I feel compelled to write this letter, because I currently have a teacher who is rude to her students during my class. It bothers me, and this piece was the end result. I understand that “tough love” is sometimes needed, but this type of behavior is inexcusable.
I actually feel bad for you to some extent. You have a misguided notion that by being assertive and rude with students, they will respond to you in a positive way. While this is a common idea, it’s wrong.
I understand that students try your patience. I understand that some of us can be difficult, and to get us to focus on you some days is a Herculean task. However, talking down to your students and being downright rude is not the way to attract us to you. It’s actually drawing our attention further away.
See, as the educator, you have one of the most beautiful jobs in the world: You help groom and raise a future generation to become decent, educated people that will change the world. I would be hard pressed to find a position that has more influence over the future than you do. How lucky you are to be able to have such a significant role in the shaping of history!
As an educator, your job is to impart knowledge. You want your students to be intelligent, confident individuals who have a deep love for learning. At the end of your time with your pupils, you'd hope that they became more well-rounded than when they first walked into your class. How can you impart that knowledge and make that difference, when your student feels like they aren’t respected by you?
Making passive-aggressive comments about our work ethic and slamming how we do assignments is not being a teacher, it’s being a really awful person. Asking us to be more like another student (or group of students) is harmful and counter-productive. Interweaving snarky comments about our grades into lessons is not inspiring, it’s damaging.
If every student in the class is not performing up to your caliber, then maybe you need to look at your standards and realize that we are just students. We are there to learn. The classroom is a space to make mistakes and grow from them. Not every single student in a classroom of 40 is a slacker or doesn’t want to try, and for you to think that makes me wonder if you belong in this coveted profession at all.
We should look up to you, not dread dealing with you.
So next time you want to make that snarky comment, or you want to harp about how we all failed a quiz that we studied days for, hold your breath and look your students in the face. Stop playing your games, and instead of trying to belittle us into learning, actually guide us into a lesson with respect and enthusiasm. You’d be surprised at the reception you’d receive, because newsflash; most of us do really want to learn.
A student who is sick of your banter
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