I have learned a lot from Twitter about how to treat my students, and most of it has been through being treated in ways I do not like. Recently I have been searching my own tweets to find things I’ve said before, and as I’ve dipped into old conversations, several unpleasant feelings have resurfaced when I read the way I’ve been treated. I don’t want to make my students feel that way, so I want to avoid doing those things to my students.
So, here are some ways I don’t want to treat my students, based on ways I have been treated on Twitter. To my shame, I have done most of these to others on Twitter too, and I am trying hard not to. I know most of the people who have done this to me will be mortified to know they have, so I am not going to call anyone out here. I just want to share what I have learned.
So, here is a list of things I don’t want to do to the students, because I don’t like it when they happen to me:
- Offer solutions when they haven’t asked for any.
- Interrupt their problem-solving process.
- Ignore their feelings when they express them.
- Tell them their feelings are wrong.
- Respond with a story about me rather than seek more from them.
- Completely ignore the main point of what they said and respond to just one word or phrase.
- Respond to them telling me something they like by giving recommendations for new things.
- Respond with a fire hose of even more technical terminology.
- Tell them they are wrong to be confused.
- Tell them the thing they like is wrong because I like something else.
- Discount their success by pushing to the extension straight away.
- Respond to everything with sarcasm.
- Focus only on the bit I think is wrong.
My original plan was to elaborate on each of these, but I have kept coming back to this post for months and feeling overwhelmed with that task, so I think it’s time to just push send. And maybe it’s a good thing each time I read this to have to imagine what each of these things looks like. I’m hoping it’s useful to you to have to think about what these might mean too. But of course if you want me to explain a particular one of them more, do ask and I will do my best.