Jannes

How to stay loving while being strict

9 posts in this topic

So this is a big obstacle for me right now. I job as a substitute teacher and probably my biggest weakness is that I am too nice. I am gullible when students mention a concern, I have problems putting students in their place, I have problems punishing wrong behavior (today I wanted to subtract a note from a student who cheated instead of giving him a bad note). 

At an existential level somehow I connected niceness with survival I am pretty sure. And I feel like I am in the process of unwrapping it but it feels scary as hell. I am just scared that in this process I am going to flood away the loving part as well. Like when you do a colonic irrigation you dont just flood away the bad bacteria but also the good. 

In general if some of you went through the same I would be very thankful for responses. 

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Simply fire non-quiet/polite students.

 


If you dont understand, you're not twisted enough.

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Posted (edited)

Part of it is that students, especially young men in teenage years, will test the limits of your tolerance. This is their way of establishing themselves in the local hierarchy (the class), becoming prominent alpha males (basically a primitive mating strategy) and it is part of their own growth and development. I think we were all like that at one point - this can't really be avoided

Maybe with you, some of that difficulty comes from your agreeable nature. Being agreeable, in general, will make you more likeable in certain establishments (like corporate environment for example) but can make it difficult to have sufficient control when you need to be the one to lead. 

For you as a teacher, it is important to acknowledge that but not allow it to dominate the lesson. You need to be assertive enough to get your word out there but without needing to enforce obedience through fear and punishment. Respect in academia can come from two areas: 

  1. it can be forced through through fear of consequences for disobedience (typical education style in post-communist countries of Eastern and Central Europe where I grew up
  2. it can be earned through delivering the content in a way that it resonates with your students on a deeper level that they actually choose to listen to you because listening, compared to rebelling, is, in that case, a better survival strategy

The latter is probably something you would want to go for. You can start by actually getting to know your students (if the schedule and the structure of the university allow it). People will respect you more if they feel more connected to your human side, if you show interest in the individual people. So rather than being a slapstick teacher, open up conversations that invite genuine input. Have students actively participate and contribute opinions, exchange ideas etc. Maybe even do some out of class activities if the university approves it, the way company would do teambuilding. 

While this is happening, it needs to be known who is in charge (you) and you must not let that power balance slip or they'll start treating you as their mate and lose respect for you. I have no practical advice on how to get started, my experience of a lecturer are very limited to a few lectures I hosted where people participated willingly but I have experience with power imbalance where my clients constantly challenged everything I said because they were too insecure to let go of control despite paying for it. 

There are cases where nothing you do helps, in which case you may need to involve someone who can exercise higher power (like the university dean etc), sometimes students can be arrogant assholes and being compassionate is the worst strategy 

 

Edited by Michael569

“If you find yourself acting to impress others, or avoiding action out of fear of what they might think, you have left the path.” ― Epictetus

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God-Realize, this is First Business. Know that unless you live properly, this is not possible.

There is this body, you should know the requirements of your body. This is first duty. We have obligations towards others, loved ones, family, society, etc. Without material wealth we cannot do these things, for that a professional duty.

There is Mind; mind is tricky. Its higher nature should be nurtured, then Mind becomes mature and Conscious. When all Duties are continuously fulfilled, then life becomes steady. In this steady life God is available; via 5-MeO-DMT, ...                       Lovingly discipline Life & Realize Absolute Infinity

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Posted (edited)

@Michael569 That was insightful

Edited by Davino

God-Realize, this is First Business. Know that unless you live properly, this is not possible.

There is this body, you should know the requirements of your body. This is first duty. We have obligations towards others, loved ones, family, society, etc. Without material wealth we cannot do these things, for that a professional duty.

There is Mind; mind is tricky. Its higher nature should be nurtured, then Mind becomes mature and Conscious. When all Duties are continuously fulfilled, then life becomes steady. In this steady life God is available; via 5-MeO-DMT, ...                       Lovingly discipline Life & Realize Absolute Infinity

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Posted (edited)

In short, be what's needed. A teacher is there primarily to facilitate learning. What works best for that purpose in any given situation?

In retrospect, we might find that the uncompromising teachers were the effective ones, the ones from whom we learned the most; their main service was to our learning rather than to our immediate desires and preferences.

Contemplate what makes an effective teacher and become that.

Edited by UnbornTao

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22 hours ago, Schizophonia said:

Simply fire non-quiet/polite students.

Not enough lol

 

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@Michael569 thanks that was a lot of good stuff. 

Unfortunately I only have each class 1 hour a week, there is no way a deeper connection can be formed. And as it is it's too loud to teach. I have tons of good ideas but I cant really teach them. It's really bad. I feel like a looser. I started with no experience so it's not all my fault. I never acted authoritarian in my whole life probably. But much has to do with my insecurities as well. As it is I probably need to ask for support. 

The second option that you mentioned sounds dreamy. Something too look up to. 

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1 hour ago, UnbornTao said:

Be what's needed. A teacher is there primarily to facilitate learning. What works best for that purpose in any given time?

In retrospect, we might find that the uncompromising teachers were the effective ones, the ones from whom we learned the most; their main service was to our learning rather than to our immediate desires and preferences.

Contemplate what makes an effective teacher and become that.

True. 

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