Teaching for Tenure and Beyond: Strategies for Maximizing Your Student Ratings

By Franklin H. Silverman | Go to book overview

15

Creating the Impression of Being Warm with a Good Sense of Humor

Students are likely to rate those teachers whom they regard as being warm with a good sense of humor a little higher than others. While this undoubtedly is due, in part, to the fact they like them, it’s also likely to reflect the fact that they learn more from them. They tend to pay more attention to (i.e., are less bored by) and/or are more anxious to please such teachers.

Comments by some of the students whom we interviewed provide a little insight into how teachers behave whom they tend to perceive as being warm with a good sense of humor. I’ll be sharing some of these comments with you here. Before doing so, however, we’ll look at the potential benefits and losses from a teacher being perceived by his or her students as warm with a good sense of humor.


POTENTIAL BENEFITS AND LOSSES FROM A TEACHER BEING PERCEIVED BY HIS OR HER STUDENTS AS WARM WITH A GOOD SENSE OF HUMOR

My primary focus throughout this book has been on maximizing student ratings. The surest way for a teacher to achieve this goal is to be helpful to students. Consequently, it’s necessary to consider the following question before going further: Do students tend to gain more than they lose from a teacher whom they regard as being warm with a good sense of humor?

Students would tend to lose more than they would gain from such a teacher if it resulted in their either not paying as much attention to or being less anxious to please him or her. I know of no compelling evidence to support this conclusion. On the other hand, there is considerable compelling evidence in the education literature that supports the opposite conclu-

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