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Teachers worldwide ask themselves why new young students tend to see their teachers as foes. Why there is a antagonism there. But the answer is simple. Students see teachers as enemy because they are. Teachers have the assignment of forcing education in students. But education is not a good thing. Education means to constrain your behaviour, to constrain you into acting in certain defined ways. It means to make one unable to do things that he might want to. Education might be beneficial in the long term, but it would be foolish not to see how much it can feel obtrusive. And it wouldn’t make any sense, also, to try to make students see how good education could be for them, because that would also be a form of education, and therefore seen as opposition a priori.

Obviously, good students will see for themselves that education is not only a pain in the ass — and become better students for this. But it will hardly be enough to create an ethos of “education as your friend”.

There are a dozen different angles how education could be reshaped. And some of them could avoid this view on part of the students. But if one could make better students that still think of their teachers as a pain in the ass, they would still be better students. The objective judgement that students have on teachers is not very important.

I used to have a teacher that everyone knew — it was not a question of opinion any more — was a pain in the *, but he was a great teacher, and as we knew he would not miss a chance to screw us up if he could, everyone was very, very diligent in his class. In the end, a strong affective relationship developed, and this probably had much bigger and better effects on our lives than merely seeing him as a “good guy”.

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