To teachers: what makes you like or dislike a student?

I know a lot of students won’t believe this, but it’s absolutely true: Neither I, nor any teacher I’ve ever worked with, actively disliked a student. There are students that are much more difficult to teach, and students whose attitudes and behavior get on your nerves, but you remember that they’re just kids, and they can’t always help it. You don’t take it personally.

That being said, here are some things that make me look forward to teaching a student:

  • They have the self control to sit silently and attentively when I’m teaching.
  • They care about their education.
  • They participate in class discussions.
  • They do their work to the best of their ability, on time.
  • They learn from their mistakes.
  • They are nice to their classmates.

And bonus points if they have nice handwriting. It just makes my job that much easier.

Here are some things that make a student “difficult” to teach:

  • They lack self control; they talk too much at inappropriate times and interrupt the education of their classmates who do care.
  • They don’t care about their education; they’re just going through the motions because they have to.
  • They always seek out the least possible amount of work to do in order to get their teachers and parents to quit hassling them.
  • They don’t learn from their mistakes.
  • They are bullies to their classmates.


As a teacher, have you ever met the parents of a misbehaving student, and suddenly realized why the student behaves that way?

  • “Yep! When I worked daycare, there was a little boy who was worryingly sexual with the other children. He was about five, and he would kiss pictures of the Disney princesses and call them “sexy babies”, he would get into the little girl’s cots during naptime and sometimes lie on top of them, he would slap boys, girls, and teachers on the buttocks, he would grab his penis randomly, and finally was asked to leave after doing the “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” in the bathroom with another child.I was worried this poor kid was being sexually abused, which is usually the case with inappropriately sexual children, until I saw his parents. His father was one of those super-macho, hyper-sexual types that makes Gomez Addams look like a eunuch, and his mother was a fairly average woman who was obviously flattered by her husband’s constant sexual attention. Every few moments, the father was caressing his wife’s butt or groping her breasts or making a sexual comment, while she smiled and fluttered and giggled. And this was their behavior in a parent-teacher conference. The father not only didn’t see anything wrong with his son acting sexual, he encouraged it, as he said he wanted his son to be “manly” and to “get lots of chicks”. The mother seemed concerned until her husband started talking, and then she just simpered in adoration. I’m pretty sure if her husband had suggested a threesome with the director on the desk, she would have enthusiastically agreed.It was really sad. I have no idea what became of the kid, but seeing as he’s about 9 or 10 now, I can only imagine he’s gotten worse.”


  • “I suspect most teachers have this moment – the ‘ooooohhh, yeah, I GET it now’. Most of the time it’s the aggressive kid, the rude one, the ‘noticeable’ one. In my case, it was the opposite. I had a young lady who was a serious ‘overachiever’ – straight high A grades, team player, worked her tail off. Atypically, she was VERY quiet; it’s not that most overachievers are braggarts, but this kid was basically silent except when she was doing a presentation or group work, and even then, didn’t exactly overwhelm the group. Then, most of the way through the term, I got back to my office after a class and there was a lady waiting outside the door to the office hallway. Power suit, skyscraper heels, briefcase that probably cost more than my used car. I didn’t even get through the door before she was on me – “Are you my daughter’s professor? Do you have any idea how much work she’s doing for other students? Who do you think you are?” I couldn’t get a word in edgewise. This lady basically ran her mouth at me at full volume and speed for about seven minutes. It was actually funny, because every other office door on our little hallway opened up and I could see my colleagues sticking their heads out to see what was going to happen. Once I figured out WHO’s mother she was, everything made sense – no wonder the student was so quiet! I doubt she got a word in edgewise at all! Mom basically was incapable of listening to anything, so kid just clammed up.”
  • “I taught an 8th grade boy once whose attitude toward women would not have been out of place in the 1800s. In classes taught by men, he was unremarkable—followed the rules, got average grades, etc. In classes taught by women, he refused to follow even the most basic rules, like sitting in his assigned seat. He wouldn’t even address his female teachers as “Ms. [Last Name].” He called all his female teachers “Woman,” as in, “Woman, shut up talking to me.” Yes, that’s actually something a 13-year-old boy said to me in 2018 because I told him to please sit down. Needless to say, I called home frequently about this behavior, as did his other female teachers; his mother always answered the phone and was very apologetic about his behavior. Then he went and got suspended for insubordination. He was walking down the hallway with his sweatshirt’s hood up, which was against school policy, and the (female) vice principal told him to put his hood down. He glared at her and said, “I don’t take orders from bitches.” Shortly after that incident, it was time for 1st quarter parent/teacher conferences. We were all looking forward to meeting his parents in person and talking about his issues with disrespecting female teachers and administrators. Both his parents attended the conference. The father talked about the suspension and how he’d had a good conversation with his son about it. He finished speaking, and his wife spoke up to add that they were considering taking him to anger management counseling. Suddenly the father SLAMMED his hand down on the table and shouted at her, “Woman, don’t interrupt me!” Suddenly his son’s behavior toward women made a lot more sense.”


