Students ordinarily spend more time at school than they do at home. Children look to their teachers for guidance on how to behave.
We rely on teachers to be role models for our children. We also hope they inspire, motivate and encourage learners. Teachers need patience, credibility, to be seen as fair, responsible and dignified.
But life is less than perfect. Here are seven ways in which teachers can get it horribly wrong:
1. Arriving late
A teacher is supposed to model good behaviour to students. If the teacher constantly arrives late, the students will probably start doing the same. The classes will be missing out on valuable lesson time.
2. Having a ‘pet’
Throughout life, there will be people you like more than others. However, teaching calls for professional behaviour, and having obvious favourites will make other students resentful. It may also result in the favourite student/s being teased or bullied. Those students who don’t feel they’re being valued are likely to lose interest in classes.
3. Mocking students
Making fun at a student’s expense can damage a student’s confidence and self esteem. The danger here is also that other students will feel they can do the same. This kind of behaviour counts as emotional abuse. Humiliated students feel hurt, develop trust issues and become fearful. Humiliation is a form of bullying. Other students will become emotionally distressed in sympathy with the humiliated student. It’s also an abuse of power.
4. Shouting in class
Teachers get frustrated, but shouting will backfire on two grounds. Depending on the personality of the child, the more sensitive ones will either not want to go to school or become intimidated and withdrawn. The more rebellious ones will try to provoke another outburst.
5. Losing your temper
If a teacher makes a habit of losing their temper, the atmosphere in the classroom will soon change. Repairing relationships after an outburst will be difficult. Teachers should admit their behaviour was wrong and apologise to the class. Teachers should not resort to physical responses.
6. Threatening to fail students for any reason
Teachers who try to motivate using fear of failure methods increase anxiety in students.
7. Spreading rumours or finding fault with other teachers
The student grapevine is unbelievably fast. Students will lose respect if they see this. They want to feel a teacher is someone they can confide in and trust. Gossiping about or criticising other teachers is not ethical or professional. It will impact badly on the morale of both teachers and students.