100 Teacher Tips 89-91| Don’t use Sarcasm | Copyright and Plagiarism | Recognition

Tip 89: Don’t use Sarcasm

Never use sarcasm, it might cause a misunderstanding and much emotional harm. The greatest teachers use humor in the class because students enjoy it and can relate to the teacher. It makes the classroom fun, but try never to use sarcasm because sarcasm hurts people.

If you use sarcasm on a student, some may enjoy it, but others might take offense to it, or they might see you as a tyrant in class that brings other people down. So, try not to use sarcasm because if it’s misunderstood, it could offend some students who may tell their parents the teacher says mean things. Or they may say nothing but dislike you.

You can make jokes and have fun; it is part of being a teacher to tease students a little jokingly when it is understood as such, but don’t use sarcasm to penalize them. It’s expected of teachers to have better social skills. We are also adults and we should show our students how to interact with other people. So, it is fine to tease a little and to make jokes in the classroom, but not at the expense of others.

When I tease a student, it is done with affection and in a fun way for all. They know that I care for them and actually give them an opportunity to actually get back and do something good to make themselves proud.

Students have emotions that we should take into account. We should manage the emotions in our classroom; we want our students to be happy and have a good time in class, so never use sarcasm or make fun of students in a negative way. Build them up, keep them happy and motivated.

Tip 90: Copyright and Plagiarism

Understand copyright laws and make them clear to your learners. We have to interact with the world and the material that other people create, so as teachers we should understand copyright laws and explain plagiarism to our students, especially when they start doing projects.

High school students have to learn to recite sources and they have to do it correctly because we cannot steal another person’s ideas and copy large parts without proper recognition of the source.

We have to understand copyright laws ourselves and teach our students how to cite sources. These days, software programs can check online publications for plagiarism. So, while it is easy to copy and paste parts of other people’s work, it is also equally easy to find instances of plagiarism. We have to teach students about the severe consequences of plagiarism.

Tip 91: Recognition

Recognize students who do outstanding work, as well as those that need to improve. When a student does superb work, praise them, say “Listen, this is fantastic, thank you so much for doing it this way!” But remember also give critical advice to help them improve, because if you only praise them, students may develop a skewed impression of their true abilities.

With students who are not doing very well, determine the reason and give ideas on how they can improve in the future. You can say, “Well, thank you for trying…” If they put in enough effort, praise them for that. Tell them, “Wow! You tried very hard, but here are some things that you can improve for the future.”

Remember, we do not want to praise the students for their results, or for the products, but we want to praise them for the effort they’ve put in. For doing it, for the time, the energy that they put into their work. So, if you have students that do not put in the effort, reprimand them and tell them you expect more, but praise students that put in the work, especially if they do an outstanding job.

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