Evil Teacher Manifesto, Part 1

EVIL   [EE-vuhl]

1.   Morally reprehensible;  wickedness;  or depravity

In the simplest terms, I’ve always been different.   Maybe it was growing up with a single mom in Boise, Idaho.   Maybe it was having a high IQ and relating more to the local university professors than to my “peers”.    Perhaps it was my break with the major religion of my hometown (Mormon), or a penchant for asking difficult questions.

I’m sure some folks know what growing up different is like.    Probably the nicest things that people my own age called me was “weird”.

Rather than being offended, I just ran with it.     I had already discovered that the times that I attempted to fit in never really ended well for me.   What I learned is that my strengths lie in being unique, in being bold, in being different.  I found out the hard way that the people I grew up with were never really my peers… but they did help to light the bonfire in the leather-armchair of my soul.    Ever after that, I could never be satisfied with easy answers.

(By the way, if anyone wants to feel sorry for me for any of that,  I will laugh at you and point at the same time.)

2.  Characterized by or accompanied by suffering

Learning isn’t comfortable.   Many students  feel like their professors have it in for them, and in some ways they are right:   teachers want to challenge ideas and to change minds.   There is a pinch of sadist in every good teacher – we will always push you out of your comfort zone into places where you have to adapt or fail.     When I call myself an”evil” teacher, it is because I like to watch my students grapple with a new concept.    And I continue raising the bar for my students, because let’s face it, challenges are more satisfying.    For both of us.

So yes… I am perhaps a little depraved.     I only hurt them because I care.

<maniacal laughter>

3.  (Slang)   Good;  excellent.

My goals are nothing less than the success of my students, and to keep them unsettled.    I want them to stay curious.  Curious minds, thirsty minds, and hungry minds will always seek more, and will always continue to grow.


2 thoughts on “Evil Teacher Manifesto, Part 1

  1. Hillary says:

    I, too, was always different. But that was because I was purple, expected to never reach adulthood, had my own oxygen tank which I needed frequently, and the only girl in a family of four boys. Being in bed and hospitalized frequently I learned to watch and observe…not making judgement, but wondering about people and what they did and thought.
    It appears that being different is a set up from birth and I could never wish to be any other way.

    • Colin says:

      One of the things that bothered me was people trying to equate growing up with a single mom to growing up in a broken home. I tend to think that I won the mom-lottery… not only did she teach me to be responsible and self-sufficient, I also attribute a great deal of my sense of humor, empathy, and intelligence to her. Which is why I get a little snarky towards people who think that I am deficient because I only grew up with her.

      Vive la difference!

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