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As a Teacher, What Should You Avoid?

Updated on December 26, 2011


It is clear that learning happens only when there is a change in learners. This change can be a new knowledge for them, a realizable change in behavior, gaining a skill in some areas …. It is also obvious that teachers have a great role in making such a change in learners. Unfortunately, some teachers do not pay enough attention to their behavior or the way they treat their students. To put it more clear, some teachers negatively treat their students, thinking that as a way to teach them, while in fact it can harm and affect them. I am going to mention some of such negative techniques affect students harmfully.

- Calling students with negative names and expressions.

Calling students with negative expressions like ‘’stupid, failure,…can harmfully affect students. Students take teachers as their models. They trust them in many cases. So, if the teacher says such words to students, and in front of their classmates, that can destroy their self-confidence and can deeply affect the learning process.

- Shouting at students when they make a mistake or ask for help.

As the proverb says ‘’to err is human’’. Students are at schools and universities to learn and gain knowledge. They are likely to learn more from mistakes. No one is protected from making mistakes. Some teachers are impatient and shout at students with they make, even, simple mistakes. It happens that teachers shout at their students when they ask them for help. Instead of helping them, they send them away disappoint.

- Disturbing students during test /exam.

During test or exam time, students are likely to do their best in a relaxed atmosphere. The class should be quiet, safe, and relaxed. Unfortunately, some teachers do not pay any attention to that. They keep shouting and disturbing students’ attention by moving them from seat to another. When someone asks them for the need of that, they simply respond ‘’ to prevent cheating.’’ Well, teachers should have a look at the class before test time, and then they should distribute students on seats according to the idea they got. Sometimes teacher feel doubt of some students during exam or test time. This can be solved easily by moving slightly towards the students and quietly warn them, instead of shouting and distracting the others attention.

- Disturbing students during class time

It is common that, mobile phones and side talking during lectures can distribute teachers, but what if this happened from teachers’ side? The thing I could not understand till now is that why there are some rules applied on students but on teachers when the result can hurt the same? Students come to schools and universities to learn; to gain new knowledge. They pay all their attention to the teachers when they explain lectures or lessons, but their attention is, sometimes, disturbed when other teachers cut the lesson and talk with their teacher, or when their teacher’s phone rings and then he/she answer and talk. Well, in case the teachers forget to close their mobile phones, they can simply close it as soon as they hear the ring.

- Blaming their students when it is their fault

It is too funny to see a teacher blaming his/her students for their mistake he/she may do. A clear example of this is forming poor test instructions. Let us take an example, as it is stated, the following question requires students to only mention the ELT methods:

What are the ELT methods you have learned in your course Methodology?

If we take a look at the question, we can find that it is well formed and its aim is clear. But when students hand in their test papers, teachers say I wanted you to talk about the different methods. They insist that students had to explain, and compare them. How can students do that while the question tells them to do another task? Students learn a lot from their teachers, so such poor test instructions may mislead them especially if they study to be teachers.

- Forming test/exam content different from what students learned

As it is obvious, tests and exam evaluate teachers as well as students work, understanding and comprehension. So, tests and exams should be from what students learned, or in other words from what teachers explained. Some teachers, sometimes, move away from this and form too different test content. In addition, teachers may explain and introduce the lesson in a simple way and then form the test in a different style. I will mention an example which can be poor for ESL beginners; teaching present tense, simple and continues, using only sentence examples, but in test students will have to deal with long passages or dialogues.

- Focusing on a group of students and neglecting others

Focusing on some students and neglecting others may mislead the education process. Teachers should move around and help students understand the lesson. In big classes, students who sit in the back of class suffer distracting. So if teachers neglect them at all and explain only for those who sit near on the front seats, that will harm those in the back. They will gain no much at the end of class.

- Providing lack of practice

It is well known that we are more likely to learn new things through practice. It is the same at schools and universities. Students need a chance to practice and test what they have learned. Education students need practice to graduate as teachers, medicine students need to practice, too….so, learning, acquiring, and keeping the learned knowledge will reach the maximum only if students can get chance to practice as well as a chance to be guided from their instructors. In teaching writing, for example, students should write on topics and then hand their work in to teachers to get feedback. Teaching methodology should offer opportunities for students to practice and get guidance before they go to schools. Teachers need to bring the real life into class to help their students acquire the right knowledge.


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      Sean Armstrong 6 years ago

      This is a great list of things to avoid. I wonder if these are culture specific. Especially for beginning teachers, the practice seems to be recursive i.e. we teach the same way we were taught. I know that methodology classes are supposed to change this, but still we tend to gravitate toward the way we remember being taught. Not always a good thing!!!

    • nawal alkathery profile image

      nawal alkathery 6 years ago

      Thank You all friends ^_^

    • profile image

      Eslam Abdulawli 6 years ago

      really, it is useful for teachers who can't use the correct method for teaching.

      It is Realistic becouse it mentioned the problems which happen in our life in schools and universties. Thank you so much my teacher for this topic.

    • profile image

      meriem salima 6 years ago

      THank you Nawal for the exhaustive research you've done to shed light over those crucial problems the students face daily.Indeed teachers are considered as models and should keep like that.

      Excellent job.

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      Bushra 6 years ago

      Very useful topic.

      Thanks Nawal...