On Bad Teachers

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Hello and happy Saturday. As much as I love the movie “Bad Teacher,” you know, the one with Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake and Jason Segel, I never thought I’d encounter a real life Bad Teacher on my first year working at a school.

Now, the bad teacher I know is not at all like Cameron Diaz’s character in the movie, but I’m sure that if you read some of their defining traits as a bad teacher, you’ll reach the conclusion that you too know a bad teacher (or have the misfortune of working with one).

Let me tell you the story of E, yes, the same E who is a teacher bully. They are a bad teacher, which I think is what causes them to be systematically mean with their co-workers. Then again, I’m no psychologist, I’m a teacher trying to do my best with my kids. Here’s a list of things I’ve noticed E does, which in my opinion make them a bad teacher.

1. They’re always sitting down 

I’ll be the first one to admit that teaching is a physically exhausting job, and that sometimes we have to take advantage of those minutes we get to sit down and rest our aching feet and back. I sometimes sit while in class, when my students are working on centers or doing some independent work I will then correct, but I’m not ALWAYS sitting down. Bad teachers don’t even stand up when giving instructions, they spend entire lessons by their desk, as if their butt were glued to the chair.

2. They don’t make classes fun

Even if you’re working with adults, you should try to include a fun activity in your classes. Play a song (or sing it yourself), do a three-minute dance break in the middle of class, especially if you see that your students are falling asleep. Bring a ball to class and play a game as a warm-up activity. Unless you’re a bad teacher, then I’m sure your students will be sitting down during the entire lesson, not uttering a word or even mustering a sound. That’s probably because they fell asleep out of boredom.

3. All their classes are the same

Consistency is very important for teachers and students alright, and establishing a routine is in my opinion one of the keys to successful classes, but that doesn’t mean you have to do exactly the same each and every lesson. Whenever I pass by E’s class I see the students sitting down with their notebooks or student books open, completing exercises. And what’s worse, I can’t differentiate when they’re working on science, math or Spanish because they do the exact same things in every subject.

4. They don’t establish connections with students throughout the year

I noticed this whenever I had to cover for E and students didn’t ask where they were or why they were absent. Students didn’t miss E, and they were just fine with them being replaced by another teacher, even if just for a day. E was courteous with parents and students, but there wasn’t really a bond between them.

5. They don’t really focus on academics

We are teachers and as such we are bound to talk about our students. Yes, I know that as teachers we become friends and hence talk about other subjects as well, but man, every time E talk to me it was to bicker about other teachers, some of whom were never even at school anymore. Sometimes they even talked about parents and kids. E was the first one to throw shade on somebody but was always quiet when an academic discussion was going on, like any advances in education, any possible adaptations in the way things were done didn’t really matter to them. Like they don’t really care about improving because they don’t care about being good teachers in the first place.

Now help me and the rest of the world identify bad teachers to get rid of them. What is another characteristic of a bad teacher I didn’t mention in this post? Let me know in the comments!

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

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