I run a very tight ship with my English classes and I do not care if my students like me or not. Some TEFL teachers have no discipline measures in place in their classrooms and/or are exceedingly lax and it’s often to the detriment of eager kids who genuinely want to learn and better themselves. Classroom management is an inherent part of being a good teacher. If you fail to create an environment conducive to learning English, you are doing no one any favors–yourself included. Leave your ego and desire to be loved at the door or save it for your family reunion. Give your students what they need and what will ultimately benefit them–and sometimes that includes a swift kick in the ass.
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  1. Miguel Quiniao 3 years ago

    As a teacher everyone has a different perspective on teaching. In mi case I am strict, and I'm gonna be honest with you. I watch your videos because I learn new expressions and also the right verbs in the right context. I've been studying English for decades but I still hear from time to time a new expression or word. You could do that and teach more advanced English. 😉

  2. Tom 2g 3 years ago

    great video like always

  3. M 3 years ago

    Working at a training center, I get a mix of students. Some want a real teacher, some want you to be an entertainer. It's only a problem because the company treats them as clients and not students, and their complaints can give you a seriously bad week, even resulting in docked wages. They all have one thing in common though, they hate being challenged and think the money they wasted on an overpriced school will somehow make it easier for them to learn English. I think my next job will definitely be at a real school; hope i dont come out tainted.

  4. trying58 3 years ago

    A bit off topic, but what do you do when adult students haven't done their homework?

    At the start of my lessons I get the students to hold up their workbooks so I see (and maybe embarrass them into doing the homework), but it's still not 100% effective. Maybe then speak seperately to the ones who haven't done the homework? Other than encouraging them, I can't think what else to do.

  5. Toxic Boy 3 years ago

    Looking back at my own high school experience I was definitely in the same boat. One funny but horrible moment for me came from a Religious class with a strict teacher. I didn't know what 'chastity' meant and asked so she made me look it up in front of everyone and read out the definition. Unfortunately my dictionary had a typo and what was written was the definition of 'chastise'. Everyone in the class laughed and I felt like an idiot. I hope to be the kind of teacher that is strict but approachable enough that students feel comfortable enough to ask questions without fear of humiliation.

  6. Viego Alvarez 3 years ago

    Thats still love. Its tough love, or smart love. Just like parenting

  7. Justin M 3 years ago

    This is why I watch your channel religiously and bought your book! NO NONSENSE. I would love to hear how you lay down the law! How specifically do you discipline unruly kids that are there because the school just wants their parents' money? Could you divulge your specific go-to punishments? Is there any way to work around a money-grubbing, uncooperative school administration that won't back you up in removing the kid from class? I would love to hear your input!

    By the way, my Spanish teacher was strict too. Haven't used it since, yet I still remember a lot.

  8. Internet Addict 3 years ago

    Hey Ben, I have some questions I'd like to ask if you're free. How can I contact you? By email or anything.Thanks.

  9. Cynthia Groh 3 years ago

    I TOTALLY agree with you Ben. I have taught for years at some of the toughest schools. I was STRICT and held fast to the rules/disciple BUT I also showed care/concern at the same time. The kids KNEW they were SAFE because I WILL enforce the rules. It brings chaos to a classroom when kids don't know expectations. I openly tell kids that I don't care if they like me because my goal is to teach them! The funny thing is that I have had hard core kids who broke lots of rules and I had them run laps their entire recess but where the SAME ones who hugged me at the end of the day BECAUSE they knew I cared enough about them and the others in class to enforce discipline.

  10. scott stensrude 3 years ago


  11. Ryan Stallard 3 years ago

    My school just told me they want us to become friends with the students. I don't mind being friendLY, but I think being friends (especially if grades are involved) can lead to trouble.
    That being said, I did have a college professor who managed being both friends and a teacher and walked the line perfectly. However, I do not think most people can do it.

  12. M M 3 years ago


  13. Open Sesame 3 years ago

    Agree 100%, Ben! There are schools, though, that insist on the kumbaya approach. My brother is a college professor (not ESL) and this is a constant struggle for him – maintaining standards the administration seems to want to jettison. But even in those cases, setting the expectations and putting processes in place at the start of the year and sticking to them as much as the school allows is going to get you better results than not trying at all.

  14. Dawn Bishop 3 years ago

    Hi Ben I am currently trying to find an accredited online Teach English course. All the cheapest courses are questionable in terms of accreditation. My local area does not have one. I know I shouldn't need one but all the job advertisements require one.

