Sneaking snack packs under the table while the lunch aid isn’t looking only leads to bigger issues. Today it’s cheese sticks, tomorrow, prescription drugs. It’s a fast paced world out there.
4. You must use a certain fire exit.
If there is a real fire in my school, I can guarantee the last thing I am thinking about is my class’s designated route to the fire exit.
5. No chewing gum.
This one actually makes sense to me considering the noise of chewing could potentially lead me to commit some act of child abuse. However, most people do not suffer from an extreme case of Chiclephobia (the fear of chewing gum), so what’s the big deal?
6. Use proper grammar when asking a question.
So yes, I understand they are in school and they should get used to always using proper grammar. However, if a student asks “can I go to the nurse?” the teacher should not take the time to correct them with a condescending “I don’t know…can you?”. In the few seconds you used to correct that second grader on the proper usage of “can” and “may”, is a few more seconds that their gushing nose could cause them to bleed out. Was it worth it?
7. No spaghetti straps.
I know there are probably one million articles about how dress codes are sexist, but this isn’t one of those (not that I don’t agree, but I think there is a bigger problem with this rule on a less deep level). Most 8 year old boys are thinking about how badly it would hurt a girl if they snapped their Limited Too cami strap like a rubber band, rather than the sex appeal of the girls shoulder.
8. Only #2 pencils.
Well first, has anyone ever seen any other numbered pencil? That being said, if there were to be say a #5 pencil, why can’t I use that one? Also what’s up with elementary school teachers shared hatred for mechanical pencils? Isn’t the noise of a manual pencil sharpener the worst? These are the questions people!
I hope that once I become a teacher (hopefully) I receive the handbook guide that explains how these rules significantly impact the balance and order of a classroom.