Teachers, coaches, scout leaders, church deacons, CEOs of companies, and even parents need to be careful not to treat one person more special than anyone else in the group. Favoritism usually leads to significant problems since everyone wants to be treated fairly by the leaders of any group.
It is understandable that if a coach’s son is given more opportunities to shine than other players on the team, it will cause resentment with the team, especially if his abilities are average. This is the reason the coach should direct his child to another team to play.
Favoritism can take place in one’s own home, where one child is allowed to get away with what the other children cannot. Usually, the “favorite one” is not necessarily ostracized by the siblings but is sometimes resented. If it is “the baby” of the family, the other children may cut him some slack and may even participate in making the baby the favorite of everyone, erasing jealousy.
This problem is more prevalent in large groups like a dance studio or a class in school with numerous students. All the class members know each other well and witness with their own eyes the subtle additional assistance that one student gets over others. The other students are aware they did not receive the same help as a particular student did and will feel resentment toward this type of teacher.
The teacher playing favorites often loses all credibility as a professional. A teacher is supposed to be above choosing favorites as all students in the class need help, not one singled out over others. Still, it can be an unconscious act that needs to be monitored by other conscientious teachers.
The students who receive special treatment from any teacher are harmed since they did not rely on their own skills to learn the material by themselves. Obviously, the other students know they were treated unfairly by the teacher’s special attention.
Eventually, the teacher will lose the respect of the students for this unfair practice unless the child has an academic, mental health, or emotional issue that the teacher is addressing.
Individuals often use their power to maximize it to gain more advantages. People with power over others may use it to gain more status and even greater power. This means people with power are not always impartial decision-makers.
If humans want an impartial world, it would not be on earth but in a spiritual realm. People in normal interaction should expect some honest, uplifting compliments, although some mixture of the ways to improve should be part of the evaluation. Those rare comments from an honest, objective person should be respected and cherished as they are sincere suggestions for the student to improve.
Too many who evaluate a person’s production want to be liked by them, so they inflate their assessment in a positive direction. Of course, others in the group resent special treatment for another, while the person receiving the unearned praise may feel special and honored or uncomfortable with the attention. The other unnoticed members of the group feel shunned and cheated of recognition for their outstanding efforts or results.
Eventually, the favored person sees they are being singled out for average effort, behavior, or results. They begin to feel the other class members’ resentment toward them for the hypocritical behavior of the teacher. The teacher observes the group’s change in the acceptance of the “pet” student by the rest of the class. They realize they have treated one student differently from the others in the class, which negatively impacts most, if not all the other students.
The teacher finally learns a valuable lesson that each student needs special attention, not just one to be crowned the most outstanding student in the class. The lesson the teacher should have learned is that to be a good teacher, each student must be considered honestly and impartially for their improvements as well as the need for improvement.
An honest evaluation is most important.
Domenick Maglio, PhD. is a columnist carried by various newspapers and blogs, an author of several books and owner/director of Wider Horizons School, a college prep program. Dr. Maglio is an author of weekly newspaper articles, INVASION WITHIN and the latest book entitled, IN CHARGE PARENTING In a PC World. You can see many of Dr. Maglio’s articles at www.drmaglioblogspot.com.