We all want people to like us, but when it comes to being in a position of power, you have to know going in that everyone isn’t going to be pleased all the time.
Personalities come into play, and even though most teachers try not to play favorites, sometimes, students just aren’t going to like them.
If you’ve ever wondered whether or not they can tell, the answer is yes – and these 16 teachers are here to tell you how.
16. And yeah, they know who is who.
I taught as an adjunct at one of the local law schools for a couple of years. After my first year, I joked that only two of my students stated in their reviews that I shouldn’t be teaching so I was doing pretty well.
Ours were typed so you couldn’t tell who the student was but, since I was a writing instructor and had become pretty familiar with their writing styles, I had a good idea of who the two students were.
15. The good parents won’t do it.
More rare, but a dead giveaway: they have their parents ask to switch them out of a class.
14. I can feel my own blood pressure rising.
I had an 8th header who very calmly started calling me by my first name when I tried to get him to stop talking and get back to work in class one day. “Ok, Liz. Getting right back to work, Liz.”
I was half really pissed off and half pretty impressed by how much he had managed to pissed me off by just saying my name.
13. The flip side is just as hard.
Actually that’s pretty easy. The harder part is telling if they actually like you. A lot of teenagers at least aren’t very emotive publicly one way or the other.
I’ve gotten notes from kids who I honestly thought didn’t enjoy my class after they leave that say I was their favorite teacher. You just do what you think is best and trust eventually they’ll come around.
12. They live to push your buttons.
They’re usually pretty obvious/blatant about it.
Had a girl once in a pretty rough school who decided it would be a good idea to roll up a piece of paper and light it like a cigarette. In the middle of class. I was so shocked I just told her to leave and pointed at the door.
So she came straight up to me, dropped the makeshift cigarette in front of my face, and then said “There’s only 2 minutes left in class.” To say I was seething is an understatement.
11. If you want to leave no doubt.
A friend of mine said as a quote for the yearbook freshman year,
“The hardest part of freshman year was (teacher’s name)”
That quote is in the yearbook, so I think the teacher knows my friend doesn’t like them.
10. That’s a ballsy move.
Had a girl tell a math teacher to suck her d*ck once.
9. Kids are just the best, aren’t they.
In elementary school, it’s really easy because they will just tell you straight to your face.
I have never met anyone more straightforward, or brutally honest, than a fourth-grader…
8. Everything is a fight.
High school English teacher: if they REALLY don’t like me, everything in class is a fight. Read something? No. Write something? No. Do ANYTHING? Nope. Or they mutter “bit*h” under their breath when I walk away. When I was a new teacher I had some students literally tell me to f*ck off.
It’s pretty obvious when students don’t like you vs. just not liking the curriculum.
However, I genuinely just want the best for all my students and I just want them to pass and move on with their lives – even if they are buttheads in class. Luckily the longer I teach, the more students like my class and those students are few and far between these days.
7. You can’t take it personally.
7th to 12th grade teacher here. Children are usually pretty open about it, BUT don’t take it personal. They dont have strong feelings about you if you’re not mistreating them. The “smart” ones might try to make fun of you behind your back, but they’re doing that to each other as well. Establishing some kind of dominance or position is normal group behavior.
It’s funny how they think that you don’t notice their behaviour. Most children actually have no problems with the teacher, but the way and the content of what you’re teaching….
6. They don’t know how to lie.
Preschoolers are RUTHLESS.
They all like me right now, but BOY HOWDY I would know if they didn’t.
5. To start with…
Students also don’t really think of us as actual people.
Like they know we are, but they definitely treat us like something else.
4. They’re not all that bright.
Been flight instructing for 3 years now, and most of my students are professional, rational almost-grown-ups, which is just what you need for teaching while flying an airplane.
What you DON’T need is headstrong students questioning your every instruction WHEN BOTH OUR LIVES DEPEND ON YOU GETTING YOUR DESCENT CHECKLIST DONE AS WRITTEN, BECKY.
3. If you’re a douche…
I was fairly ambivalent in school. I only ever actually disliked 2 teachers.
The first being the Freshman Band director. Everyone loved him….except the 2 girl percussionists, we found him sexist (his specialty was percussion).
I quit band after that year.
And the choir director. Almost no one liked her. She would pretend to take ideas from kids,, only to twist them into what she wanted to do anyways.. She played favorites, and a lot of members didn’t get opportunities until her favorites started graduating. After 4 years in choir, she misspelled my name in my final concert program guide next to my solo song, AND mispronounced it when calling the Seniors up for their final bow. Even with that type of “relationship” I never felt the need to let her know it though…seeing as how she had some power over me as a teacher. I remember one year, a group of unknown students left a razor and shaving cream wrapped in a bow on her desk around Christmas…..even with having not liked her for the years I was with her…I thought that was a disgusting thing to do.
2. They can surprise you.
It’s usually pretty obvious, but sometimes they can surprise you. I once had a student scowl at me every time he walked in.
I tried to remain cordial, but he’d grunt and snap any time I spoke to him. He turned work in infrequently and was generally sullen.
Fast forward 8 months, this kid starts walking towards my class on teacher appreciation day with a giant gift-basket of stuff that I like.
He slams it down on my desk and growls in a way that was totally contrary to his words “you’re my favorite teacher!”
So like, you never really know.
1. That’s what feedback forms are for in college.
Grad school instructor here.
You find out a month after the semester ends when you get your Qualtrics report and figure out who is the hater based on their writing style.
I’m not too surprised – I think most of us can tell when someone doesn’t really like us.
If you’re a teacher, please weigh in down below!