5 Ways To Avoid Being Hated By The Class


Classroom Tips
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Classroom Tips
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Being liked is an important goal for a full-time classroom teacher, as it should be. For relief teachers, this is slightly less important as their role in the student’s life is not long term.

The problem with believing that being liked equates to being a good teacher is that students are very fickle. The very nature of young students means that individuals can be “liked” one minute and “not liked” the next.

So what can you do as a teacher to avoid being hated, and why does it even matter for relief teachers? This article shares 5 key things you can do and why it’s important to care.

Students are not adults and as such haven’t yet developed the adult version of friendship. Mutual gratification is vital to adult friendships, where as in the classroom, this type of relationship is totally inappropriate.

If being liked is important to the teacher, the student is in the driver’s seat and that situation
is as far from a quality teaching situation as you can possibly get.


Students are often egocentric and operate on the premise that they are the most important people in the universe. Egocentric people believe that everyone should do things to keep them happy. Especially the people who need to be liked.

If students hate a teacher, all bets are off. Logic is out the window. A lot of students claim to “hate” Ariana Grande or Taylor Swift without any reason as to why. They just do.

Students can “hate” teachers at the drop of a hat. Students will form an opinion of them within the first 10 minutes of a new or relief teacher being present. So, if teachers start the day angry, you can bet they will be hated within the first 10 minutes.

Teachers can find themselves between a rock and a hard place because if they set out their day with the goal of being liked, students will take advantage of the teacher (like most of their friends) and set out calling in favours from them. It makes perfect sense.

Rather than striving to be liked, educators should strive to not be hated. How do you say? Read on to learn our five ‘tried and tested’ strategies

There are many little things you can do to strengthen relationships, but here are the five key overarching approaches that will help make it near on impossible to be hated by the class.

#1 – Exude calmness

Have you ever seen first responders (Fire Fighters, Policeman, Ambos) arrive at a scene of calamity? They walk, talk slowly and quietly and exude a calm and professional approach.

Relief Teachers are an unknown entity in most classrooms. Starting the day calmly sends a professional message to the students. Some teachers find it useful to chant some Buddhist mantra, do a few Tia Chi exercises or simply take a big breath. But do it in PRIVATE. Quality teaching starts and ends with calmness. If teachers want to control Unruly students, they themselves must first be calm.

#2 – Be pleasant

Teachers must be respectful in their tone, even if they have to combat the misbehaving student. They need to try and not take themselves too seriously. Laugh and smile if appropriate. Their goal should be to be a real person and appreciate the humour of the situation. Schools and classrooms are people’s places. While some days a teacher might feel like they are in a zoo, they really don’t need to assume the role of an animal tamer. Be pleasant.

#3 – Share and connect

People connect by sharing snippets or stories. In no way should teachers do the “Facebook thing” and share every personal detail with their class. However, teachers will become less hated if students develop some empathy towards them as a person. This can be a slippery road so it is important teachers never share anything they wouldn’t share on the ABC news report.

They can talk about pets, gardens, and favourite sports and encourage students to share as well. Personal anecdotes about events that enhance a concept within are relevant to the class work to develop personal connections.

#4 – Focus on learning

Don’t forget, the teacher is a teacher first.

Seriously, even the most disengaged students in the class understand that the teacher at the front of the room teaches. Surprisingly even unruly students appreciate quality teaching. They just need to make everything about teaching. If relief teachers are doing an activity without a focus, like some of the sheet work which may be offered to them by the classroom teacher, then they are wasting time. The students will hate them.

#5 – Own the classroom

Don’t apologise for being in the classroom and don’t feel like an outsider. Teachers need to take ownership of the classroom while they are there. Assume the role of the boss or gatekeeper. Nothing creates unnecessary tension than a relief teacher who won’t make a decision.  Relief teachers may have a teaching program better than that offered by the class teacher. Use it.

Own the classroom and be the boss. Never criticise the classroom teacher but let the students know they are cared for enough to make decisions on the run.

Remember, it is great to be liked but it is critical not to be HATED!

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Tips to Build Rapport With Students

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