Having Favorites in Your Classroom

I’ve always had a selfish goal in my classroom. I’ve always wanted to be the fun teacher, the favorite teacher. On the first day of school each year, I lay all my cards on the table:
– I’m young
– I love Marvel and D.C. comics and movies
– I love anime
– I love videogames
– I love reading YA novels
– I listen to the same type of music they do
– I love playing sports

It’s earned me the liking of the students, as I can relate to them (it also helps that I have a sister their age).

Then, I start demanding earning their respect, while still gaining trust and like with a great, and well-thought out classroom management plan with rewards and negative consequences.

As the year goes by, students begin to show their responsibility, potential, and personality. There are some that my feelings and likeness start to gravitate toward. It’s not my fault. It’s just like making friends–not that my students are necessarily “friends” since they are 10+ years younger than me. But, same personalities tend to like each other.

Typically, the students that I tend to really get along with and like are the ones who love the geeky stuff I do, are respectful, have a good work ethic, and have the higher grades in the class.

Not that grades have ANYTHING to do if I like a student or not. There have been plenty of students that have had poorer grades that I have absolutely loved because they try their best and that is all I can ask of them.

So, I will be honest: I have favorites in my classroom.

These favorite students and I love chatting before class, during class, and after class about our common interests. I have pictures drawn of fantasy animals we enjoy. They leave inside jokes on my board from our favorite sitcoms. We discuss upcoming movies and our videogames while waiting for carpools. Today, three of my favorite girls who are huge anime fans decided they are going to compile a list of animes for me to watch over the summer. These favorite students also really help me with the rest of the class–they always are the first ones to participate, they are willing to help others in their assignments, and they are shining examples.

Now, I try my absolute hardest to not be biased towards them when it comes to classroom management (or biased against the misbehaving ones as we, too, have great geeky/nerdy conversations). But, I do find it hard sometimes to be one hundred percent completely fair with both grading and management. I think I do a pretty good job of being fair.

Although I have had a lot of struggles with management of a lot of 7th graders this year (as all the other teachers have, and the 6th grade teachers last year!), I will still miss all of them (but, especially my favorites) next year! None of my students know yet that I won’t be returning. I’m not sure when or if I will tell them…they deserve to know, but it’ll be heart breaking because I love my students (even if they stress me out!).

Do you have favorites in your classroom? What do you think about having favorites? Is there a way to not be biased when it comes to discipline and grading if you do have favorites?


Jess from Bookworms in Dresses

How did you come up with the name to your blog?
I’ve always been a bookworm, so that was the main inspiration behind my blog name. When I first named it, I was planning to be a fashion blog, but then I ended up being more of a book blogger! I guess I couldn’t stray from the bookworm inside me!

What is your blog’s mission or goal?
I want to share my love of books with everyone, make friends, and hopefully I can help someone out, even if it’s in a small way, from my blog.

Besides blogging, what are some other hobbies of yours?
Reading, drawing, designing, cosplay, and photography. I’ve always been very creative, so my hobbies tend to sway that way! Sometimes I play video games on my 3DS too! Pokemon is my favorite!!

What is the best thing about blogging for you?
What I love the most is certainly meeting new people and making friends through the blogging world! Everyone is so nice and supportive, I love it! I also love being able to share my favorite books with people and getting new reading suggestions from people as well!

What are 3 of your favorite posts you’ve written?
Hmmm, that’s a hard one! Probably these three!
Introverted Bookworm
The Advice I Never Gave
Editorial Calendar

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

  • Ha! Totally had favorite students! But I feel kinda guilty because I teach preschool, so basically I feel like a baby-hater :/ Kidding aside, my favorite thing about teaching young kids is seeing them grow up. And I still have contact with a handful of my absolute favorite students, the oldest being 10 now!

  • When I was teaching, I definitely had my favorites. I think the trick is treating every student the same, and always showing that each and every one of them is important!

  • I can understand this! As a private educator I only work with a handful of students, but some of them are just easier to teach and more responsive. I enjoy the challenge of working with a diverse group, but sometimes we need encouragement knowing that someone is actually learning and growing a we hope they will!

  • I'm sure it's totally normal to have favorites. It's fine to HAVE favorites, as long as you don't PLAY favorites.

  • I definitely did when I was a teacher! I think it's natural–just human nature. I was an art teacher, so of course the kids that loved art (whether or not they were "good" at it, topped my favorites list).

  • Well, I mean, it's pretty easy to tell them to refocus and they will, but I mean like if they really misbehave and have to have a negative consequence, there's a tiny part of me that's nervous that they won't like me anymore…kinda silly…I'm not there to be liked (although it's nice and makes teaching a whole heck of a lot easier), I'm there to teach

  • That's exactly right! We must always find at least one thing we can connect to each student with. Which is why I'm glad I can still have geeky Marvel conversations with those who are some of my toughest students!

  • The responsiveness is very helpful and it definitely is a reaffirmation of our teaching skills.

  • I think that is an excellent point, Karen!

  • It definitely is a lot easier when the student likes the subject…which can sometimes be a little hard for me since I teach junior high English…

  • i know I'm going to miss my students a lot–with 1000 students this year I don't see individual students very frequently or really get to develop the kind of relationships you might have with fewer students–but some students are more memorable than others. Not everyone cares about English class, because not everyone is planning on needing to speak English, but I'm very grateful for the students who make going to work everyday seem like fun!

  • Leah

    When I taught, I had favorites, however, my favorite compliment was from a student that was NOT one of my favorites. She was one of those kids that was hard to deal with in every respect: She was whiny, poorly behaved, unkind to others, had difficult parents, didn't listen, was hard to reach, screamed when she didn't get her way, etc. One day, she came up to me and said, "You're my favorite teacher ever!" I was really proud that my personal feelings for a tough student had not clouded my professionalism and I still treated her and taught her as best I could. You won't click with everyone, but you can still always be professional in your work. In the end, I worked hard to treat every student well and learned a lot, especially from some of the more "difficult" ones; they helped me to grow the most.

  • I think that may be why they become favorites…because they are the ones that make you like going to work every day!

  • The funniest "back-handed" "compliment" I got was from one of my more troubled students my intern year. She told she didn't like me because I was "too perky."! LOL! I love my harder to teach students, too, and they definitely help me with patience and creativity in my lesson plans.

  • Tricia Leigh Artim

    I like to think I was a favorite! lol Great post!

  • I know I was a favorite when I was a kid…I was a teacher's pet and loved to learn and do my best!

  • I'm totally sharing this post with my boyfriend! He's starting as a high school physics teacher this coming school year and I think he'd love to read this post! 😀

  • I think it's human nature, we're made to feel guilty about it. But not everyone gets along, child or adult. The most important thing is to just not let them know how you feel.

  • Brittney Embree

    I think it is so great that you build that trust and communication with your students. It does not surprise me that they are so anxious to help out because they love and respect you! It sounds like you are an awesome teacher who definitely knows what she is doing!

  • I have a ton of teaching posts…under the side bar "Teaching Adventures". I'm sure he'd be interested in them all

  • Exactly. We need to treat students all the same whether or not we like them.

  • Thank you so much, Brittney!

  • I love that you're so honest about this. So many teachers deny that they have favorites, but come on… we're all human. 🙂
    xo, Caitlin
    And Possibly Dinosaurs