People say things like “I don’t need my students to like me” in the teachers’ lounge and that seems to earn them a badge of honor.
It’s like we’ve been trained to respect the hard ass, and judge the teacher that students actually enjoy. But I’ve seen the “cool teacher” come in all ages, shape, colors, and sizes.
We tend to assume that the “cool teacher” means that teacher’s class must be really easy.
It comes with a certain dress code, style, and dialect that students find relevant.
The advice I gave the sweater vest kid is really the same advice I would give to any new teacher trying to find their way in this job: We should ask a lot of questions and listen a lot.
It just matters that they listen to their students and ask questions about their lives.
I realize this might sound sappy, but my advice for teachers is to try to get students to like you.
Not because you want to be the cool teacher, but because you want your students to learn.
Share your love of those awful moisture-wicking polo shirts with your school name emblazoned on the chest.
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