13 Worst Things Teachers Do That Create a Hostile Environment

Every teacher wants to have a successful and enjoyable classroom. But sometimes, well-intentioned educators make choices that aren’t beneficial for their students or the learning environment. Learning from mistakes is essential for growth, but it’s important to be aware of what mistakes to avoid in the first place.

Here are 13 of the worst things a teacher can do in their classroom:

1. Not Engaging With Students

When a teacher isn’t interacting with their students, it can cause apathy and disinterest in the lesson. Asking thoughtful questions, encouraging positive dialogue, and providing opportunities for student feedback are all important ways to ensure an interactive learning environment.

2. Showing Favoritism

A teacher should treat all students equally and fairly, without favoring one student over another. Making a student feel like they are not respected or favored can create an atmosphere of resentment and distrust in the classroom.

3. Not Responding to Questions

Being unable to answer a question in class can be frustrating for both the student and the teacher. However, it is important for a teacher to take the time to investigate possible answers and provide feedback to help the student learn.

4. Not Providing Feedback

A good teacher should provide frequent feedback to their students on their performance and progress in class. Without this feedback, it can be difficult for students to measure their own progress, leading to frustration and confusion.

5. Not Setting Boundaries

A teacher should set clear expectations and rules in the classroom to create a safe and productive learning environment. Without these boundaries, it can be difficult for students to focus on their studies which may result in disruptive behavior from some students.

6. Not Being Prepared

A teacher needs to be well-prepared for each class, with lesson plans and materials ready to go. If a teacher is not adequately prepared, it can lead to confusion in the classroom and may prevent students from learning as much as they can. If a teacher doesn’t challenge their students, they may get bored and not learn as much as they could have otherwise.

7. Shaming Students

A teacher should never humiliate a student in front of the class, as this can create a hostile environment and may cause students to lose confidence in their abilities.

8. Not Adapting to Different Learning Styles

Every student has different needs when it comes to learning. It is important for teachers to recognize this and adjust their approach accordingly, or else some students may not be able to comprehend the material fully.

9. Not Being Available for Extra Help

Some students require more help than others, and it is important for a teacher to make themselves available for extra assistance outside of class. Without this help, some students may not be able to keep up with their classmates.

10. Not Encouraging Creative Thinking

A teacher should provide opportunities for their students to think outside the box and explore new ideas. Without this encouragement, students may not be able to realize their full potential.

11. Being Unapproachable

A good teacher needs to create an open and inviting atmosphere in the classroom where students feel comfortable asking questions, making mistakes, and seeking help. Without this openness, it can be difficult for a teacher to build relationships with their students.

12. Yelling at Students

Yelling or raising one’s voice in the classroom is rarely productive and can be extremely intimidating for students. A teacher should use other methods to get their point across, such as positive reinforcement.

13. Gossip or Complaints About Other Teachers

A teacher should never discuss another teacher’s personal or professional life in front of the class. This can create an atmosphere of unprofessionalism and lead to distrust among students. 


It is important for teachers to avoid these poor practices in order to create an environment that is conducive to learning and growth. By providing a supportive and understanding atmosphere, teachers can help their students reach their full potential.

This post, called The 13 Worst Things a Teacher Can Do, was syndicated and produced by TPR Teaching.

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Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.

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