4 Teacher Mistakes to Avoid: Lessons Learned from an Educator

By Kirsten Hammond

Have you ever felt that you’re just not up to par with all those teachers on social media? They seem to always be doing everything right and are picture-perfect?

Can you relate?

Today I’m sharing with you 4 big teacher mistakes I’ve made, and what I’ve learned from these mistakes. I always strive to be my best and these are some mistakes that I’ve grown from as an educator and have shaped how I teach today.

One of many Teacher mistakes is to not collaborate with your team.

1. Building Strong Teamwork

When I first stepped into the classroom, collaboration wasn’t my strong suit. I preferred working solo and found it challenging to mesh with my fellow teachers. This was one of my first teacher mistakes!

But as time went on, I realized the power of teamwork. Collaborating with colleagues not only lightened the workload but also brought fresh perspectives and ideas to the table.

By learning to communicate effectively and collaborate with my peers, I’ve fostered a stronger sense of community within my school.

2. Letting Go of Perfectionism

Another one of my teacher mistakes was trying to be perfect. In my early years of teaching, I used to sweat the small stuff. Whether it was enforcing rigid rules or striving for picture-perfect lessons, I found myself caught up in the pursuit of perfection.

But over time, I’ve come to understand that teaching isn’t about perfection—it’s about creating meaningful learning experiences for students.

I’ve learned to let go of unnecessary rules and focus on what truly matters: fostering a supportive and inclusive classroom environment where students feel valued and empowered to learn.

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3. Developing Resilience

One of the toughest teacher mistakes and lessons I’ve learned is not to take setbacks personally.

Whether it’s a lesson that falls flat or a miscommunication with a colleague, it’s easy to internalize criticism and let it affect your confidence.

But I’ve come to realize that mistakes are a natural part of the learning process. Instead of dwelling on failures, I’ve learned to view them as opportunities for growth.

By adopting a growth mindset and focusing on continuous improvement, I’ve become more resilient in the face of adversity.

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4. Prioritizing Self-Care

Perhaps the most important lesson throughout my teaching career that I’ve learned is the importance of prioritizing self-care.

Teaching can be emotionally and physically draining, and it’s easy to neglect your own well-being in the hustle and bustle of the school day.

I’ve come to understand that taking care of myself isn’t selfish—it’s essential for my effectiveness as a teacher.

Whether it’s taking mental health days when needed or carving out time for hobbies and passions outside of work, I’ve learned to prioritize self-care as a non-negotiable aspect of my teaching practice.

Combating Your Teacher Mistakes

As educators, we must remember that perfection is not the goal. Mistakes are inevitable, but it’s how we learn and grow from them that truly matters.

Instead of comparing ourselves to others, let’s focus on being the best version of ourselves and supporting each other along the way.

Check out my blog for more teacher tips!

kirsten hammond

Kirsten is a former 3rd and 5th grade teacher who loves helping upper elementary teachers by creating resources and sharing ideas that are engaging, research-based, and TEKS-aligned. She is a work-from-home mama of 3 rambunctious little ones and loves running, true crime, and lots of coffee.

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