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Advice on rage-inducing teachers

Hey everyone,

 

I have a problem with one of my teachers at school. She's very young, fresh out of uni, and started teaching my english class last term.

I will admit, I came into the class with a negative attitude because I love my old english teacher; the results in the HSC from her students are really high and we get along. I told myself that I'd give my new teacher a fair chance, and i honestly believe I have, but damn she really makes me mad.

First of all, she set a simple, easy 10-minute homework task that we were given the weekend to do. Not surprisingly, not many people did it. She laughed off the rude and annoying guys who didn't do it and just told them to look up a chapter analysis. She made it look okay to not do homework, and that really offended me. She also doesn't discipline the boys on the football team who are consistently rude and make a habit of talking over other students - perhaps because she's an avid rugby fan? I don't really care if she is or not, but I hate the fact that she allows kids to slack off. Plus, we're in an advanced class, we should be working hard.

Secondly, she must of had a problem with my being "arrogant" (I've only made an arrogant joke once, I'm pretty sure) and instead of approaching me about it, she told my old english teacher, who didn't really make a big deal out of it (she understands that it's an attempt at humour).

And lastly, the thing that really pushed me over the edge, she babies us. We were given an assignmnent to create a visual representation of Illiad and/or the first 3 pages of Beowulf, and 2 weeks before the task is due, she threw in a completely irrelevent third peom that we could do. I understand that some people might have found Illiad/Beowulf a little challenging, but they're not unreasonable to ask of an advanced year 10 class to dissect. The fact that she gave in to all of the lazy, whinging kids is disappointing. Now I have to either do Fireflies and put myself on an even playing field in regards to marking  for the kids who chose to do the new poem (which is most of them) or stick with my Beowulf project which I'd already put a whole day into. I could finish the new poem by tomorrow, but it would feel wrong. Like, we were given historical poems to do (which is the point of the assignment) and I did what was asked of me. Why should I just take the easy road when I want to be challenged? The thing is, I don't want to take the easy road, but it's far easier to get higher marks with the new poem, and I want to get good results for the work I put in.

I realise that I should probably just stop whinging and just get my good marks and do the easy poem because I'm probably being a diva and unreasonable, but I just get sooooo mad whenever she does stupid things like this. I don't wanna have to be out in this position again.

 

So, what should I do? Is this a legitimate enough reason to complain, or talk to her about it? Is there anything I can do? or will i just stick it out for another two terms?

 

thanks

b

Re: Advice on rage-inducing teachers

Hey MidnightSun Smiley Happy

 

First of all, I can DEFINITELY relate to wanting to be challenged academically and then having teachers who treat you like a baby - I have one of those teachers at the moment! It's frustrating, but my personal strategy has been to just grit my teeth and do some wider reading outside of class to help stimulate me intellectually - it's my Psychology class, and I plan on pursuing a career in the field when I've finished school, so naturally I want to learn as much as I can about it, but instead the teacher spoon feeds us lesson after lesson. I've learnt to deal with it in my own way, but it sounds like you've just had enough of it (which is perfectly understandable)

 

I reckon it'd be a good idea to talk to her, or if your old English teacher's still around, maybe you could talk to them if you feel like they'd understand better. Sometimes teachers don't realize that you're bored sh*tless and frustrated with the rest of the class if you don't tell them - most of them are teaching around 100-150 students and so they can't always pick up on every little thing. This can especially be the case if they're relatively inexperienced. Do you have any friends in the class who feel the same way? Power in numbers can be one way to make someone listen to your message.

 

As a "gifted" student myself (I've attended a selective-entry high school, taken advanced classes, all that kind of stuff) I know what it's like to have to deal with the ignorance a lot of people have about the smart kids; they can think, "well, you're going to do well regardless so what's the point in doing anything?" but I guess I'm just trying to say that you're not the only kid who's been frustrated with this sort of thing, and you certainly have a good enough reason to say something.

 

Hope that helps/makes sense,

 

Loki Smiley Happy

______________________________________________________
No human being, however great or powerful, was ever so free as a fish
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Re: Advice on rage-inducing teachers

It sounds like education is something you value, so keeping that in mind here is the question I thought when I read your post:

 

If school is about learning and challenges for you which project will you end up learning more from completing?

 

Perhaps you'll get a different answer to the question of, which one will give you a better mark. Does everything need to be about marks or can it be about learning new things and growing from those things? Yeah sure, maybe the kids who take the easy project get a good grade, but taking a tough project means you could learn some more valuable lessons, and maybe you'll still get a good grade!

 

Let us know which project you decide to go with.

 

Post script: so sorry that your teacher is letting you down by not living up to standard. Have you considered discussing this with another teacher or your year level coordinator? It might be worthwhile feedback to give and I'm sure your school would appreciate it, because they'll probably want the best teachers ever, right?

