The 7 Deadly Sins of Teaching

@TeacherToolkitIn 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account through which he rapidly became the ‘most followed teacher on social media in the UK’. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the ‘500 Most Influential People in Britain’ by The Sunday… Read more about @TeacherToolkitIf you could list 7 of the worst habits found in teachers and in teaching, what would they be?1. LustOne of the 7 deadly sins of teaching, is for the teacher not to show their feelings.Image: ShutterstockThis is not about lust in the sense of having ‘feelings’ for a student. This is about teachers failing to show emotion in their teaching and general relationships with the classes they teach. Students love teachers who bring learning to life; students also love teachers who show ‘themselves’ to be real individuals with personality, emotion and passion. Students do not enjoy teachers who are motionless, perhaps too private; teachers who are fearful to share their opinions and feelings towards children they teach or worst of all, the subject they teach.2. GluttonyOne of the 7 deadly sins of teaching, is for the teacher to waste their expertise.Image: ShutterstockEvery teacher is (mostly) qualified to degree level. This should mean that teachers are experts in their field. Gluttony in this sense is for the teacher to fail to explain knowledge, skills and understanding. To fail to share their expertise.A teacher may for example, fail to fully answer a child’s question, nor accept that they do not know the answer; or that they will try to find it out for the student. They may even fail to challenge the student to ‘go find’ the answer for themselves and bring it back to class. This type of teacher has gaps in their subject knowledge and as they teach older students higher up the school, their own knowledge is challenged and students ‘sense’ that the teacher is not the expert in the room. The teacher may cut corners in subject-skills, for example during demonstrations, and avoid explicit terminology or clarity in their instruction. It is probably one of the worst sins of all.3. GreedOne of the 7 deadly sins of teaching, is for the teacher to be greedy for themselves and not of their students.Image: ShutterstockThis teacher put themselves first before the child. This sin or type of teacher is very rare indeed. We know by default, that teachers are naturally inclined to put the child first; quite the opposite of ‘greed.’ An example of a ‘greedy’ or ‘selfish’ teacher may be that they arrive late to class, often. They may also be late in the morning to school, late to assembly or always last to hand letters out to their tutor group. This means their children are last in line for school performances, trips out of school or general notices.It is rare, but this teacher is absorbed in their own ‘personal work’ rather than the students and their work.4. SlothOne of the 7 deadly sins of teaching, is for the teacher to be lazy.Image: ShutterstockWorkload is an issue for every teacher and to mark students’ books is a never-ending task. However, this sin is for a teacher who ‘never’ marks a child’s book for an entire academic year. They probably opt for this option due to the fact that neither student, parent or school will be asking ‘why not?’ Once this teacher finds the gap to reduce their workload, they may often continue down this path until it is noticed. Failing to mark a student’s work is a sin.(I have written about Sloth Teaching before – it was very popular!)5. WrathOne of the 7 deadly sins of teaching, is for the teacher to avoid ‘getting to know’ their students.Image: ShutterstockThis teacher will have poor relationships, perhaps a bad attitude. More often than not, students will feel the wrath of this teacher in their lessons more than others. This teacher may have a ‘corridor-reputation’ for shouting and being heard with (or without) the classroom door open. This teacher is full of rage and may have uncontrollable feelings toward their class when students get answers wrong, or show disrespect. In this example, the teacher is often irrational and students find the teacher unpredictable. In very extreme situations, this teacher may show signs of anger (or may throw an object)!6. EnvyOne of the 7 deadly sins of teaching, is for the teacher to be envious of others.Image: ShutterstockEnvy is a rare characteristic found in teachers, but when ‘envy’ is discovered in teaching, this is exposed in the discontent of others for promotion or in allocation of task. It is rarely found in teacher-student relationships and is more often than not, heard in staff rooms, offices and broom-cupboards. Most scenarios come to light at the end of term after many, many beverages.7. PrideOne of the 7 deadly sins of teaching, is for the teacher to have too much pride.Image: ShutterstockThe best teachers adapt to the needs of their students. They adapt over time, but the most-efficient teachers can adapt ‘in the lesson.’ For example, the lesson may not be going according to plan and students may be unable to grasp a difficult concept. The teacher with ‘pride’ will plough on regardless and may a) fail to notice students struggling or b) blame students for their lack of i) listening ii) effort or iii) poor attitude to the subject. Whatever it is, this teacher will stick to their own path and ignore the needs of the the child.What do you think?Do you agree or disagree? Are there any sins missing that have not been mentioned above? If so, leave your comments below.Disclaimer this post is designed to be a light-hearted poke at teaching and teachers. Do not take it seriously.This was a blog-title challenge by @rljones1981.TT. Related

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