A Teacher’s Many Hats


It’s often said, teachers wear many hats throughout the school day. As a teacher, I can certainly attest to this statement. In fact, I believe a teacher wears more hats than any other professional. To prove my point, I’ve decided to compile a list of frequently used “teacher hats” to help support my claim.

The Instructor’s Hat

By and large, the “instructor’s hat” is the most recognized and utilized. During the school day, this hat is certainly worn the most. For example, teachers wear this hat when they deliver lessons, facilitate discussions, address student misconceptions, etc. As a result, teachers definitely get a lot of mileage out of this particular hat, alone.

The Counselor’s Hat

By far, the “counselor’s hat” is the most emotionally draining hat to wear. Unlike other teacher hats, this one appears at any given moment. For example, it’s not uncommon for teachers to wear this hat when a student needs to “talk.” These moments can occur before, during, or after school. Luckily, this hat doesn’t discriminate against any day of the week, either.

The Secretarial Hat

In my opinion, this is the dullest hat in a teacher’s closet. However, it’s probably the most important one. Since a typical there are several meetings to attend during a typical school week, this hat helps teachers organize their time wisely. Remember: A disorganized teacher loses everything; an organized teacher just loses his or her mind.

The Nurse’s Hat

Although it may sound odd, a teacher, at any given moment, is a classroom nurse. Somewhere in his or her classroom, every teacher keeps a first-rate, first aid kit. A teacher deals with bumps, bruises, colds, coughs, runny noses, etc. Trust me, teachers can handle any sickness short of the bubonic plague.

The Champion’s Hat

Without a doubt, this is the most important hat to wear. I can’t honestly think of any one who can better explain “why” than the late Rita Pierson. So, I’ll let her explain it to you, as she rests in peace.


The Guardian’s Hat

This is probably the most underrated hat in a teacher’s closet. Many times, a teacher has to act as a surrogate parent/guardian for his or her students. A teacher wears this hat for a variety of reasons, such as quietly telling a student to “sit up” or reminding a student to tie his or her shoe. Although this hat appears at any given time, it frequently appears during hallway duty. A teacher often wears this hat when instructing students to “walk and not run,” which students regularly interpret to mean, “run faster!”

The Student’s Hat

Without question, this is the most ignored hat. It’s not ignored by teachers, but by non-educators. Most non-educators forget that teachers are students too. Teachers constantly seek to learn new ways to improve their craft. Although a teacher wears this hat during the week, it is often worn on the weekends. Contrary to popular belief, this hat works throughout the winter and summer “breaks,” too.

The Firefighter’s Hat

Although this hat is not as popular as the rest, it’s a necessary one. Anytime students are arguing or fighting, a teacher wears this hat to “put out the fire.” In an ideal world, this hat never sees the light of day. However, in reality, it’s necessary to wear this hat, from time-to-time. Hopefully, it never involves using a one hundred-foot ladder.

The Cop’s Hat

Like the “firefighter’s hat,” this hat is extremely important. However, unlike the “firefighter’s hat,” this one’s designed for daily use. A teacher wears this hat to protect the classroom environment, and to serve each, and every, student. Whenever a teacher spots a conduct violation in progress, he or she quickly reaches for this hat. Interestingly enough, this hat can appear in random locations, such as the grocery store or while riding on the metro train. A teacher is always on the prowl for conduct violations!

The Duh-Vinci Hat

The “Duh-Vinci hat” is used when teachers attempt to create classroom projects, decorations, gadgets, gizmos, etc. Although this hat starts off looking great, it often ends up on the floor soaked in glue, paint or non-washable markers.

The iHat

Given the tech-laden, twenty-first century world, this hat is relatively new to the teaching profession. In my opinion, a teacher can’t afford to ignore this hat. Yes, this hat comes with a lot of manuals. And, yes, it’s time-consuming to read them all. Trust me, I get it. This hat is intimidating to wear. Nonetheless, it’s a prerequisite for becoming a great twenty-first century teacher.  Plus, I hear it even has its own app!

The @Hat

Believe it or not, although this hat is easily accessible, it’s seldom worn. Most likely, this hat is often neglected because it comes with tons of accessories: Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Facebook, WordPress, StumbleUpon, etc. Although the list is daunting, once a teacher masters this hat, his or her classroom walls come crumbling down!

The Teflon Hat

Hands down, this is the most difficult hat to wear, day-in and day-out. Nevertheless, it’s critical for classroom management success. The “Teflon” hat comes out when a student, parent, or worse, a colleague is insulting a teacher. It helps guard against ignorance, and it’s designed to let insults bounce right off. It has only one design flaw: The hat is mood sensitive. If it senses frustration or anger, then it dissolves rather rapidly.

The Night Cap

By far, this is the most tempting, yet damaging hat of them all. Many a teacher has fallen victim to this seductive hat. Sure, it looks appealing. But, be ever so careful. If you have too many nightcaps, then you’ll be sporting a painfully ugly hat the next day: The Hangover Hat.


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