  15. Dara K. Fulton 3 years ago

    Good points as always Ben! I'm one of those nice teachers who also made the mistake of being too lenient. I learned the HARD way that being nice is one thing but earning respect is another. I'm not a strict teacher but I am one who is fair and care about student learning. I agree, it's important that students still respect us while we command respect in our classrooms. Once you have that then things become easier. I love it when I know students like me but I love it even more that they learned from me and respected the process. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this topic. It's certainly a good one ! 🤗👏🏾❤😄

  16. Maureen Murphy 3 years ago

    So true!

  17. James SS 3 years ago

    I like your perspective from the position of the bullied pupil… I've never considered it… some people (me) are more passive… being the authoritarian teacher is hard work for me… When I was at school, I was not bullied much, but I always had a personal limit on my intellect… When I stopped understanding something or fell behind, I would sulk and eventually I would give up… Some people are not as intelligent as others and that's the way it is… I can't remember a teacher who helped me break through my confidence barrier at school but when a teacher told me directly that I had potential it always helped. So I guess what I take from your vid is that as a teacher, I am rooting for the kid who we were at school. People say I am patient and this is where it comes from… But as a disciplinarian, I fail hard… I always feel if kids don't find things stimulating, that's because it does not work for them… I just wish those kids could be free to goof off and the ones who want to stay can get the attention they need (I know that is not reality…nor appropriate)
    Sorry for the digression, I am talking as an ESL teacher… This is why I am sticking to the online teaching at the moment, classroom management gives me chills.

  18. fdre3wsd 3 years ago

    That's American culture, the same actions can have different results in another country. Not always, but apples are not oranges.

  19. Thomas Wade 3 years ago

    Great video but I could not disagree more. I want my students to talk, talk, talk! Who wants to talk for 60 minutes with a hard ass? Even with adults, making it fun is the key. Anyhow love the videos keep up the good work.

  20. Stephanie Marr 3 years ago

    Hey Ben!

    Muchas gracias for continuously posting these videos! I can't help but see how similar our views and experiences are from being bullied in high school, to learning Spanish, military background, and learning things about teaching through experience. I agree that being strict in the classroom is absolutely necessary without being mean or disprespectful to students. Personally, I do my best to be friendly, empathetic, confident, and respectful to my students when I taught freshman composition, but I've learned to not take any crap and be firm with rules of the learning environment of my classroom, which isn't always easy. I've learned that when there is structure for the course and followed and clear expectations set for the students, then that leads to productive and successful learning 🙂 I look forward to more videos!

  21. J. Flaner 3 years ago

    Just got home. As you know, I'm a teacher here in the States and I'm now going to be a full-time teacher again, this time in a rough part of town. I'm a little nervous about being in the classroom with over 27 students (for some levels). We are very similar in that I'm very straight-forward, cut right to the chase. I know that I'll have to come in like "there's a new sheriff in town". Any tips for a seasoned teacher, getting back to teaching in the States, but in a rough part of town?

  22. guillermo laguna 3 years ago

    Hey Ben hope you're doing well, my only gripe (not that I'm disagreeing with you on being strict) is that so far working in shenzhen is that I feel the students have a lot of power. I have seen students complain about teachers for their class being boring or to strict and that person's contract is terminated. I feel like I have to perform more than actually teach and get these kids to like me and be the fun foreign teacher. I would prefer having a military style class and drill the students with repetition and give them knowledge but I fear doing this will get me booted out if they don't like me.

  23. Jesse Soto 3 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your experience Ben! Definitely taking it into consideration. 👍

  24. When I was undertaking my teaching credential, I student-taught under a VERY strict disciplinarian 4th grade mentor teacher. Man, if the kids were even LOOKING in the wrong direction when she was talking, they had consequences. I secretly nicknamed her “Captain VonTrapp.” But that classroom had virtually no major discipline issues, and the students got one hell of a rigorous learning experience.

  25. Anzelle De Wet 3 years ago

    I agree 100%. Structure and discipline creates confidence for a productive lesson and class environment…the kids respond to it very well

  26. Kory Malone 3 years ago

    At the risk of sounding like someone who agrees with you too much – this is great stuff. These are the types of teachers that I respect the least. That said, I'll go one step further and say that they are also fundamentally lazy.

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