Teachers, Not Jailers

Teachers%2C+Not+Jailers

Odyssey

Andrew Fu, Staff Writer

When I hear the drama happening outside my classroom, I am reminded of my own high school life. As a student, I was a full-on nerd and often sat in the hallways with my nose buried in a book. However, as an English Teacher, I’ve gained a new perspective. Though my grading may seem harsh, I do my best to make students fit in while also instilling in them the necessary skills and information to pass my class. I wish students knew that teachers care about their students, even if they seem to act otherwise.

As a former student, I know teachers have high expectations, which may seem extremely hard to fulfill. I understand wanting to please every teacher, and I understand the frustration and disappointment you feel when you don’t. In my opinion, as long as a student shows responsibility, integrity, and determination, they are the best I could ask for.

Another thing I have learned as a teacher is that grades are a great nuisance, as students often confuse it as a representation of their intellect. Grades exist to help teachers determine what to emphasize and what curriculum to go over. They reflect a student’s learning process but don’t measure self-worth or intelligence. Success and failure are not determined by grades but by a student’s ability to build relationships and interact with their peers.

As a teacher, I have also developed certain pet peeves, such as students talking during a lecture because I’m unsure if they’re discussing the curriculum or being distracted. However, what irritates me the most as a teacher is when students refrain from asking for help but do not refrain from complaining about grades at the last minute. You could have communicated with me, but you didn’t, and now you grumble about failing an assignment. However, I understand why a student would hesitate to approach a teacher. When I was in highschool, I was also really shy and never talked to any of my teachers, but as a result, I got a lot of false information from my peers. I feel my personal experience allows me to sympathize with students but also makes me wish they would reach out to me, as I now realize that this fear was completely unfounded. Teachers are there to help you, not scare you.

As someone with two distinct perspectives of high school, I can summarize what I have learned with this: high school is an influential experience, and whether it’s positive or negative, it’s what you make of it. When students are so focused on grades and getting into good colleges, it limits them. High school should be an exploration of a lot of different things: friendships and relationships, experiences, accumulating knowledge, and being different.