  • “Oh yes. I used to have a student, we shall named Sophie. Not her real name, nowhere close. Sophie was, on her nice days, a self entitled brat. She believed that she was doing us a favour in being in our classrooms and because of that, she could sit, say and do whatever she wanted. Challenge her and tables would be flipped, chairs thrown and a whole tantrum ensued. Eventually we managed to talk her Mother into coming into school for a chat. Mum arrived, and introduced herself only to the behaviour manager (a man wearing what appeared to be a very expensive suit. It wasn’t, he’d been telling us that morning how please he was with his bargain of a lifetime suit from Tesco) and ignored myself and our head teacher(also a woman). She sat and gushed over him for 10 minutes before he managed to get us onto the subject we were there for. Her response? ‘Well she is a far higher calibre student than you are used to, what do you expect when she has to put up with all of this’ -gestures towards myself and the head. I can’t remember much more of the meeting other than mum screeching her way through the school and slamming doors as well as banging on our locked internal doors to have them opened for her. It made a lot more sense. I’ve also had the couldn’t care less students, plenty of them, who can’t be bothered because they’ve been coached into the fact they don’t need jobs to survive by their parents and the benefits state.”


  • “Yep. After years of teaching, I never judge a naughty kid anymore. Every parent teacher meeting, every parents’ evening, every casual meeting after school or out in the world – its always the parents that give you the sudden revelation of why the kid is the way they are. Why are you such a rude kid? Oh, his mum’s a total bitch to him because she wanted a daughter and she got you. Why do you act so stupid when you’re not? Oh, your mum values beauty over brains. She hates you’re not classically pretty to show off to her friends. Why do you treat the girls like rubbish? Oh, your dad’s a misogynistic asshole. He’s even treating your mum like shit right in front of me. Me too now. Why are you getting into so many fights? Oh, your mum died a few months ago and your dad’s moved his slut into your house already. Why haven’t you been doing your homework? Oh, your dad thinks school is stupid and make you work in the evenings at his shop. Why are you bullying other students? Oh, because your parents didn’t want you and treat you like shit so you treat others the same way. Why are you so determined to be the best that you lash out at anyone doing well too? Oh, you’re not the favourite. She is. She’s gets everything you get the ridicule. The list goes on and on. It’s just sad. Parents have such influence over kids, it really does mess them up if parents aren’t careful. Hopefully, then they go to school and realise parents are not perfect and realise sometimes, they aren’t always right either. That’s how you can turn some of them around before adulthood. Some.”

Statements of teachers

Crazy Things People Say To Teachers — And How To Respond

Tired of people assuming your job is easy and your summers are free? You don’t have to take it.

