Kristen is a Pulitzer Prize winner, part of a team whose "Assault on Learning" series about violence in the Philadelphia schools won the 2012 prize for public service for the Inquirer.

Please pass along the scoop about what’s going on at your Philadelphia public school; Kristen welcomes tips, story ideas and witty banter at [email protected] 215-854-5146. Wendy Ruderman is an award-winning investigative reporter.

People say things like “I don’t need my students to like me” in the teachers’ lounge and that seems to earn them a badge of honor.

Our students should like us because we seem genuinely interested in their lives, their interests, and their frustrations.

Teachers, like any other segment of society, can be inclined toward bad judgments and associations.

I couldn’t promise he would magically be the most popular kid in school, but I could promise people would like being around him.

Generally—and this is not only true about romance—people are drawn to people who are more interested in others than themselves.

“I need some advice on how to get girls to like me. ” Obviously, this student needed more help than I thought.

Not only did he not know how to talk to a girl he liked, but he also thought this awkward 34-year-old white guy who tries to teach English in his neighborhood high school was a good place to start. I told him that every person I ever met likes to talk about themselves.

That seem to fit the stereotype a little more closely, but have classes that students say is the hardest in the school.

Regardless of their style, students consistently say the same things about teachers they like: They care about what I’m saying, they ask questions, they seem to enjoy their job, and they don’t judge me based on what they see or hear.

In this vein, I think teachers need to be better daters.