The Biggest Mistakes Teachers and Students Make

Are you having problems with students or teachers? Would you like some guidelines as to how to improve the situation?

As a former high school teacher, and Marriage, Family Therapist, I had the opportunity to hear about the frustrations and painful experiences students and teachers were having with each other. To help them resolve their issues, I helped them to communicate what they wanted in a positive way.

The mistakes that teachers and students make are the opposite of the positive guidelines. For example, in number one, the mistake was not being patient.

You may want to put a check next to each statement that you would like to express to the appropriate person(s).



1. Be patient with me. That helps me be more patient with myself.

2. Listen to me. That helps me feel worthy, and want to listen to you.

3. Praise me for the things I do well. That helps me hear the things I need to improve.

4. Point out how the subject will help me. That helps me be more motivated to learn.

5. Teach me that mistakes offer me opportunities to learn. That helps me feel okay even when I blunder.

6. Make the lessons fun and exciting. That helps me want to participate.

7. Put yourself at my eye level when you speak to me. That helps me feel safe and hear you.

8. Help me feel accepted by my peers. That helps me feel good enough.

9. Focus on cooperation instead of competition. That helps me feel okay no matter what happens.

10. Respect and appreciate me. That helps me like myself, be more able to learn and feel I deserve to be happy and successful.

Thank you for hearing me. I appreciate you! Your Student



1. Be patient with me. Then I’ll know you accept that I’m human, too.

2. Tell me when you’re confused. Then I’ll help you understand.

3. Show me your appreciation. Then I’ll know that my efforts are valued.

4. Help me solve problems. Then we can all win.

5. Understand that there are many students in the class. That will help you feel important even when I’m busy.

6. Tell me what is bothering you. Then I can help you solve your problem.

7. Be helpful. Then we can accomplish more things.

8. Take care of yourself and get enough rest. Then you’ll be healthier, more alert and better able to learn.

9. Realize that mistakes offer you opportunities to learn. That will help you feel okay even when you blunder.

10. Know that you are worthy and good enough, and deserve to be happy and successful no matter what anyone says or does. That will help you be happy, and allow yourself to learn.

Thank you for listening. I care about you! Your Teacher

As in all relationships, awareness of the problem and positive communication is a key to success. When you have the courage to express these loving, constructive words, you are likely to be a more successful teacher and student. Go for it!