It’s natural for students to develop a positive opinion about their teachers. In a small number of cases, this can turn into hero-worship or even an unhealthy obsession.
But how do you stop them from liking you?
There are many ways! Read on for some ideas that might help save you from the hate!
1) Be firm but polite
One of the most obvious ways to prevent your student from growing to like you is to keep a professional distance.
Remain firm and polite when you tell them what to do, but don’t let them get too close. This can be difficult for the first few weeks, especially if you’ve had previous experience being friendly with your students outside of class.
But it’s necessary for preventing hero-worship later on!
Here are some ways to stay firm:
- Don’t be their friend on Facebook. Make sure they know that you’re trying to keep things professional between you two.
- Stay strict on your rules. If they don’t follow the rules, be firm but polite and make them understand that they aren’t allowed to get away with it. But don’t let your students walk all over you! If someone likes you too much, then they might just take advantage of you.
- If they complain to you about something, compliment you, or ask you a question, always stay polite and firm. Make them understand that they have to keep a professional distance if they want your help.
- Don’t be too friendly with them outside of lessons either.
2) Set boundaries and consequences
As I’ve mentioned above, it might be necessary to keep a strict set of rules for your students.
Without clear boundaries, they might start to feel like they can get away with anything – and then you’ll find yourself in real trouble!
So how do you set boundaries and consequences?
Just follow this formula: “If __ then __”
Here are some examples:
- If they don’t turn in their homework on time or do the best they can, then punish them.
- If they show up to class late or are just dragging themselves along, then make them know that they’re not allowed to skip class and make them understand that they have consequences if they try it.
- If they talk back to you, then you’ll need to let them know that you won’t let them get away with it and will make sure that they understand their consequences.
This way, not only you can stop your student stops liking you, but you can also support them in the long run.
3) Mention other role models
Here is the truth:
Every student is going to have a few role models in their life.
While you might try your best not to make it obvious, you’re still obviously going to have some kind of influence on them. But how do you stop them from liking you?
The secret lies in stopping that unhealthy behavior in its tracks, which is why it’s important to mention other role models to them.
For example, if they seem to like you too much, then tell them to look up to their parents or someone else who is a little more realistic and down-to-earth.
You don’t want them to start worshipping you, but you don’t want them to develop unhealthy attachments either!
4) Don’t be afraid to discipline or fail
Another way to make your student stop liking you is through discipline.
Of course, you want to stay compassionate and kind while they’re learning, but you also need to make sure that they know when they’ve gone too far.
If they push you too far, then it might be necessary to discipline them or even fail their class in order to get them to understand their mistakes.
I know it’s hard to discipline or fail a student once they like you, but it’s necessary for the end!
Begin with a gentle warning, followed by a firm but polite confrontation.
And make sure that you don’t let them get away with it! If they don’t respect what you say, then you’ll need to punish them or fail their class entirely.
5) Don’t give them special treatment
Special treatment is a big problem! It’s one of the main reasons that students can fall in love with their teachers, especially if they feel like they’re not being treated equally to the rest of the class.
Little things like playing favorites or giving them a fun session here and there are going to make your student start thinking that you like them – and it doesn’t help that teachers can be really nice to some students in comparison to others.
As a teacher, you need to act like a professional with all of your students, regardless of how they act or how much they like you.
Just think out of the box, and think like a psychologist.
When your student tries to play their favorite game, try talking about it with them and explaining to them why you don’t want to treat them differently. Let them know that they’re not being treated specially, but instead that they’re in an equal position with the rest of the class.
This way, you can step out of the box and be equal with all of your students, as well as stop them from feeling like they’re not being noticed.
I learned this (and much more) from the world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandé. Watch his unforgettable lecture here.
He not only opens our hearts to the goodness of human nature but also brings us back to planetary consciousness and guides us on how to turn our suffering into wisdom.
6) Be careful about physical contact
Trust me, your student is going to try.
As a teacher, you might have a tough time avoiding physical contact with your students at times, especially if you’re trying to keep things professional.
