What makes a bad teacher?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Caesar753, Jun 24, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    13,139
    Likes Received:
    561

    Jun 24, 2007

    There are lots of qualities which good teachers share: concern for students, knowledge of subject area, enthusiasm, blah blah blah.

    But what makes a bad teacher? Do you remember your worst teacher? What was he or she like? Did you do anything to let them know how much you didn't like them?


    I had an Algebra II teacher in the 10th grade who was a real gem. She wasn't mean, exactly, but she was...something. She would just go through her problems on the overhead projector, never stopping to ask us if we understood it. She never answered our questions, opting instead to answer some unrelated, unasked question.

    One time she gave us a quiz and half the class got Ds or Fs on it--I got a D. She announced our names in front of the whole class and made us do a retake right then. I was super embarrassed and angry that she said my name in front of everyone. To get even with her and to show her that I wasn't stupid, I decided to do my test using Roman numerals. Later when she handed back our quizzes, she wrote "See me" on mine. When I did, she informed me that I had gotten an F because I was being mean and disrespectful. I then opened my textbook to the lesson where we learned about...Roman numerals! I said that the quiz never specified that our answers needed to be in Arabic format, and if that's what she wanted then she should have asked for it.

    I ended up bringing the whole matter to the principal who told her that as long as my Roman numerals were correct, she had to give me the points. I won.


    Cassie: 1
    Mrs. Vandenburg: 0
     
  2.  
  3. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Messages:
    2,977
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 24, 2007

    I love that!


    First, about 90% of all math teachers in the WORLD are just horrible teachers. The ones on here (Alice and others:))and one at my school are an exception. I can remembering having 2 good math teachers from grades 6-12. Two good math teachers and 6 good social studies teachers!

    My worse teacher had to be my 9th grade English Teacher, we will call her Ms. M. She frequently harassed me about my poor spelling, but offered no real help on how to improve it. She would write on all my essays: C+, you must improve your spelling, with out any comments on how to improve my actual writing. She once took off 7 points becuase I was doing a quiz at the end of class and did not have alot of time, and noticed that I forgot to cpatalize something. So instead of going back and crossing it off I put three lines under it which I always knew meant to unerline. But she did not know this and took off seven points. I got a 91 instead of a 98. I was flamming at the mouth. After being told not to slack off by her, I went straight to her department head (my future English 10 teacher) and showed her the quiz. Guess what I got my 7 points. This teacher also told us that grades do not matter, so we should no worry about those journals that were due to months ago and she did not grade. Guess what she is still teaching!
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,640
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 24, 2007

    Sorry Brendan, I have to disagree publically with that one.

    It may be your experience; it certainly hasn't been mine. I had some awful math teachers in HS. But in the 2 schools in which I've worked, as well as my husbands's school I would say that the math departments are both strong. They're filled with caring compassionate teachers who try to make the material interesting and understandable. They spend their time on task, using every available moment for teaching and explaining.

    Now, from what you've said about the math department in your school, I can see that your experience has been a bit different.
     
  5. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,162
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 24, 2007

    I didn't like any of my math teachers either until 10th grade. From then on, even in college they were great.

    I had some doozies. My worst teacher though was my 2nd year Spanish teacher. Unlike the first Spanish teacher, this one actually had an accent. That's fine except that I'm REALLY hard of hearing and rely a lot on lipreading. I couldn't understand the woman even when she was talking in English. SO when I would tell her this on a DAILY basis she would claim that she picked people randomly, BUT in fact she started the class out calling on me EVERYDAY to answer sometimes a very simple first year question that I had no problems answering if I knew what she said. She would spend a good 15 min of class waiting for me to answer before she would move on. One girl behind me took pity on me and would wait until she was destracted and ask me the question (not give me the answer). I would answer and then the spotlight would move on. The teacher got wind of it and about half way through the year moved this girl to the other side of the room! I could pass the tests and read and write the material but I couldn't converse because I couldn't hear or lipread the woman. She was hateful about it. Then at the end of the year I got a special hearing aide that looks like a microphone for the teacher and a box and she says, "Why didn't you tell me." DUH!!!!

    P.S. I can't speak, read or write Spanish. I will never take another class. I'm bilingual in sign language and English and that's enough for me.
     
