Photo courtesy of flickr.com

Teachers and students interacting with one another.

       Have you had a bad experience with a teacher? Have you wondered what you could have done better?   

       “It’s a two-way street,” stated Brigid Duffy, English teacher. 

       So how can we have better relationships with our teachers? 

       We all know the textbook definition of a good student: someone who goes to class on time, answers the teacher’s questions and is generally nice. But we never get the teacher’s perspective; teachers don’t want robots. Everyone has off days, and teachers recognize that we are all human. A good student to teachers is not someone who gets perfect grades but someone willing to learn and ask for help when need be.

       “A good student is open to being right and wrong, and generally a nice person,” opined Aaron Sulkin, English teacher.

       “I think a lot of students think that teachers want a brilliant and academic student, but that’s not true,” asserted

 Sarah Murphy, History Teacher

       “The most important thing is that a student is learning,” said Kirk Ewalt, English teacher.

       “What makes a good student is somebody who is just as hard-working and willing to ask for help. Someone willing to advocate for themselves and like doesn’t spend the whole class hating that they are at school,”  voiced Murphy. “Kids are kids, and I don’t think that AP, honor, or regular changes the fact that a 17-year-old is a 17-year-old.”

       Ewalt described, “The most important thing is that a student is learning. The best students have a goal in their three horizons.”

      Our education system’s problem is not within the teachers but our institutions. Colleges do not look into you as a person but your grades. To colleges, your grades define you, your essays, your SATs, and your data. It won’t matter that you pulled all-nighters or you work three jobs. If your grades are not good, you shouldn’t deserve to move forward. If you can’t afford the tuition, they don’t want you. There are so many factors that play into your education, yet there’s only one that interests them. 

      High school is about how much you are willing to bear until college. But the reality is that suicide rates went up 287% in the last decade. 

     So, do we know what makes a good student;? What about teachers? A good teacher is someone who respects students. Who understands that students have a lot on their plate. Who takes the time to get to know you before making assumptions about you? Who does not share your grade on the screen? A good teacher is someone who is understanding. Students are expected to be kind and respectful to teachers all the time, but what if the teacher doesn’t show the same respect? Nine out of ten students interviewed said that a teacher had mistreated them or someone they knew, and there were no consequences. When students have problems with faculty or staff within the school, there is no one they can go to. I was supposed to talk to the head of a department. A teacher decided to share my grade with the entire class without my consent. I later spoke with the teacher about the situation, thinking it was only an accident, but it wasn’t. In the following few classes, they still shared my grade, not only with my class but with other classes. I made an appointment with the department head and was told I would get an email, but to this day, I never received that email.

     So, not all teachers are necessarily good people, but most of them are. They enjoy their jobs and interacting with students. So when you want a teacher to like you, remember to have a conversation with them. Like you, they are human; naturally, we are social butterflies.