Education

  • Issue 56 / October - December 2006



    How to Become a Bad Teacher

    Ibrahim Sel

    Teachers are entrusted with the jewels of life: Our children. Sometimes teachers may be overwhelmed with this very important task.

    The teacher-student relationship, or rapport, is the most important factor contributing to effective teaching. How a teacher portrays him/herself or is perceived by the students, the label he/she is given (bad or good teacher) determine the quality of the teaching-learning process.

    Numerous studies, a great deal of research, books, and articles all shed light on this topic. Teachers are presented with many suggestions and ideas on how to become a good teacher. On the other hand, it seems that teachers are so bombarded with ideas that they can hardly digest and utilize them in their daily lives.

    I would like to take a different approach and highlight an often overlooked corner of this field: How to become a bad teacher.

    The principles of teacher-student relationships
    Establish friendships with your students, but do not stop there: act like a child. Worry about what to teach rather than how to facilitate the learning process. Assisting one student at a time is good enough. Others can wait. Don’t worry about trying to assist more than one student with group activities. Be presumptuous towards your students. You have years of experience, you can decipher a student in a few minutes.

    It is none of your business if the students develop good relations with each other. Do not bother to adopt a leadership role for this purpose. Some teachers try to get the popular students and the not so popular ones together, helping them to respect one another. These are efforts in vain. With your strong presence everybody will behave and that’s good enough.

    Students are too young to develop a sense of responsibility anyway. They cannot be taught how to resolve their own problems, make their own decisions and self-criticisms. You must be there to enforce discipline.

    Expected teacher behavior
    Assign homework as a way of punishment and threaten your students with grades. Adopt one teaching method, preferably one in which you talk and they listen. If it has worked for so many generations, it ought to work for you.

    Do not use encouragement or praise. Do not make any jokes. Do not check the student’s work or monitor progress. Let only the high achievers talk in class discussions. You do not have time to waste listening to poor achievers. They probably have nothing to contribute to the discussion anyway.

    Do not tell the students what the expected behavior is. Do not provide a suitable environment in which expected behavior can flourish. Let your own behavior be inconsistent with that of your colleagues. When responding to unacceptable behavior or mistakes use negative criticism. Criticize your students instead of their actions. Be easily affected and distracted by negative comments. Discipline your students using only reprimands and punishment. Do not give time for your students to correct themselves.

    Do not have a good lesson plan and let the kids be without a task from time to time. Include topics which you have not previously covered in your assignments. Be a book-oriented teacher. Go into your classroom, deliver your lesson, and leave. Remain distant from students. Do not position yourself in such a way that all the students in the room can see you. Turn your back to your class frequently. That way they will learn to value their time with you.

    Do not take into consideration physiological and social development phases or the academic levels of your students. Do not cater for the needs of students with different learning paces. Do not let the students enjoy their achievements.

    Focus on undesirable behavior rather than desirable behavior. Address some of your students with their first names while calling others “boy” or “girl.” Do not worry about fairness in awarding or punishing your students. Do not speak clearly. Use slang words.

    Handle aggressively even minor discipline problems. Do not ignore anything however small it might be. Never laugh with your students and always keep in mind that you may lose control of the class if you do so. The students are expected to be obedient at all times without questioning anything. Tell students off in front of others if you need to. Never forget that discipline is a major problem; this has been suggested by so many other teachers. Ignore the fact that sometimes students may violate the rules because of your attitude. Do not let the students know that bad behavior is actually showing disrespect to themselves.

    Teachers must be mean in order to discipline the students. Punish the whole class if you are not able to find the student who caused the discipline problem. Keep in mind that punishment is easier than prevention. Do not inform the administration, even if the students make it impossible for you to conduct the class. Keep it to yourself as this will protect your reputation.

    Conclusion
    Resist the temptation to listen to the suggestions of educators from around the world, take the easier path and become a bad teacher. Believe me it is very easy.

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