It's not about being liked

It's not about being liked

One thing that I think is grossly overlooked is comparing teachers and using being 'liked' as a measure of anything.

What about comparing a teacher who has a good work ethic, a diploma possibly from a decent university, years in the game, a PGCE, a professional license. In short, someone that has something behind him and something to offer? Then you have the edutainers and the frauds. One, by and large enjoys the job. The other is just a means to an end, much like every hack job before. They spend as little time on campus as absolutely possible. They hate the work. Well, they hate any work. It shows. Often, these teachers are liked because they are slack, waste time, give ridiculous assignments and easy grades. What's not to like?

At the better schools, the students know the difference. At one very good school, I had students complain to me about teachers just taking the piss and cheating them of opportunity. At my current school there is a teacher who seemed to be well liked at the beginning of the year. Throughout the year he was never prepared, called class early, never had quality materials and made a bunch of promises to help students with this and that unfulfilled. His concept of grading was lazy. When the students came around he was gone early. Soon they didn't bother. I rarely ask students about what they do in another EFL class but the few times I did, it was met with eye rolls. The class was often just one big chat session. He ran out of games midway through the year.

His personal touch wasn't about caring but about sharing a superficial laugh. If they were a few years older they'd see how shallow the act is. Children will often be grateful for wasting time and a lack of homework.
Winning hearts and minds is about genuinely caring for students. That might mean helping with some writing, a scholarship essay, practicing IELTS. In the better schools when you help students achieve, really achieve something, you get something better than merely being liked, you get respect.

Teachers that are merely liked never go anywhere unless they've got a friend with an inside track. Luck, pure insufferable luck. Being liked I guess if that is a strategy, lets them live another day. You want job security? Achieve respect. Change lives and I mean that with the deepest sincerity.

Ice cream is liked. Pizza is liked.

Jim


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