It is Cool to be “Nice”: Teachers and Students



I am usually reading very recent stuff, from papers to books. Therefore, I am rarely reading “old” stuff but, today, one book at my therapist’s shelf caught my attention: Creative Aggression written by George R. Bach and Herb Goldberg in 1974, the year my little younger sister was born.  Check it out 🙂

The price of “nice”teachers:

“Most of the time, it is the students who pay the price. “Nice” teachers provide students with an unreal model of the competition world of education, from which the teacher has benefited, and which the students may someday need. Because they don’t set meaningful standards and are equally “nice” to all students, the “nice” teacher’s grades eventually become worthless. By not providing the necessary course content, their students are also that much less prepared for the future courses – and life. Because they promise everything to everybody, they often disappoint students when they either forget, or didn’t have time to fulfill the promises. Their behavior then is an act of indirect hostility toward the students, an act that allows the teacher to be a good guy while in the end the students pay the price – sometimes not even realizing this fact.”

My Remark: this was written in 1974 and the situation has gotten much worse since teachers became a product like those sold in that you will rate at the end of the course or as soon as you get to try it.

The personality and the reward of “nice” students:

“They are hunger to please and insecure about their own talents and abilities. Their insecure reactions represent their desperate need to achieve. They relate poorly to their peers – or they fake it, because they are secretly extremely competitive and they will not be derailed from their achievement goals by wasting their time with “useless” peer relationships.”

“Their technique usually works, and they often get high grades, teacher approval, and good letter of recommendation. With even a fairly good basic intelligence, they stand a better chance of academic success than the quiet, less manipulative student of equal – or even higher – intelligence.”

My Remark: “Nice” people are main stream. “Nice” people will never fight against the norm. “Nice” people want to be on the safe side – always. “Nice” teachers don’t want to talk about the students’ evaluation of teaching because they are too busy to find the right formula to be “nicely” evaluated.




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