When teachers don’t help their students

High school students constantly face obstacles to their success, but sometimes it comes from people who are supposed to help them, which creates major problems.

While many teachers care about students’ well-beings and achievements, some don’t act like it and don’t put their best effort into teaching material, according to Steven A. Meyers, author of Do Your Students Care Whether You Care About Them? Those teachers, while not regular, are still easily found and make students lives more difficult.

Those types of teachers might over-control students, not have personal goals for teaching, have motivation driven by things other than the student’s needs, be highly disorganized, be unwilling to provide extra help, and may not encourage their students.

Sophomore Mariya Chichmarenko said, “I first ask my friends [for help with work I do not understand]. If they don’t know, then I’ll google it. If I’m really desperate I’ll try the textbook or I’ll go in before class and ask the teacher for help. They’re usually more helpful with tips and what not when it’s more one-on-one teaching.”

Students are able to voice their complaints to teachers or administrators, but some do not feel comfortable doing so and complain to their friends instead, which only hurts them.

“I want any complaint to be specific and to tell me how a student’s need is not being met through teacher instruction,” stated Instructional Vice Principal Robert Fishtrom.

Slam poetry such as “I Will Not Let An Exam Result Determine My Fate” and “Why I Hate School But Love Education” by poet Suli Breaks explain how schools today teach students to memorize facts and dates, but that the information learned will not help in the real world, and that when students internalize the failure, they feel like they will never succeed.

Chichmarenko said, “I just try my best to keep learning. Most of the time I want to give up, but I know that’ll never help me. The only thing I can do is try to help myself if no one else can help me.”

Of the teachers who do care, many use their colleagues for assistance and new ideas, according to Dr. Bob Kizlik, author of Tips on Becoming a Teacher.

“I pay attention to what the students are doing and how they react to [my teaching], but I have to balance that with what the state objectives are. The big thing is to pay attention to what you’re doing and being willing and able to adjust if it doesn’t work. In the history department, we try to collaborate and share,” stated social studies teacher Jarrod Harrison.

The school district also tries to help ineffective teachers improve their teaching styles with a lot of opportunities to do so.

Fishtrom commented, “The district provides a lot of professional development opportunities to give teaching strategies. The district also gives lots of tools like Smart Boards, iPads, etc. We, as administrators, try to get into classes as often as we can to give teachers positive feedback. It’s really about staying positive and focused on our goals.”

Even when teachers receive all kinds of help, sometimes they still don’t improve in their quality of teaching.

“Teachers are evaluated on the teaching standards every other year. For a process of dismissal or improvement to begin, a teacher has to be found unsatisfactory though an extensive process. It’s a very intense process and, the bottom line is, we are here to educate students, so we need to meet their needs,” said Fishtrom.


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