As a person, it is natural that you like some people and dislike some others.
As a teacher, you are supposed to be an impartial figurehead who likes all her students equally, or dislikes all her students equally, if one is being contrary. But it is natural that you may not like some children as much as you like some others. And sometimes you can’t help but show your preference. But while favouritism is inevitable, it can also be damaging.
Here are 5 reasons why teachers shouldn’t play favourites, at least not overtly.
1. Teacher favoritism can isolate – When you overtly show that you favour some students over others, what you are essentially doing is isolating the other students in your classroom. If you are going to keep picking your favourite students for all tasks or activities, other students are eventually going to give up participating in your class because they no they don’t fall under the umbrella of your favourites. When you see the lack of participation, you are going to fall back on your favourites, essentially perpetuating a cycle that will never end. It is okay for you to like a student more than another, but as a teacher it is your duty to remain impartial. So this means that you need to give everyone a chance, regardless of how they handle the task or duty that they give you. This will make your students appreciate you all the more because you are making a real effort at getting them to participate in class.
2. The child that is the favourite will be isolated from his/her peers – It is very well for you to decide that you have your own favourites and generally call upon them in class but there is also a downside to this. The student who is your favourite is not going to be liked by your other students. Because the student in question is perceived as a teacher’s favourite, he or she will be excluded from activities and discussions and might be unfairly categorized as a snitch.
3. You make prior judgments about children – When some students become your favourites and you decide to pay attention to them alone in class, what you are doing is making judgments about the other students in your class without even giving them a chance to prove themselves. Regardless of whether you end up liking all of your students or not, at least give them a chance to be liked or disliked. Making assumptions without any prior knowledge only makes you look judgmental and biased.
4. Undue attention and opportunities given to children who may or may not deserve it – When some students are your favourites, you may become blind to reasons as to why they are your favourites. When you find yourself blindly trusting them or giving them opportunities without even considering your other students, maybe it is time to evaluate why they are you favourites. Do you favour them because they are the quintessential good students or because they know how to please you? If they are honestly students who deserve the attention you shower upon them, then by all means continue to do so. But if they are students who tend to engage in false flattery just to gain favour with you, then you need to re-evaluate your ability to gauge students.
5. Your teaching style becomes biased – When you have already made up your mind about the students, then your teaching style too will change accordingly. You will only focus on the students you want too, not the other students too. The job of a teacher is to teach everyone equally, irrespective of likes or dislikes. You are welcome to like or dislike students but it shouldn’t affect the way you teach.
What are your thoughts on favouritism among teachers? Share your opinions with us in the comments section below!