Ah, the holidays. ’Tis the season to gather round the hearth, feast on turkey and pie, and enjoy the company and conversation of loved ones we see but a few times a year. And thank goodness for that! You love them dearly, but it’s exhausting fielding all those annoying questions about the teaching profession from your well-meaning but clueless family.

“Needs and Desires”

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of comebacks to crazy questions, so at this year’s holiday dinner (or any other time your professionalism is called into question: legislators, are you listening?) you can show the whole family why your profession is worthy of their highest respect.

Teachers are just glorified babysitters!

OK, you can pay me what you pay your babysitter. Ten dollars an hour for six hours (even though I actually work 9 or 10 hours a day) is $60 a day, times five days a week (even though I often work weekends) is $300, times 36 weeks a year (even though I’m taking classes and professional development year-round), is $10,800 – but that’s just for one student. Multiply that by 30 students and that’s $324,000. That’s a good start.

All your union cares about is bargaining for higher salaries and more benefits! What about the glorified?

Actually, when state laws allow us to, the National Education Association routinely bargains for student-friendly conditions like class size limits, staff training to improve student learning, collaborative time for sharing effective classroom techniques, school building health and safety, desperately needed classroom materials and equipment, and joint union-management problem-solving on ways to better teach students in low-performing schools. But shouldn’t we also have competitive salaries so we attract the best teachers? Don’t the students deserve that?

Teachers have tenure. You can’t be fired no matter what kind of job you do.

Tenure does not mean a “job for life.” It means there needs to be a just cause to be fired and you have a right to a fair hearing to contest charges. Any tenured teacher can be fired for a legitimate reason, after school administrators prove their case. If I want to thrive in my profession, I need to do a good job.

Ooh! Must be nice to have summers off!

During my first weeks “off” I will be mapping out curriculum for the next year, cleaning and organizing my classroom, and catching up on professional reading and professional development coursework. So what do you say….want to trade places?

You’re way too educated to be teaching young kids. You should be doing something more challenging. Don’t you have an M.A.?

Teaching is a calling, not just a job. Compared to the challenges (and rewards) of the classroom, graduate school was a cakewalk.

It can’t be that hard to control a bunch of kids. Just have clear expectations.

Classroom management is really an art, and it’s not that simple. But if you think you have some special tricks, I’ll bring 30 kids over to your living room tomorrow morning to watch you work your magic.

If my current job doesn’t work out, I could just become a teacher!

If you have the desire and commitment to put 50-plus hours a week toward a large group of extremely diverse learners of varying abilities, please consider it. We always need more passionate teachers.

Is it true that the lunch ladies and custodians and bus drivers are members of NEA? What do they contribute to our kids’ education?

They’re called Education Support Professionals, and yes, they’re union members. They are on the frontlines of our schools every day – driving students to and from school safely, keeping our schools clean and environmentally sound, making sure our kids eat healthy meals, assisting students in the classrooms, and ensuring the front office runs smoothly. And they’re all essential to a well-rounded education for our kids.

You teach kindergarten? How nice to play with paint and glitter all day!

Sure, we finger paint in kindergarten. Not to mention learn the fundamentals of reading, math, and science that set the stage for the next twelve years of learning.

Why do teachers object to merit pay? You should be paid what you’re worth!

The trouble is defining the value of a good teacher by test scores. Unless, of course, you think your SAT score was the ultimate predictor of your worth?


How to Become the Best Teacher Students’ Advice

And when you are a teacher, it becomes even more difficult to become perfect for ALL your students. It’s clear, that we all are different, so your students are, and each of them has his own learning style. When your teaching style suits a learning style of your student, you will definitely become his best teacher ever. This is like to be on the same wave with someone. But it’s obvious, that all your 30 students (or 20, or even 10, it doesn’t matter actually) will never have the same opinion about your teaching methods, so, misunderstandings are impossible to avoid.

However, you always can become a better teacher for your students, the main thing is to listen to them carefully. Here we have 10 advice from students to teachers, that will help you understand their principles better. You teach them of course, but you can always let them teach you a bit as well, can’t you?

