lil girl asks: Why do teachers act so bossy?
Hi lil girl –
Why? Because they’re the boss!
Okay, that’s too simple an answer. But of course, they are the boss, in the classroom at least. But we all know that some teachers are able to be the boss while speaking calmly, and being friendly and nurturing to their students; while others are cold and yell a lot, and spend all their time proving that their the boss. Those are the bossy ones!
Well, funny as it may sound, the answer is probably that the calm ones are very confident that they’re the boss, while the bossy ones aren’t! They feel they need to prove their toughness much more.
When Handsome was in seventh grade, he had a teacher who literally carried a big piece of wood around the classroom. He would never hit a kid with it, but it made him feel better to have it in his hand – and he could whack a desk with it when a student wasn’t listening! One day, he came into the room, and the piece of wood was gone. I think one of the students had hid it, just to see what would happen. Well guess what, that teacher found a piece of rope, and tied it into a hangman’s noose, and carried that around for the day! Again, I don’t think he was planning on hanging any of the students, but it made him feel better (and it certainly proved to be memorable!). And was actually a good teacher! He wasn’t horribly bossy – as long as he felt comfortable enough carrying his piece of wood. Or his noose!
So I guess what you really want to know, lil girl, is what to do about bossy teachers! And that is really hard. Behaving well is, of course, a good idea. But unless you can get your whole class to be exceptionally well-behaved, the teacher will probably keep being bossy. My best suggestion is to be friendly and complimentary. Tell the teacher when they’ve done something really well. “I loved that book you assigned today. Thanks!” or “Thanks for helping me with that math problem. I really was stuck.” Doing that might melt them just a bit, and encourage them to remember that the best thing about teaching is actually the joy of working with students and helping them learn – not just being the boss!