One of the worst things teachers can do is not realize the flaws in their methods that negatively affect the students’ performance. Once these kinds of mistakes are made, they will not only haunt teachers for a long time, but they will also either be extremely difficult or impossible to rectify.
Making a mockery of a student’s skills, intelligence and work habits will make a classroom a terrible place for everyone. Working with difficult students is something teacher training courses rarely prepare educators for. Nevertheless, putting students down will not get the teacher anywhere and sarcastic language, even if it was said in jest, will put a teacher in some big trouble with parents and the administration. Either the students will be so hurt that they will never trust the teacher again, or will resort to disruptive methods of retaliation.
Giving Preferential Treatment
A quick way to polarize a classroom is to treat students based on personal likes and dislikes. Teachers are human and they will inevitably like some students more than others, but they must try their hardest not to show this in class. If it becomes clear a teacher is not treating everyone equally, he or she will be labeled as unfair.
Getting Too Personable with the Students
Inexperienced teachers who do anything to be accepted are venturing into dangerous territory. Although it’s necessary to smile and to be personable to make the class move along smoothly, classroom management will fly right out the window when teachers aim to be buddies with their students.
Not Asking for Help When They Need it the Most
When something goes wrong, and something will go wrong sooner or later, teachers who don’t seek the assistance of their colleagues will fell isolated, alone and bitter. There will be tough days when the teacher will want to call it quits forever. There will be days when the teacher’s best efforts just won’t cut it. Not asking for help from the people who are supposed to be allies is extremely unwise.
Getting Involved in School Politics
Politics is a dangerous game. It divides people, creates vendettas and turns friends into enemies. Teachers should keep their opinions neutral, focus on teaching their students and leave politics to the politicians.
Claiming to Have All the Answers
Teachers aren’t expected to know everything, and they shouldn’t pretend otherwise. Giving facts that are wrong is just as bad as not teaching at all. If a student asks a question and the teacher doesn’t have a answer, it’s better to say they don’t and use the opportunity to help the student find the right information. Students will respect a teacher’s honesty.
Teachers should never give up. It’s a challenging profession, but giving up is the easy way out. Every teacher has the ability to make a positive contribution to a student’s future.