Making TEIT friendlier and more useful

[Moderator note from joesax: I split this off from a thread on finding adult teaching positions. See my post below.]
Another elegant thread in Teaching English In Taiwan.

It ain’t bitterness that prevents people from giving advice; it’s the rules of play. I lost my bet; I said it would break down into this conversation (You’re probably a crap teacher, noob- fuck you, bitter old-timer, I’m great) on page 1. It made it to page 2! Strictly no participation in the thread, inflammatory or otherwise, is permitted, but as I’ve already lost both the cash and the intraweb pundit snaps, it hardly matters…

Buttercup, thanks for your comment. I know what you mean (though I don’t think it applies to Fox’s post). While there is a lot of very helpful information posted on this forum, there is also sometimes a bit of a cynical, snide atmosphere. But as TEIT co-moderator, I want to change the “rules of play” here. I participate in various other internet discussions for teachers such as mailing lists. People are generally very polite and helpful. Many people are helpful here too, but I think there’s still room for improvement on this score.

What I suggest is that until proven otherwise, we assume the best of others. We assume that people want to make a serious go of teaching, and are interested in learning how to teach even better. We assume that even if people make a few spelling mistakes here, they are conscientious about using correct spelling in the classroom. We try to refrain from cheap quips (of which I’ve made a few myself before), and instead try to understand where other posters are really coming from. And, perhaps most difficult (especially for me as a little knowledge breeds a lot of pride), we maintain the belief that whatever level of experience and commitment others have, we can still learn something useful from them.

I understand that this is not something I can force, and I’m not going to attempt some kind of heavy-handed crackdown. I’ve been too heavy-handed as a mod in some situations in the past, and I’ve learned my lesson. I will continue to temp offtopic, unhelpful comments and remove insults. But apart from that, I’m hoping that we can all try even harder to make TEIT a friendly, helpful resource for all.