Tough Teachers

Teachers can make or break our school life. Whether we like it or not, they have a very high influence in our motivation to pursue education. If we are lucky, we will meet some of the most inspiring and generous figures that we can look up to as role models and be encouraged to do better. Now, if our chances are rotten, we will encounter the unpleasant kind who gives education a bad name. We have all had them at one point or another; some are worse than the others but altogether awful.

Four types of the most common “bad teacher”:
1.Teachers who play favorites
Favoritism is the oldest sin of bad teaching, and also the hardest to get rid of. You have your pick on the scale from teachers who favors smart students to those who keep their eyes only on the pretty and privileged students. For students who occupy the middle realm –not good enough to be one of the favorites—this is bad news for them. They end up resenting their peers and teachers and not improving in class.

How to deal: If you know that your teachers have a penchant for favoritism, don’t give them any excuse to look down on you. Always be well-prepared in lessons. Maybe you can’t change your social standing or facial symmetry, but you can make sure that you perform well in class, at least on par with the favorites. Don’t succumb to the irrational pressure to get noticed for the wrong reasons.

2.Teachers who hold personal grudges.
This type of teacher is the worst as they tend to take every little disagreement to heart. They can’t really differentiate between a healthy debate in class and a personal insult on themselves. As the result, they can misuse their right as a teacher to get even with the students, either by altering test scores or giving unfair treatments, just because they can.

How to deal: Tread very carefully with them as they are highly sensitive in nature. Avoid getting into any argument, if you can help it. When you have a different perspective on a subject matter, try to express it in a factual and considerate manner. Remember to always be respectful and level-headed; these traits will help you out when things get hairy in class.

3.Teachers who are mean
Teachers who scream at students, talk down to them, or embarrass them in front of the class in the name of punishment fit this bill perfectly. They resort to aggression when they feel like their authority is being challenged in class, and they loathe having students questioning their decisions. Putting up with this character requires the patience of a saint, but it’s not impossible.

How to deal: Understand that you can’t fight fire with fire. Mean people can’t help themselves being mean to others. So you will have to be the better individual. If you ever find yourself in an argument with them, present yourself assertively as they will look for weaknesses as an excuse to pounce. Also –don’t try to be a hero. When the temptation comes to give them a piece of your mind, count to ten and breathe. Getting into a yelling match will only land you with a disciplinary remark on your report and a trip to the principal’s office.

4.Teachers who are lazy.
They fumble with explanations while teaching. If you have a follow-up question to a subject, they will beat around the bush until you feel embarrassed for them and fake a nod in order to get away. Asking about the status of your assignment from last week will be met with awkward silence. Sounds familiar? Teachers like this are always unprepared in lessons and make things up as they go along, at the cost of their students’ education.

How to deal: Learn to be initiative. You know you can’t rely on your teachers to pass your tests, so you had better start figuring things out on your own, such as by forming a study group. When you have a paper that needs approval, do it in a day lest they lose your paper. If you really need to submit something, keep reminding them to give it back to you or they will forget about it.

For Speak! Feb.edition, 2014

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