Re: Advice on rage-inducing teachers

Honestly, this year and the results you get aren't going to be important in one, two, five or ten years time.
That probably won't make you feel much better right now, so you've got to do what you believe will make you feel better.

If you want the challenge, then go ahead and take it. I'm sure that the teacher would notice that there's a difficulty difference. As long as you still did it to the best of your ability (or to a standard that you're happy with) then you may very well get as good as mark (or better) than the other people in your class.

If you're finding the tension between you and the teacher getting too much for you, could you ask to speak one-on-one to her? Or ask someone else to mediate a discussion between the two of you?
If you don't think that's possible or it just isn't something you'd be comfortable with, how would you feel about writing her a letter, a nice non-accusatory letter, to inform her of some of the things going on that you think could be improved?

I'm currently in a situation where everyone in my english class dislikes being there. The teacher really doesn't help us, and there is nothing we're able to do about it. It's not going to change, so we just have to put up with it until the end of the year and hope that we get some luck with a good teacher next year.
All we do until then is the work that will get us a pass, and then we sort of just vent about the teacher. Which is perhaps not the right things to do, but you have to do what's going to be best for you and make you feel the best.

Re: Advice on rage-inducing teachers

argh, it is seriously one of the most annoying things to go into a class and want to learn, because of the teacher or the class not be able to.

 

My advice to you is go into your english class and think of it as patience class, or learning to deal with people you find annoying class (because these are just as essential life skills!) and take your education into your own hands and study at home. Do the harder texts, do practice essays, and read challenging books (maybe you could ask your teacher to mark these essays, or possibly give you some more work to do). Go to your local bookstore and pick up a an english workbook, and work through that, or get a head start and read some of your texts for year 11. You sound like are really interested in school, and english, and unfortunatly sooner or later you are going to get stuck with a teacher who doesn't teach you anything, so you are going to have to learn to 'learn on your own' eventually.

 

That doesn't stop it from sucking, though, and I do really feel for you, its so annoying knowing that you work really hard to get good marks, and others just skate through, but in the long term, you are going to be so so glad you worked hard, and not only know a tremendous amount of knowledge, but also are just a really decent human being Smiley Happy

Re: Advice on rage-inducing teachers

I have a very similar problem with my teacher, except she is older and warps the curriculum to suit her and no-one else. For example, an outside of school assignment with no allocated class time will have the drafting process turned into a written exam with twenty words of notes. She only lets us do what she chooses for assessment that we are meant to choose certain things for to analyse or base our work upon and then have approved by the teacher. All students have to conform to her way of teaching, so she does not take into account any of the students' individual learning abilities (I have many run-ins with her because of this). She may say she knows best as an 'experienced teacher' but my marks have only dropped since she became my teacher. At the beginning of the year they were high and as the year progressed and she was our teacher for longer, they began dropping.

Now I can get very agitated and angry, so the best thing for me to do is to sit near a friend and they can hold my wrist to calm me. Also I have some paper that I draw on, or I go ahead with the work and do it how I like, and then do a very low effort attempt of her way. Tapping your pencil quietly on your leg also helps. 

I'm not sure about your school, but whenever I have problems with the football kids (they are everywhere unfortunately) I just yell at them. I wouldn't get away with that with my current teacher though... Just try to sit as far as possible away from them. 

Hope this helped!

Re: Advice on rage-inducing teachers

In all possibility, you may very well be a lot smarter than your new teacher, and you might even be able to teach the class better than her. This was certainly the case for most of my education, and most of the reason why I gave up on it.

 

If you think your teacher is stupid now, wait until you get to university. Unless you are really lucky, you will no doubt hate your teachers and your lecturers. You sound like you got on well with your old teacher, and that is a rarity. You can learn a lot from someone you get on very well with, but the only thing you'll learn from someone you don't like, is patience and tolerance.

 

The higher you go in education, the more the onus falls to you to do the learning yourself. You need to ask why you are doing it? Are you doing it for the high grades? The recognition? Because if you are, then I'm afraid, you are going to have to please other people, before you please yourself.

 

The best way to get high grades, is to find out what the teacher wants, and just give them that.

 

If you are doing it to learn, or because you love it, then I would suggest just going to your library and reading stuff. You can easily find what texts are required learning for a course, there are whole university courses online for free.

 

But you sound like you are just doing it for the marks. You need to ask yourself, what are you really getting out of it?

Re: Advice on rage-inducing teachers

I get you
man, it sucks not being able to reach your potential but just imagine how hard it must be to be the "bad" teacher that everyone calls a bitch and that, its like the school system when youre popular its easy but impossible if youre not. however you do deserve recognition for good work and she shouldnt reward laziness, but trust me when teachers get a class full of bad reports the board of studies kicks down the door and tells them to tighten up or lose their job, if that doesnt happen try some extra ciricular work, or just do the report in way more detail then she expected to show her you can take the harder stuff, maybe thats what she wants, to see if you can take the initiative and show her up?