• Debbie Covino, PhD

Bad thought: My student hates me.

Updated: Jul 31, 2020

Years ago, when I was a teaching assistant, I had a student who never missed an opportunity to aggressively challenge me in class.

Why did I have an attendance policy? Didn't I think college students were too old for monitoring?

Why did I assign so many essays? It was a Lit class, not a writing class.

Did my paper assignments need to be so full of directives? Wasn't more freedom necessary for true creativity?

It was beyond clear to me that this student loathed me, and my teaching.

With each patient explanation of my pedagogical choices, I hoped to finally gain the respect that would silence this horrible pest. But alas, the truce never happened. He kept at his inquisition until the last day of the term, when he exited the room with barely an acknowledgement that I existed.

Weeks later, after grades were submitted, I received my student evaluations of the course. One review was a rave: I was the best teacher on the planet. I exhibited so much respect for my students. I had a perfect rationale for my methods. The student had learned more in my class than he had in all his other classes put together. His own future teaching would be positively impacted by mine. The accolades went on for a full page, at the end of which appeared the signature of the aforementioned troublemaker.

Next time you suspect someone doesn't like you, tell yourself that you might well be this person's secret hero.

Note: My difficult student’s favorable evaluation made it so much easier to take the next one, in which a student wrote, "When I found out she was just a teaching assistant, I understood why she's such a moron!"

You're reading the Bad Thoughts blog, which maintains that feeling good is as simple as thinking a better thought. I'm Debbie Covino, hypnotherapist and creator of the Master Your Own Mind self-hypnosis program and All Day Hypnosis Courses, available at https://www.hypnotic-wellbeing.com/digital-audio-programs

Click here to get your free Memory Spa Audio: https://www.hypnotic-wellbeing.com

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