Quiz: Are You a Terrible Teacher or Do You Just Need a Nap?

Messy desk with teachers have class mug

Give yourself one point for every “yes” answer.

1. When you read the scoring directions, was your first reaction, “Ugh. Does a terrible teacher like me even deserve points?”

2. Wait—there were directions? How did you miss those? Where are they? Oh, okay. You’re reading them now. Back to the first question… wait—there were directions?

3. Have you recently received negative feedback from a student, parent, or administrator?

4. Are you pretty sure no good teacher has ever received negative feedback from a student, parent, or administrator?

5. Have you recently watched a movie about a super-teacher who gets through to the kids because she “refuses to give up on them”? Have you recently read a book by a teacher who found time to give students violin lessons during his lunch break—and then found time to write a memoir about it? Give yourself one point for each piece of such media you have consumed.

6. Did you stay up until 2:00 a.m. cutting out paper pepperonis for your fraction pizza lesson because teachers are supposed to do whatever it takes?

7. Do you now feel as though the students in your classroom know you stayed up until 2:00 a.m. and are consciously choosing to throw those efforts in your face by not listening to the directions for the assignment and holy crap, did that kid just crumple up a paper pepperoni in his hand and throw it at another kid?

8. Did you react to the situation above as if the student had thrown the paper pepperoni directly into your eye?

9. Did you then wonder why teaching is so hard for you when it seems so easy and straightforward for other people?

10. Did you then mentally beat yourself up for not being a better teacher until your emotional rubber band was stretched to its breaking point?

11. Did most of the above happen before your lunch break today?

12. Have you recently described yourself as “unfit to be a teacher” or “my own evil twin”?

13. Have you recently fallen asleep on the couch on a Friday evening and woken up Saturday morning with your shoes still on?

14. Are you currently ignoring the vast amount of sleep-related research that says when you haven’t slept enough, you become more self-critical, less patient, worse at making decisions, more likely to take everything personally, and more likely to overreact?

15. And also forgetful?

16. Wait, how are you supposed to score this quiz again?

What these scores mean

Not much, actually.

I can’t tell you whether you’re a good or bad teacher. But I can guarantee that if you slept only a few hours last night, you should get some sleep before making any decisions at all.

Try it. See how things look in the morning.

A version of this post originally appeared on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.

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