As students, we have all been in a place where we wished our teachers did things differently. Whether it was their way of teaching, grading, or even talking to students, we knew their ways hindered our learning. But, as students, we didn’t have the power to change any of that. Trends in learning have changed a lot and so is the behavior of teachers. Modern education has positively impacted the learning culture and teacher behavior, as well. Teachers are more open to new ideas and are more friendly with their students. This changed behavior of teachers has reduced the gap between students and teachers, resulting in a healthy, wholesome, and fresh class environment.
Although, some toxic habits are hard to let go of. Some habits of teachers have stuck around for so long that they are almost impossible to detach from. We asked some students about the toxic habits of teachers that hindered their learning and questioned experts about these habits.
1- Asking Students to be Quiet
This one comes straight from the teachers. Modern education culture relies deeply on student engagement. As opposed to traditional learning, modern learning is all about teacher-student and student-student engagement. Although, teachers still find it hard to bear with a little noise in their classroom. It is different when students are busy chatting with one another during your lectures, but shutting them up when they are talking post-lecture might not be the best thing to do. Allow your students to breathe and engage with one another once you are done with your lecture. Another thing teacher should refrain from is yelling at their students. If you want them to be quiet, discuss it calmly after the class or before the lecture. Yelling at students to be quiet will only make them more disinterested in your lectures.
2- Long Lecture
A teacher has around 40 minutes in an average class. A typical teacher spends the majority of the time talking and giving lectures. Such a class has a teacher as the ultimate leader and students play no important role to boost class productivity. The ideal scenario is to divide 40 minutes smartly, where everyone has an equal chance to participate and boost learning. The ideal scenario would be to reduce lecture time or cut your lecture into small pieces so that students get a chance to engage and interact.
3- Being Inconsistent
There are many teachers who try too hard to be good at their job, that they end up doing the opposite. For instance, some teachers keep trying new learning strategies and models. Now, it’s a good thing to follow learning trends, but changing them so frequently hinders learning. Not only that, but students complained that they were lost and confused in a class where teachers switched up learning methods, frequently. It is recommended to give a new method some time before it shows its results. Teachers change learning models and expect instant results which is both unrealistic and unbeneficial for student learning.
There are two types of teachers, one who keeps changing their learning styles (discussed above), and second, those who are so stringent they refuse they change their methods. Both behaviors fall into toxic ones. Flexibility is extremely important when it comes to teaching. Teachers should be open to new ideas and must be extremely observant of their mistakes so that they can find new methods to improve their mistakes at the right time. Changing learning styles or models is recommended to do timely, not constantly.
5- Not Learning Continuously
Our survey showed that teachers who took professional development programs or skill-based courses had higher productivity levels in their classrooms. Learning continuously surely has a positive impact on the teacher’s skills and student performance. When teachers keep learning they get a better understanding of looking at things from a student perspective. Not only that, but such teachers stay in touch with educational trends and learning modes.
6- Ignoring Your Students
This is a very toxic habit that most teachers have. Many teachers tend to ignore their students and their opinions. Experts recommend that teachers should always keep their minds open towards student opinions, complaints, and issues. When it comes to reviews and surveys to improve their performance, students are the best source. Moreover, engaging and listening to students would also help the teachers in reducing the achievement gap in the classroom.
7- Focusing on Selected Students
Every class has different types of students. There are genius ones, average, and struggling ones, and all of these students need equal attention from their teachers. Unfortunately, the reality is different. Many teachers, even the experienced ones, tend to give more attention to bright students. It comes naturally to teachers to talk and engage more with bright students, although, this engagement is completely useless for class. Teachers should pay just as much attention to struggling students so that the achievement gap in class could be closed, resulting in an overall boost in-class learning.