Why are some teachers respected and others laughed at or ignored?
Becoming a teacher has to be one of the bravest jobs to undertake. Not only do you get scowled at from everybody else in society for having long holidays (they conveniently forget all the marking, and that just because school starts at nine and finishes at half-three doesn’t mean you do) and good pensions, you have to deal with bored children who don’t appreciate their education.
I only left school a year ago so I can still remember the teachers I liked, and why I liked them. Sometimes you stare absent-mindedly at the board wondering why the monotone lecturer ever became a teacher. Sure they know their stuff, and there’s no disputing that they’re experts in their respective fields but they can’t teach for toffee!
Then there are those who just shout. You ask a friend for a pen, you get shouted at. For some students this is embarrassing and hence when they are in need of help they won’t ask. For others, perhaps the less well-behaved, they view this as a challenge. The shouting teacher is unfair, highly strung and easy to wind up. Children love seeing how far they can go until you really snap. You know when you say to children if you continue to get annoyed your friends will continue to test you? Well, take your own advice and stop responding to such a high degree. Of course, there are those children who truly need a good talking to but it’s not always a good idea to shout and humiliate them in front of the whole class, they’ll only lash out in embarrassment or goad you to show off to their peers. Then again, maybe a bit of embarrassment is needed to make them stop; also it shows others in the class that they won’t get away with acting up. All students are different. No one ever said this job was easy 😀
Children are mean, there’s no doubt about it. Just like adults they will judge you on your appearance (at least the older ones will) and so looking professional is important. Dress like a scruff, you’ll get sneered at. Dress too much like a bank manager, you’ll get sneered at. Dress like them, you’ll get sneered at. Admittedly, there isn’t much children won’t sneer at so perhaps this is a moot point?
How to be a good teacher:
- Friendly (but don’t BE their friend)
- Can be informal
- Easy to approach
- Respectful of the students
- Varied teaching style – you can’t help it if your students don’t learn the way you prefer to teach, you may be a brilliant teacher to some but to others you’re not. So don’t stick to one method, allow everyone an equal chance to reach their potential.
Being firm and authoritative is one thing, but becoming a dictator will not win you any fans and will only make the job harder. If the students are going to listen and learn, scaring or threatening them into silence will only get the minimum work done. Respecting and listening to your students will allow them to open up and reach their potential.
Of course, you could argue, why should I, as the teacher, do all the work? I am not saying that you should be the only making the effort, but you have a lot more experience of the ‘real’ world than your students and your age should enable you to take the high road and hope you shall be followed.
How to be a good student:
- Complete homework
- Stay alert and awake (even last thing on a Friday and first thing on a Monday)
- Treat and respect your teacher as a fellow human, they’re not all aliens
- Don’t talk back
What do you think makes a good teacher/student? Who has the most responsibility in the classroom? Did you respect all of your teachers, or just tolerate them?
To be a good student you need good teachers; to be a good teacher you need good students.