I don’t know if there is just ONE thing that makes a bad teacher, but you know a bad one when you see them. Today, I was sitting in the library studying, when a teacher came and sat next to me with his student. It looked like a tutoring session…. and it was clear the teacher got paid because I saw him take an envelope from the student. Anyway…. dear old teacher could not stop checking his watch, sighing, or making disparaging comments about wrong answers. Being the curious person I am, I listened in for a few minutes. The teacher was 100% incorrect on several of the simple arithmetic problems, and dismissed the answers in the back of the book as being “typos” when they didn’t align with the answers he got. They weren’t the wrong answers… it was HIM that was wrong. He wasn’t solving the problems correctly.
But, making mistakes and being wrong aside, this tutor was the worst I have encountered in a LONG time. He made is abundantly clear that he was irritated to be teaching and he was MEAN. Not stern or strict, he was just flat out mean. The student got something wrong, and his immediate response was, “Are you trying to waste my time with stupid answers, again?” Not only was it a mean thing to say, but it also implied the student wasn’t worth his time, stupid, and always makes mistakes. It was so mean.
I was just so annoyed. There are so many things I want to say… but when it comes down to it, bad teachers are why students fail. The kid getting tutored today would be fine without this “teacher,” he just needs someone to believe in him and set him straight on PEMDAS and he would sail through math just fine.
It’s sad to think that someone like the student I saw today might fail math because he had ONE bad teacher.