How Teacher Attitude Affects Students?

Teacher attitude can have a positive or negative impact on students in all grade levels. Students as young as preschoolers tend to mimic their teachers’ behaviour. Being a positive role model by exhibiting a positive attitude will go a long way in building strong teacher-student relationships.

Educators need never forget that their students are watching them at all times. Whether on the playground, in the classroom, or in the hallway, students are observing their every move.

Pygmalion In The Classroom Study

A 1968 study analysed the impact of a teacher’s attitude on students. Since then, more studies have been conducted to analyse this impact. It is generally believed that there is a relationship between the performance of the students and the attitude of the teacher. When students are taught by a positive, organised teacher, it is more likely for the class to have higher grades. It will also reduce the likelihood of inappropriate behaviour in the classroom.

Although studies have confirmed a possible link, there are limitations to those studies. For instance, the sample only included public classrooms in rural areas of the United States. Unfortunately, there was no control group so it is hard to compare the results to other situations. Regardless, the studies provide enough justification for teachers to create the right impression for their students.

Being Self-Confidence

Confident teachers trust their own judgment, abilities, and qualities. They rarely second-guess their actions and are always in control. Students are less likely to question or test a confident teacher.

Self-confidence shows in a teacher’s posture, gait, and how they educate. Students excel under confident teachers with good attitudes.

Being Positive

Students are perceptive so they’re going to pick up on the feelings of their teachers. When a teacher isn’t enthusiastic about something, the students are going to know it and they’ll become less enthusiastic as well. Unfortunately, this means that a teacher with a negative attitude is likely going to have students with negative attitudes.

Teachers that are discouraging will cause their students to become demotivated. Effective teachers will know how to inspire their students by being uplifting and positive.

Being Observant

It cannot be stressed enough, the importance of a positive teacher attitude. A good teacher is a multitasker, observing students while keeping their attitude in check. This is by far from being a simple task as it takes a momentous amount of restraint and focus. Teachers and students spend nearly seven hours a day, 180 days together. This alone says a lot about the struggles of being a good teacher role model.

Students can easily pick up on observant behaviour. Observant teachers are oftentimes viewed as educators who care and want to make a difference. The workload can sometimes be overwhelming but this feeling should be put aside until class is over.

Being Organised

Another thing to note is that teachers should always be organised. Again, a teacher’s attitude and behaviours will be passed onto the student. If the teacher is disorganised, they’re going to create a bad impression for their pupils who may not see the purpose of being organised. Instead, educators must make sure that they’re properly organised. When a teacher has to search through countless drawers and folders to find what they’re looking for, it reduces productivity and creates the wrong impression.

Having a tidy, organised desk will show students how important it is to be organised. Plus, it’ll help the teacher stay on track.

Too Demanding

Certain educators can be too demanding because they expected too much from their pupils. After years of teaching, they may forget how difficult it was to reach their current stage. Unfortunately, being too demanding can cause problems for students in the classroom. When an educator is too demanding, they’re likely never going to be satisfied and they’ll always expect more. The student is going to understand this fully with some feeling as if they can never get ahead.

They may slack off since they do not believe they can ever make the professor happy. Furthermore, being too demanding can make it more stressful for the class. It’ll create immense academic pressure on the student, causing them to become overwhelmed.

Being Lackadaisical

Although nobody wants to admit it, some teachers can be a bit too lackadaisical. They’ve become too comfortable in their jobs so they don’t put in enough effort. Instead, they’re just coasting and waiting for another paycheck. Being careless and lacking determination will have a negative impact on the students. These individuals may begin believing that the teacher doesn’t care about their future or their grades. They may begin putting in less effort to get ahead.

It’ll also make it harder for the teacher to provide the students with critical thinking opportunities. Once a teacher has become lackadaisical, their students are going to suffer.


Students are often afraid of teachers that are authoritarian in the classroom. They may feel that they’re unable to ask questions or have a meaningful discussion with the teacher. The educator might be so strict that they’re going to stifle individualism and creativity. Once students know that they’re in a classroom run by an authoritarian, they’ll be less likely to engage.

The Way Its Taught

Besides a teacher’s attitude, their behaviours and techniques can greatly impact the student’s ability to learn the material. Studies have shown that teaching science is ineffective when it is done in a way that requires the student to regurgitate the information presented. Although they may memorise this information, the student is not learning the fundamentals or the concepts. This was pinpointed by Forlenza, Bailey, Shaw, and the US Department of Education.

Educators that find engaging ways to learn will be more helpful. They must present the information in an exciting way and show that they’re genuinely interested in the topic.


Teachers must always go above and beyond to ensure that their students excel. Failing to do this will lead to inappropriate behaviour in the classroom and poor performance. Skilled teachers will learn how to create a good impression and become a role-model that their students can follow. For instance, they must be optimistic, motivated, and organised. If they can pass these traits to their pupils, the educator will have a better classroom with better grades.

Author Profile

James Barron
My first experience of teaching was in 2016, when I was asked to
deliver a talk to a group of 16-year-olds on what it was like to start
your own business. I immediately knew I wanted to become more
involved in teaching but I didn’t know where to start as I had not
previously considered a career in education. A few weeks later I
agreed to teach a class of Chinese students from the Shanghai
Technical Institute of Electronics and Information, who had travelled
to the UK to learn English and Software Engineering, after that I was
hooked. Within the next few years, I taught hundreds of students of
many different nationalities, aged from 16 to 60, and from
levels 2 to 6. I focused my time teaching with Bath University and
Bath College for several more years until I felt a change was in order.
For the last few years, I have taught remotely with several private
training organisations, provided dedicated one to one coaching
sessions, provided consultancy on teaching and assessment practices
and written about my experiences as a teacher. I plan to continue
with my current activities for the foreseeable future but I’m always
open to new teaching experiences.

Leave a Comment