Student Well-Being

Student Well-Being / Roles of Teachers / Negatively Impacting Student Well-Being

Negatively Impacting Student Well-Being

Unfortunately, students often experience teachers whose behaviors and actions negatively impact their lives. Here are some of the ways that teachers do not help to promote student well-being in crisis-affected contexts:

  • Poor teaching: Teachers not showing up for class negatively impacts students' well-being. Likewise, students are frustrated by weak or incompetent teachers who may show up but do not help them learn. When teachers have inaccurate or insufficient knowledge in core subject areas, their notes are hard to read or understand, and/or when lessons are confusing or poorly presented, students suffer. Students are also upset and disappointed when teachers do not let them ask questions, or when teachers have no patience for explaining confusing material.

  • Unequal treatment: When teachers give attention to specific students or neglect other students because of their gender, ability or other distinguishing characteristics, students notice; and this impacts their well-being. Providing unequal instruction or treating students differently based on their characteristics is confusing to students and diminishes their sense of control and self-worth in the classroom. When all students are given equal instruction and attention, they feel valued and accepted as equal members of the class.

  • Violence and abuse: Harsh corporal punishment is a reality for far too many students, as are other forms of abuse. Quite understandably, students describe being hurt and upset by teachers who beat them. Verbal abuse (for example, being shouted at, insulted or mocked) is also damaging. Students especially resent punishment that sends them outside class. At those times students often feel that missing the lessons they value so keenly is a double punishment. Students have a strong sense of justice and resent unfair teacher punishment; disadvantaged youth in particular can be further marginalized by violent or abusive behavior used by teachers. Likewise, students are upset by teachers who are erratic and inconsistent in their treatment of students.