  6. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    1,457
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 24, 2007

    My worst teacher was in 4th grade. She made fun of my handwriting in front of the whole class. She did this by doing a demonstration of bad penmanship by putting examples of my handwriting on the chalkboard and telling the class it was MY handwriting. Other things that make bad teachers: not giving grades on time, not reteaching material, refusing to modify assignments for special education students, teaching material the same way, humliating students in public, humliating teacher's aides in public, acting like a prima donna.

    I had a wonderful math teacher in high school.
     
  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    12,586
    Likes Received:
    447

    Jun 24, 2007

    In my view, a bad teacher is one who doesn't respect the students they teach, one who "controls" their students through intimidation, ridicule, and bullying. These teachers do so much harm to their students.
     
  8. TexasAggie2323

    TexasAggie2323 Comrade

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Messages:
    418
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 24, 2007

    The worst teacher's that I have had do the following

    - Have no structure
    - Teacher does not care or take an interest in students
    - Teacher does not try to relate with students
    - Teach to the test (tons of TAKS practice ugg)
    - Do not understand their subject
    - Do not relate subject to student's
    - Are not fair to all students in the classroom

    I hate to say it but in 17 years of being educated in a public school classroom I can count the number of good ones on one hand.
     
  9. JustMe

    JustMe Guru

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    8,007
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 24, 2007

    Even as a student, I would get so aggravated at teachers who were unorganized. Why would you want to search through three piles on your desk and two on the floor to find our assignment or graded tests? Most teachers nag students about organization, yet they are embarrassingly unorganized themselves.

    As an adult, I subbed for a man my husband and I both know...it was so bad I had to take a couple pictures to show my husband. Sorry, but I just had to. It was a fire hazard, first of all, but the most cluttered, filthy room I'd ever been in. He had a mini-fridge which had bit the dust I assume, but the door was cracked and a McDonald's yogurt was turned upside down, had oozed onto the floor, "caramelized", and trapped numerous bugs. I could go on, but...:eek:

    So, my point is, I don't believe that being unorganized necessarily makes you a bad teacher, because I know good teachers who are disgusting. But being organized is a skill students should learn, and teachers should be the example.
     
  10. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,351
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 24, 2007

    I have been blessed with fantastic teachers the whole way through with only a few exceptions and only one that I feel was horrible.

    When I was in middle school I had this French teacher who gave me a C. I was a straight A student all the way, so naturally my mom asked for a conference to see what was going on. The teacher told my mom that I talked to my friends the whole time she was teaching and talked back and didn't do my homework. (!!) My mom had the feeling the teacher didn't know who I was so she asked the teacher simple questions like about where I sat, what color hair I had, etc. The teacher couldn't answer them. She had no clue.

    As a teacher, the same pet peeve about teachers still rings true. I worked with a teacher who just made up his grades. It was obvious in a number of ways. It bothers me that he hurt the students by not evaluating their needs. He, too, didn't know the names of his 4th graders at the end of the year (80 of them). In addition, he was the science teacher and the kids did silent reading about half the time ????
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    23,167
    Likes Received:
    570

    Jun 24, 2007

    Bad teachers:

    have no connection to their students
    lack management skills
    are not flexible
    are not reflective
    are not proactive
    think the problem is 'them' not 'me'
     
  12. DustyPete

    DustyPete Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 24, 2007

    czacza

    I like that list of qualities but I would just add one more:

    does not attempt to engage students

    I think engagement is the toughest part of teaching. Anyone can go up and explain a concept. But to do it in a fun/interesting/relevant way is where the real teaching happens.
     
  13. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Messages:
    2,409
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 24, 2007

    I think a "bad" teacher is someone who doesn't like kids. Believe me, I've come across many.
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,640
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 24, 2007

    In addition to all that, bad teachers do not teach the material.

    There can be a multitude of reasons and excuses and explanations. But, at the end of the day, they didn't get through the material. The kids weren't exposed to the material they were expected to know.

    As a teacher, of course I want to connect with my kids. I want them to like me and respect me. I want them to enjoy my class and love math. I want them to do well and earn good grades and remember me fondly.

    But if most of them don't also learn their math, then I'm a bad teacher.
     
