Should a Teacher Be Strict or Friendly
with Students?

See also: Teaching Skills

The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called ‘truth’.” –Dan Rather.

What should a good teacher be like? It is an eternal question to which there are many correct responses. Each era had its own portrait of an ideal teacher. But at all times students appreciated the same characteristics.

Teachers should have excellent knowledge of their subject, general erudition, and a good relationship with students. In the modern view, the ideal teacher should have deep knowledge as well as such qualities as kindness, attentiveness, a sense of humor and tact. He or she must be able to captivate the entire audience, have an individual approach to each student, and also look good. A teacher must love their job and, of course, be a good psychologist. But should a teacher be strict or friendly?

Benefits of Strictness

Modern teachers are not always as kind as we would like. But a good teacher needs to be fairly strict. A demanding teacher forces students to responsibly prepare for lessons and be more attentive during the classes. Strict teachers have common traits of character and demeanor, which help them educate strong and purposeful individuals. How do they achieve it?

  • Motivation. A strict teacher is characterized by a clear subordination, lack of redundant emotions, and sometimes even indifference to the achievements of their students. With this behavior, even a slight encouragement from the teacher is treated as the highest degree of praise. Such relationships motivate students to new achievements, be it homework or a project.

  • High demands. A strict teacher would rather underestimate than overestimate the capabilities of the student. They make students work hard, and under achieving students are repeatedly forced to redo poorly performed tasks. This approach disciplines the student, develops attentiveness, concentration, and desire to achieve goals.

  • Goal achievement. The strict teacher sets goals and a vector to achieve them. They insist that students clearly fulfill their tasks and follow the desired direction. Their students participate in intellectual games, competitions, and contests with the highest demands.

Despite their strictness, these teachers often earn respect and love. Over time students feel gratitude towards them.

Advantages of Teacher’s Kindness

The kindness of the teacher is the first step to overcoming poor progress and a lack of interest in gaining knowledge. Kindness is one of the most important resources of each teacher and it allows teachers to create conditions for independence and creative self-development in their students. Without love and kindness, it is very difficult to make other educational methods work. Kindness is not sentimentality and forgiveness. It is transformed into an interest in working with students and the desire to see them as individuals. Students are very sensitive to how teachers treat them. They will forgive the teacher’s mistakes, irritation and punishment, but they will never forget anger, humiliation, and indifference.

Kindness and true love help the teacher build healthy relations with students and:

  • Communicate with students and their parents, respecting their dignity;
  • Make every student believe in their capabilities;
  • Evaluate not a person, but actions and deeds;
  • Value not only of the result but of the process of interaction with students;
  • Pay attention to every student and notice his individual success.

A kind teacher treats all students in the same way. For this they must find a personality in each of them, realizing that each has their own route to success.

What Makes a Great Teacher?

Many people ask this question, but few can answer it for sure because opinions always differ. What should a teacher be like?

‘The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.’
― William Arthur Ward.

Students are unanimous that a good teacher should know how to keep a delicate balance between being kind and strict. Moreover, they must also possess some other important qualities.

  • Competence

    A good teacher is a talented student. They are constantly engaged in self-education. In our time, when plenty of information is available on the net, the teacher is no longer the only source of knowledge. Their task is to teach to extract this knowledge, conduct research, initiate discussions and draw conclusions.

  • Love for work

    It sounds pompous, but it is crucial for teaching. Only positive emotions will allow the teacher to spark a student's interest in the subject. Otherwise, the learning process looks like a vegetarian talking about the benefits and taste of meat.

  • Individual approach

    This formal phrase means the ability to see a personality in every student. A professional does not have bad students. They have tasks that they try to solve so that everyone can achieve their goals.

  • Responsibility

    This quality is also tightly connected with punctuality, politeness, honesty. A teacher often is treated as an example to follow. And this example must be decent, otherwise, there will be no trust on the part of students. A teacher is a way of life.

  • Personal development

    A good teacher is a bright personality and an interesting interlocutor. Their thoughts are not limited to work. They have hobbies and their own views on various issues. This is like a sauce, with which the dish becomes more delicious.

  • Sense of humor

    This wonderful quality makes the interaction with the students much easier, Moderate self-irony builds trust and helps students not to be afraid of mistakes. It is much easier to learn in such an atmosphere.

  • Humanity

    The teacher must be tolerant, empathic, treat each student as a person, and accept all their characteristics. For such a teacher, the student's success is the best reward and for the sake of it, they are ready to do a lot.

  • Exactingness

    Teachers should be demanding to both students and themselves. They set high target as this is needed to find out what potential is hidden in everyone.

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Coaching and Mentoring

The Skills You Need Guide to Coaching and Mentoring

Coaching and mentoring require some very specific skills, particularly focused on facilitating and enabling others, and building good relationships. This eBook is designed to help you to develop those skills, and become a successful coach or mentor.

This guide is chiefly aimed at those new to coaching, and who will be coaching as part of their work. However, it also contains information and ideas that may be useful to more established coaches, especially those looking to develop their thinking further, and move towards growing maturity in their coaching.

After reading this article, you might think that it is difficult to find a decent teacher. And this is partially true. It is crucial to remember that a teacher is an important person in a student’s life. The teacher really has a lot of power. In modern society, students need not only knowledge, they do not need nannies or trainers (they have parents for this). “Modern students need a mentor. They need a person who will walk alongside, but, if necessary, will lead. They need a person who will open up new horizons, broaden ideas about the world, about relationships, about various phenomena. They need a person who respects and treats them as equals but does not forget that they are an adult and they have more responsibility.” says Emily Jason, an English-language teacher. Such a teacher can make a valuable contribution to the student’s life. And then, many years later, when former students achieve success, they realize that it was partially thanks to a good teacher.

About the Author

Dean Chester. I grasped the science of cybersecurity in practice: tutorials, conferences, forums, etc. What I have sized up is that “If you don’t pay for the product, you are the product”. Lead on