For some reason, I really can’t recall many teachers that really made an impression on me during my school days.
That might be my fault…maybe I didn’t take school as seriously as I should have.
But I know a lot of people out there had teachers that they loved and respected.
What did a teacher do that made you immediately respect them?
Here’s what people on AskReddit had to say about this.
1. Doing it the right way.
“Treated kids with autism + aspergers like actual human beings.
In my school I was in a special needs unit for kids with aspergers and autism called the CDU (communication disorder unit). The kids in there ranged from having mild aspergers to full on severe autism, and as such most teachers treated everyone from there like they had severe mental health problems just because they were labelled as having autism or aspergers even if it was very mild.
But there was one support teacher in the CDU who was genuinely just a nice dude, whether he was talking to kids who had severe autism or just some mild social anxiety he wouldn’t talk extra slowly or call you “bud” or “pal” at the end of a sentence, he would talk to everyone like they were real human beings.
It might seem like a small thing but when that’s how pretty much all teachers talked to you and treated you in every class it was very refreshing to talk to someone who would talk to you based on who you were as a person rather than treating someone differently for being labelled as autistic.”
2. You gotta figure it out.
“Math class, we’re looking at the programming function of a graphing calculator.
I tell him that finding the surface area of a regular polygon is incredibly tedious.
So, we spend the next fifteen minutes writing out a program on the calculator to do the math for me.
The only math teacher I knew that genuinely understood that you cannot write a program to solve a math problem if you don’t know how to solve it yourself.”
3. Like a real person.
“It was small but he told us he was going to be in a bad mood that day because someone stole his bike.
Just treating us like people was something that was rare in that school.”
4. That’s nice.
“A math teacher went to the hospital several times to visit a student who had been seriously injured in an accident.
The teacher offered companionship, free tutoring, and genuine encouragement.”
5. A great guy.
“Told us a joke about his name (before we could) and allowed us to eat during his classes “because kids your age can’t help being hungry all the time”, as long as we did it quietly.
Great guy. His whole attitude made all of us actually pay attention and do our best.”
6. Just don’t make a mess.
“As long as we didn’t make a mess, he let us eat in class and we were all so appreciative. I didn’t realize the reason, but it’s true, at that age you are just hungry all the time and we had cafeteria lunches that were pretty much just junk food that went right through you.
It’s really a small thing, but it raised him in our estimation quite a bit. It demonstrated that he understood his audience and wanted what was best for us. That brings respect.
He was also an excellent storyteller and had legendary tales of the characters he had grown up with in his working-class neighborhood.
These stories were hilarious and such a welcome break from the tedium of high school, he would even do it by request from time to time. Once, I wrote him a personal note asking him to tell one of such stories and he began the next class recounting it.
He could not have pulled this off, however, if he did not come across as an excellent teacher who had a sophisticated grasp of his topic. Otherwise, I think we would have just seen him as a fun slacker we could take advantage of.”
7. A good lesson.
“Math teacher : “I don’t care if you have good grades or bad grades, if you work hard, I will work harder to make you pass”.
He worked hard for me; I passed.”
8. Be yourself.
“He would let us be who we were, listen to our ipod in class, and encouraged us to think outside “the class”.
I gained respect for him when he saw some kids going to skip and he called them into his class.
Told them “if you’re gonna skip class than come to my class and do whatever you want in the back. Rather have you inside the school than outside”
Everyone loved that teacher while the other teachers couldn’t stand him. He had everyone’s respect.”
9. A safe space.
“I had a business studies teacher who used to be a mental health professional.
So she knew the signs when my depression was particularly bad (for example submitting work at 3am) and would always make sure I had eaten and offered me coffee and generally made her classroom a safe space for anyone.
If you’re reading this you’re amazing!!”
10. No excuses.
“English teacher in high school asked where my homework was.
Responded “I forgot to do it” and he said to the rest of the class “Why can’t you guys be like him?
He doesn’t come up with some excuse he just tells me he didn’t do it.””
11. Zany, but good.
“Had an extremely zany teacher who taught Psychology, and had the last name Ward.
Psycho personality (in the best way possible) to fit her name and job. Never met someone who fit their name and job description so well. (Worse, she taught driver’s ed too, on the side.)
She was the type whose zany personality was a big plus; most of her kids loved her, but if you screwed around in her class, she’d eject you from it, with extreme prejudice.
She still teaches, and she teaches very well.
As an aside, there was also this middle-aged woman who was basically a hall monitor and filled in any other position she could think of, as well as handing out detentions or suspensions if she caught you screwing around instead of being where you were supposed to be. Small lady, absolutely no-nonsense and tough as nails. She wouldn’t take sh*t from you, but also incredibly fair overall.
I realized she knew when to bend. My older two siblings hated her because she always caught them skipping class, smoking, or worse. I got along with her very well and never caused her any trouble.
I asked her once about my little brother, and she said he was a good kid and while she’d had to give him detention a few times, she was also proud of him because when he got into a fight, he did it for the right reasons.
My little bro’s a very tall, hulking guy and never hesitated to defend someone from a bully. It got him a few detentions for fighting but apparently she made it clear she was proud of him for standing up for others nonetheless.
I repeated this later to my brother, and he said she was a very good woman, very fair, and that he’d liked her for that fairness, and her sheer guts.”
12. Finish the story!
“Instead of shouting at my loud class for not shutting up before the lesson began, my history teacher decided to quietly tell the story of a pink elephant that wanted to be an astronaut.
After a few seconds, people started to shut up and listen about the pink elephant. When everyone was quiet and listening, he stopped mid-story.
As much as it made me respect him.. WHY DIDN’T YOU FINISH THE STORY FFS! THAT CLIFFHANGER!”
Now we want to hear from you.
In the comments, tell us about some teachers that gained your respect when you were in school.
Thanks in advance!