A while back I published the Evil Teacher Manifesto (parts 1 and 2), but I’ve been thinking that it is useful to have something easier to refer to. Originally, I had any number of candidates for an Evil Teacher Credo: “Learn enough to be afraid,” “Knowledge is Power,” or even the succinct “pain is educational.” I wish I could say that I came up with this myself, but I’m going to need to credit a friend for the credo, thanks Michael. Thank you for your help, I will do my best to honor the new credo:
“It’s not whether they pass or fail, but how much they suffer along the way.”
So much is summed up in this statement. It isn’t really a new sentiment: the ancient Greeks had their idea of “Pharmakon” (hurting to heal), and even Shakespeare had the ever quotable “I must be cruel, only to be kind.” Honestly, can you think of any kind of character building that doesn’t involve pain in one flavor or another?
I think that ultimately it comes down to this: growing hurts. Students and teachers always have a difference in what their respective goals. Students want to know the answers, teachers want them to know the methods. Students want easy lessons, teachers want to push boundaries. There is a world of difference between knowledge and experience. Here is another quote that speaks to learning:
“A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something that he can learn in no other way.” – Mark Twain
So there you go… I like my brand of Shadenfreude. I only hurt my students because I care.
P.S. Here is a quote from an actual conversation I had recently.
Statement: “That’s what I keep you around for.”
My response: “That, and the beatings.”