If you were a prison guard, would you rather guard violent criminals, or non-violent criminals?

I think the answer is obvious. Prison guards like people who are easier to deal with, because it makes their job easier. (Forget for now the traditional nature of a prison guard’s job.)

Well, how about if you were a teacher? Would you rather teach students who are hard to teach, or students who are easy to teach? (Forget for now the traditional nature of a school teacher’s job.)

Might that depend on what is “easy”? What if it is harder to teach students who have both willingness and capability, than those who are not? Might that depend on the definition of “teach”? To posit two extremes, suppose a teacher has the choice between teaching a mentally retarded child and a gifted child?

Is it possible that because of lower expectations, hopeless students are considered “easier”?

I’m not seeing easy answers, only an easy blog post.