Teaching Advice

OK, really bad idea. It’s passive-aggressive and it’s putting a person on the spot. If you really need to make an issue out of it, talk to the student alone after class, drop the royal we, and lose the fake emotionality.

A kid throws a tantrum in class. “Wow, you’re really struggling with self-control. Can you tell me why? Are you hungry or


If it’s a toddler who throws tantrums because he’s hungry, it’s idiotic to expect him to self-diagnose and understand the expression “struggling with self-control.” If it’s an older kid, she’ll see this as infantilizing.

I’m all into compassion and treating students as human beings. I also don’t believe in punishment. But compassion and condescension are not the same thing.

3 thoughts on “Teaching Advice”

  1. The article is about middle-school teaching and I think it makes sense in that context. Middle school is a really tough time in the best of circumstances (ages 12-14, hormones going nuts, lots of issues with the changing body and chaotic social dynamics), let alone if a kid has issues at home.


    1. It’s an authoritarian attitude. It makes for bad teaching and bad administration. I may have superior knowledge of X, but that doesn’t make me superior generally.


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