There’s no doubt about it: Teachers change lives.
Teachers have the ability—with their knowledge and nurturing abilities—to impact students’ lives forever. And this can go either way. Sometimes our superiors act as mentors, encouraging and guiding us to bright futures; other times, we feel weighed down by their demands and expectations, to a point where it seems like we’re just another face in a classroom.
We get it—a teacher’s job is never easy. Grading endless papers and tests, constantly monitoring students’ behavior and having to be a role model through it all is, collectively, a daunting task. Perhaps if they grasped a few universal truths about their students, the classroom experience could run smoother for everyone.
Keep reading for eight things we wish our teachers understood.
1. Not Everyone Learns the Same Way
We really wish teachers understood that just because our neighbor aces all his math tests doesn’t mean we have the same capabilities to do so. Brains work differently, and we just wish they wouldn’t get so frustrated when other people excel in areas we don’t. At the very least, making students feel like nothing’s wrong with them just because they can’t grasp the material could go a long way.
2. Assigning Us Busy Work Will Only Make Us Resent You
Let’s be honest: The only things that really matter in class are quizzes, tests and projects. Everything else feels like filler. At the end of the day, quizzes and tests are a surefire way to determine if someone’s been paying attention to the subject matter; whereas, with a ton of homework, we can easily look it up in a book or online, or get help from family or another student. While homework may serve a purpose on occasion (and should still be worth a small percentage of our overall course grade), having it every night just to have it will make us dread everything about you.
3. Sitting Us Next to Our Enemy Will Only Make Things Worse for You
If you notice someone bullying or simply lightly teasing us, do yourself a favor and move one of us. Do you realize how much energy you waste by constantly scolding us (even though it’s their fault) time and time again when you could simply just rearrange this minor aspect of the seating chart?
(Grown-Ish via Freeform)
4. It’s Okay to Calm Down About the Bathroom Policy
No one should be using the bathroom pass every day or multiple times in one class period, but making a big to-do every time someone wants to quickly use the facilities not only disrupts the class, but it makes people scared to address their needs. Either they don’t want to draw attention to themselves, or they don’t want to be scolded. Do yourself and your students a favor a keep an open bathroom policy—as long as it doesn’t get abused.
5. People Should Be Grouped in Projects By How Hard They Work
Why is it that the class clown who’s always in detention somehow ends up getting As in all their group projects? These groups should be fair. It doesn’t mean everyone needs to be grouped with their squad—but simply place them based on how hard they work. Slackers deserve to fend for themselves, while those who put forth effort should be able to team up and deliver the highest quality content.
(Grown-Ish via Freeform)
6. You’re Not the Only Teacher Assigning Homework
Do you realize that silly research assignment is just one of up to seven other assignments we’ve received in one day? While that’s not to say homework is never necessary, just please make it count. And don’t scold us because of a day here and there that we don’t turn things in on time. We have a slew of other things piling up, and it can be a lot. Sure, if we never do what we’re told, that’s an issue—but please, cut us some occasional slack.
7. Being Called on Can Trigger Deep-Rooted Anxieties
We know you love a good ol’ game of popcorn when it comes to having us answer questions in class, but for some, it’s so much deeper than not understanding the content. Many of us have anxiety about speaking in front of large groups of people. Also, if we don’t fully understand the material (even though we’ve been adequately studying), we shouldn’t be subjected to looking like an idiot in front of everyone. If we’re giggling all period and clearly not paying any attention, that’s a different story. But if we’re simply sitting there with our hand down, avoiding eye contact, please leave us be.
8. Students Should Be Celebrated for Their Efforts—Even If They’re Wrong
Do you realize how stressful it is to put ourselves out there in front of the entire class? Whether it has to do with simply speaking in front of a large group, or it’s more about the risk of being wrong, every time we put ourselves out there it messes with our self-esteem. If we get an answer wrong, please applaud us for our efforts instead of rushing to call on the next person who can answer correctly. It will go a long way.
Teachers are tough, but they’re just one of many things we deal with in high school. Click HERE for a definitive ranking of biggest high school struggles.