So, if you want to become the best teacher for your students, you’d better not ignore what they say.

Let Your Students Help You Be a Better Teacher for Them

Writing Prompts – 99


A good teacher is an assertive teacher

Your students can have problems, bad days, stress, or even depressions as well. If you see that some of your students start to study worse, have no desire to do all schoolwork you give them, and just want to give up everything, do not be in a hurry to argue and tell them about how bad or lazy they become.

You can become like a parent to them. Support your student, ask about what happens to him, push him to do better. If you see that your student is depressed, maybe it would be better to meet with him after classes and find out what exactly is going on.


Be their friend, but don’t go too far

Students just don’t like when their teacher starts behaving like a student himself. Stay professional, help students with schoolwork, listen to them, talk about their lives, but remember who you are. Even if you are a young specialist, and you are almost of the same age with your students, there is no need to use all those slang words (even if you use them in your everyday life).

Your students will find it rude and unprofessional. As far as you understand, this is not the best method to get a good reputation. Your students just will not take you seriously.


Make your lesson relevant to their lives

If you want your students to remember your lessons, just try to connect the information you provide with some moments of your students’ life. You can use some of them as an example, describing this or that situation: it would be more interesting for them to visit such lessons, but not those boring ones where you try to explain them the importance of differential equations for our science.

Just try to come up with an example, how these differential equations can help THEM in the future.


Your time should be used wisely

Remember who you are and where you are. Students don’t like, when their teacher begins to tell them about his life, how better it was when he was younger, how better and more patient all students were then, blah-blah-blah. Your student visits your lesson to learn something on the subject, so, don’t give him a reason to miss this class next time.

Remember, that time is important for your students as well, so, they would not be happy to waste it for lessons which don’t give them anything except personal stories from their teacher’s life.


More explanations

Even if you consider yourself a cool teacher who explains everything in a way that even the stupidest person would understand you, don’t be lazy to explain it to your students several times, and what is even more important – try to do that in different manners. Sometimes, they really don’t get it, but it’s not because they are stupid: maybe some of them just think different.

Be patient, and explain your material over and over again, making sure all students understand what you’re talking about. You know, how difficult it will be for them to learn further, if they don’t get the basis.


Teach in a variety of ways

Don’t be lazy to use as many different materials for your lessons as possible. Students believe that the best teacher is able to teach in a big variety of ways: use books, videos, music, presentations, speeches, and everything that can be interesting for your students to accept (you know them better, so, you will definitely come up with good ideas).

If you show them a video, then give some papers with facts described in that video, then tell them all this info yourself, it will be much easier for your students to understand and get the material.


Be firm

It doesn’t mean you should be a dictator. But students do not like teachers who are too soft and mild. Too nice is not always nice, especially when it comes to teaching. There are always some students in a class (we think, you remember all those movies about high schools), who will try to persuade you that they do not need the material you give. Don’t make a sad face like that Okay meme on the Internet has!

Just stay consistent!


A good teacher always has objectives

When you start a lesson, make your students understand clearly what they will learn today. You should have clear objectives, as such a plan will help students concentrate and know what they are supposed to do during this class.

You can write something like “do nows” on the board, or just tell them your plan step by step.


Be a good example for your students

One student has told us a story about his teacher, who always brought tasty organic food and shared it with those students who didn’t bring lunch with them. He looked younger and very energetic, and some students changed their mind about what they age, because they just wanted to look like a teacher.

This is an example of a teacher who influenced his students positively. If you follow this advice, your students will thank you.


Believe in them!

Don’t ignore your student, if you see he is not interested in your subject, or he doesn’t understand anything. Just try to believe in everyone, and don’t leave any of your students behind.

Ask each of them to explain what exactly they don’t like or understand, explain this once again, make sure they’ve got it this time. It is very important for a student to feel the support of his teacher and know, that he will always help when it is needed.