The Student’s Guide to Being a Good Teacher

This post was written awhile ago, but not posted. . . my apologies, but that’s why some things may seem a bit weird.


Good day!

Well, uh . . . no, actually it’s a Thursday, so let’s pretend I never said ‘Good day’. The reason I say this is because my Thursdays happen to have the worst selection of lessons possible. Almost as if one mongrel of a man wearing a suit on the top of some education department skyscraper thought, “Oooh, these look like the worst possible selection of lessons possible,” and then he wrote them all down for my Thursday agenda.

No the real reason it kind of sucks that it’s a Thursday is that tomorrow is a student free day. Not that student free days aren’t good, I’m all for them, I’d just appreciate it if they didn’t happen to fall on my good days all the time. No offense to my History teacher, but I don’t like ending the week with a double period of your expertise.

Anyways! Back to the propper grit of this post, just as the title suggests, this is going to be a ‘little’ guide to being a good teacher. What do I mean by “The Student’s Guide to Being A Good Teacher”? Well I’m going to be talking about the kinds of things that students tend to respect in a teacher, just by observation, seeing the classes in which students play up and muck around, and then seeing the classes that they sit down do the work and act their age. (But then again, after a health lesson yesterday, I may disagree with my own hypothesis)

If you’re a student and you’re reading this, then well, there’s a few things you could be thinking right now. If you’re one of those lovely bogan twits that we are all so ‘privelledged’ to be accompanied by . . . then I’m sorry, but you must be incredibly ill, because you wouldn’t be on this website reading blog posts, you’d be out in the street, swearing, causing a public nuisance and generally being a pain for your own simplistic entertainment. But if you’re one of the few students that are actually capable of maintaining a thought process, well, welcome.

(Sorry about that rather bizarre paragraph, it’s the result of a bogan today that was picking on a friend of mine with on of the few words that he can remember.)

Let’s get started then . . .

So what do students like about teachers?
What are the things that make students “shhhh” and listen?

– Age
The first thing that appears to have the biggest impact on a student’s attentiveness is the age of the teacher, the younger the teacher, the better ‘connected’ the class feels. (Although, as I’ve made quite clear in an earlier post, I don’t really like the students to be ‘on-par’ with the teacher) Whether it’s to do with the mental maturity of the teacher and the students being simliar, or whether it’s the way they look, or the the way they act, it’s an interesting factor.
But then again, having said this, having a teacher that’s really strict, old or young, seems to keep everyone in par.

– Appearance
As sad as this is to hear, unfortunately many people do in fact judge by appearance, no matter how many times you say the “book by it’s cover” metaphor people will still continue to discriminate by aesthetics, this is especially particularly common in most school kids, and it plays another major role in a students opinion and behavior.

If a teacher walks in in crisp cut clothes, grey, dark or “drab” as they say, there’ll be a first opinion obviously, perhaps that they’re strict and wont take no for an answer. Their stride into the classroom may also contribute to the accusation. Things like physical appearance, clothing, hairstyle, shoes . . . these things, strangely, contribute to how the students react to the teacher.
But! It appears that the judgement of appearance can be counteracted by the personality, I’ve sat in classes where the relief teacher was laughed at upon entry, but once they started talking the class shut up, listened and respected them.

– Attitude (towards work)

Students really like the teachers that don’t make you do any work. This is so obvious that it’s a no-brainer . . . this is why in most cases, students will enjoy the presence of a relief teacher. Relief teachers usually have little work to give out, and they don’t use discipline when the class starts misbehaving. (Some DO use discipline, but it doesn’t necessarily have the effect that it should)


These are some key points about what students tend to respect when it comes to teachers, if I were to explain what a teacher would have to do for respect, in a few numbered points, it would be:

  1. Be social with your students, if your students know more about you they’ll see you as a person, rather than ‘a teacher’ . . . for some reason it appears that teachers tend to be alienated against. Before we continue, on the behalf of all intellectual kids out there, I can’t say that teachers are always seen as another species, this is merely an event that can happen quite a lot with the average students.
  2. Talk about things your students are interested in, this is a rather annoying one. But If you share similar interests with your students, you can get along a lot better. I’m not saying go learn about AFL, nail polish, latest fashion, how to smoke, motorbiking, fishing, computer games and whatever else it is your students do, that would be ridiculous. Find something to talk about that’s generally interesting to everyone, in most situations talking about funny moments in your life, funny things that have happened to your friends or what you think the future will hold, will normally interest the majority. Technology is also one that can interest quite a few teenagers, as mobile devices are a large part of their lives.”
Now of course, I’m us students aren’t telepathic masterminds, so I can’t really talk ENTIRELY with the opinions of my “brethren.” I have merely tried to write from observation, a little bit about what I think this whole teacher respect thing is about.
It’s interesting which teachers have a really good relationship with their students, and which ones don’t.
Thanks for reading!

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