  15. OtterMom

    OtterMom Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Messages:
    403
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 24, 2007

    I have to agree. Students can tell if you're there to teach because you want to be there, or if you're just there for the paycheck.
     
  16. FutureFLTeacher

    FutureFLTeacher Companion

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 24, 2007

    It sounds like we may have had the exact same teacher! (Well, perhaps not the same one...LOL) My 10th grade Algebra teacher...ugh, the woman was the worst teacher I ever had. She never explained processes thoroughly, she'd run through a problem once, just assume that we all understood and move on. If you asked a question she answered you in the most nonsensical manner possible. Likewise, it just seemed that she was annoyed we were all there taking up her time trying to learn and all! It was as if she disliked each and every student she had and wanted nothing to do with us at all.

    Thanks to her, I dispise math completely. She made it so impossible to learn that to this day, I think that's why I have such a block when it comes to any math oriented subject. All of my horrendous experiences with her come flooding back.
     
  17. etcetera83

    etcetera83 Cohort

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    646
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 24, 2007

    My worst experience was in seventh grade. Our social studies teacher got stuck teaching math because another teacher was excessed. She had never taught math before. Well, she would go over the examples in the book and assign us practice problems to do. If we didn't understand how to do something, she would show us the example again. She never broke it down or showed us another way and if the problems weren't done EXACTLY like the book example, the whole problem was marked wrong.

    Now, I know that math was not her expertise and that the class had been shoved on her, but come on! My dad would have to tutor me on the logical way and the whys of the math and then show me how to put on paper what she wanted.

    I was so glad when that year was over!

    After that in 9th grade, I had a great mathematician for geometry. However, she wasn't the best teacher. I still can't do proofs!:D
     
  18. etcetera83

    etcetera83 Cohort

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    646
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 24, 2007

    When my best friend tried to help me with math in high school, I remember telling her, "It just bounces of my brain!"
     
  19. frodolass

    frodolass Comrade

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 24, 2007

    The worst teacher I ever had was an education professor at UF. Instead of actually teaching the material, he found ways of ridiculing students who professed religious beliefs. I figured him out quickly, so I just didn't participate in his arguments. It was just horrible and the discussions had absolutely nothing to do with education. For example, he had a glass vase and challenged people who believed in God to come up and drop the vase after praying that God would keep the vase from breaking. If the vase didn't break, then the professor said he too would then believe in God. This wasn't a one time event, it was all semester. I eventually dropped the course b/c I felt it was waste of my time.
     
  20. JustMe

    JustMe Guru

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    8,007
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 25, 2007

    My math teacher experience, as it seems many of us have one: I've never been a math-minded person, but in school I always found a way to do well. Several teachers were confused at how I arrived at my answers; they were correct most of the time, but as they put it, the route I took in getting it was abstract. Basically, this meant I took ten minutes to respond to a two minute question, mainly because I drew a picture of some sort for every single one! Okay, my point is, I did well in math in middle school. My Algebra 1 teacher, however, was an idiot. Period. He was a coach, and NOT a teacher, and I cannot stand how this happens so often. This is what annoyed me about him:

    1) He would "teach" a skill in about two or three minutes flat on the board.

    2) He assigned an insane amount of homework, which no one actually did...Which was not an issue, because every day after we graded the work in class he went down the roster and asked us each how many we missed. I'm pretty certain I was the ONLY person who told the truth. Others, who had missed the same or more than I did, would say they missed two or three. When he came to my name I woud say 27 and then sink into my seat. He never collected the papers. Maybe I was more of an idiot for not cheating than the teacher was, but I didn't have it in me.

    3) While "teaching" at the board he would often reach in his pocket, take out his keys, dig into his ear with a key, remove the key from his ear, looks at his treasure, then wipe it on his pants.

    Like I said, idiot.
     
  21. JustMe

    JustMe Guru

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    8,007
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 25, 2007

    Frodolass, I cannot believe that professor. I just don't understand some people.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. catnfiddle,
  2. MrsC,
  3. Peregrin5,
  4. mckbearcat48,
  5. Pashtun,
  6. DizneeTeachR,
  7. MissCeliaB,
  8. mathteachertobe
Total: 629 (members: 8, guests: 540, robots: 81)
test