So how do you prevent yourself from getting too close to your student?
Like I said above, it’s not the end of the world. You’re allowed to be happy and friendly with your student and still keep a professional distance.
But there are ways you can prevent yourself from getting too close or having a physical connection with them.
It might not seem so bad to give a little pat on the back every now and then, but this kind of physical contact is going to make your student feel like you’re treating them special.
It almost feels like a sign of affection, and they’re dependent on your approval too much. Instead, keep things professional with a handshake or a high-five.
If you’re going to be dealing with things like accidents, then you can use a bit more physical contact here and there. Just try not to get too close, and don’t let them get too attached.
7) Keep office hours sacred
If your student like you too much, then they’re not going to respect your sacred office hours.
And this is a problem because the sacred office hour is meant to be a time of learning and relaxation for both you and your student.
It’s your time to read or prepare for a lecture, as well as their time to discuss their problems with you!
But when they’re coming in to see you every day and asking you to tutor them or just chill with them, then it’s going to be a problem.
So how do you stop that?
Make sure that you stick to the office hours!
This way, they’ll have less temptation to stay and have a discussion with you every day, and they’ll see things in a different light – especially if they feel like you’re rejecting them.
And also make sure that you respect their requests of changing times. If they want to stay until 3 pm instead of 8 am, then let them know that it’s okay!
8) Use “teacher’s voice”
I bet you’ve heard all about “teacher’s voice.” It’s that loud and firm tone that you can use when talking to a student who has gotten out of hand and upset the entire class – or when you need to get their attention.
A teacher’s voice has the power to make anyone look up and listen, no matter how much they like their teacher or how young they are!
But it might not be as easy for you as it sounds.
If the student is your favorite and they’re caught up in their emotions, then it might not be as easy to use the teacher’s voice.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t use it! You just have to get out of the habit of being nice and friendly with them.
The best way to do that is by stepping outside of your comfort zone and using a loud, firm tone without getting too emotional or personal.
If you do that well, then you’ll be able to get your point across and show them the reality of their situation.
I know it’s hard to use “teacher’s voice,” especially if they like you more than the other students.
But trust me, they need to hear it! And if they don’t listen, then you might have to fail them or even discipline them in order to make them understand.
9) Don’t be overly responsive
Want to make your student stop liking you?
Then you need to stop being overly responsive.
As a teacher, you’re going to get called on in class and asked a lot of questions by your students. This is going to be super annoying because they’re definitely not going to want you to answer every single one of their questions.
But that’s what you have to do!
The best way to get your student to notice this and then stop liking you is not to answer all of their questions in class.
Instead, you can think about when it’s appropriate to answer some questions, but not others. When you do decide to answer things in the classroom, make sure that you’re not overly responsive by answering everything, even the ones they don’t ask.
10) Use well-timed absences
The last tip to get your student to stop liking you is to make well-timed absences.
Just like with the teacher’s voice, this works best when the student does like you a lot.
If you keep yourself around for too long, then your student will start to feel like you are there for them all of the time.
So make sure that you can use well-timed absences to avoid being too safe or dependent on them. And if you need to leave the class, then tell your student beforehand and get permission from them.
Also, keep in mind that you can’t be there throughout the entire semester.
If you’re going to be gone for a week or two, then that’s okay! And if you are going to be gone for an extended period of time, then you should make sure that your student understands why and check in with them from time to time.
Although your student might like you more than the other students, there are still ways to keep things professional.
Because if this is not handled correctly, then you could end up losing them as a student. Things like this don’t always happen right away, but as time goes on, they can definitely get worse.
So make sure that you take all of my tips into account and practice them in order to make a distance between you and your student.
If you can’t stand being around them, then you should have a discussion with your student and let them know that.
Just make sure that they understand why! Once they do, then they’ll be able to accept it and move on. Remember that be polite, professional, and kind in all situations, and they’ll notice!
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I hope this article will help many teachers out there!