In the many years of my school life, there are a lot of things I have realised, such as the quiet kids are forgotten and the loud, rude ones are adored. And there are many more, so I want to address some as if I had to tell a teacher what I think. If you are a teacher and you learn from this then you are as good as a teacher who already does these things already. Just because you hadn’t done these before, doesn’t mean you are a bad teacher because if you changed some things then it shows that you actually do care and I respect that so much.
I wish that teachers started to talk more to their quiet students because I am one of them and, although it sounds a bit attention seeking, we have things that we are worried about and need help with, but we are too afraid to ask because that comes with so many repercussions, like drawing attention to ourselves and getting judged or shouted at by the other loud ones. I do understand that a lot of you do try but then because we are a bit awkward and quiet, you don’t really talk to them anymore. And I understand how that must be so awkward for you, but if you talked to us more than just the one time, you would see that we are actually nice people with a lot of things to say, we just don’t have the voice or confidence to say it. I know that for me, it means so much for a teacher to just say hello or just appreciate that we are there because a majority of the time, we get drowned out by the other people who act like complete idiots and are being so disrespectful to you. I just wish that teachers got to know all of their students and understand how they are feeling and what they are getting stuck on because it can be really tiring sometimes when you feel like you aren’t getting heard because despite the fact we stay quiet, we actually have an opinion. And to add to that, make sure that you don’t let the quiet people get bullied especially in your class because it is so obvious sometimes but teachers usually just laugh at them like “boys will be boys”. Showing that you care makes a big difference in our life.
This is such a big one and since somebody mentioned this to me, I have always thought about this whenever meeting a new teacher. Are you a human before a teacher, or a teacher before a human. Now I am not accusing teacher’s of being literal lizards or something, but what I mean by this is, do you empathize with your students and understand that we make mistakes or forget things at times. And maybe you remember that nobody is good at everything so if we are struggling, actually understand and help instead of rolling your eyes like we are a burden. Here is a quick test to see whether you are a human or a teacher first.
- When someone forgets their books do you a) shout at them and give some form of punishment or b) say that is ok and to try and remember next time
- When someone forgets their homework do you a) shout at them and give a detention or b) tell them that is ok and to try and hand it in as soon as they can
- When someone stops doing well in class do you a) embarrass them and make them seem lazy and a failure or b) after class ask them about what is going on in their life they need help with or just anything in class they need help with
- When someone is late to your class do you a) tell them to stay after class and interrogate them for why they are late and tell them to never do it again or b) welcome them in warmly and if it happens multiple times ask them how everything is.
- When someone doesn’t participate in class do you a) put them on the spot or point out their quietness or b) ask them if they are ok or just don’t understand anything
I could go on all day asking you questions like these, but I think we have enough. If you answered mostly a) then you are a teacher before a human. If you answered mostly b) then you are a human before the teacher and I applaud you. When you are a human before a teacher, you are caring and understand students abilities and emotions and you actually care about their wellness and future. But if you are a teacher before a human, you are teaching them that mistakes are wrong and they are going to be useless. You teach them how to live in a military society and make them feel unwelcome and as though they are stupid. So please just know that we are just kids and teens who literally have no fucking clue what is going on or who we are. We have so many things to think about outside of school and just because we don’t do everything perfectly, doesn’t mean we are rude or disrespectful, we just need a bit of time to collect ourselves.
This happened to me just the other day where I was walking down the corridor and this teacher, who had clearly seen me, was walking past. This was an empty corridor, just me and her, and I went as close to the side as I could to be polite because, respect your elders and all that. But she literally barged into me and didn’t move as though I was the problem. Just because you have been on this earth for longer than me, doesn’t mean you can disrespect us. Respect goes both ways, so if you are getting talked over by students or generally not listened to, you probably just need to show us the respect we deserve. Don’t get me wrong, the younger years are bloody annoying so it is ok to put them in their place, but for the older years, we are nearly adults and at this point we are sick of your shit. We aren’t all bloody chavs and literal idiots and we do respect you, but only if you give us the same back. I just find it rude that they think everything they do is right and we are just invisible because we don’t want to be here any more than you do. You chose to be here. You get paid to be here. And all we get is a busy schedule and mental health problems.
The last point that I wanted to mention today was that we actually appreciate some motivational talks, but it just depends on what type of one it is. Now, if you give us the same bullshit as everyone else, like on the first day back when you give us a talk about how we are gonna do so well and that we are going to make this year so great… save your breathe because we have heard that 10 times in one day already. There are some teachers that genuinely are so nice with what they say and you can tell in their voice and the way they look that they do actually mean what they are saying and actually care. These talks are the best, and when said at the right times, can make our day. My English teacher did one today and it did make my day a bit better. It was still a shit day, but not as bad as it could have been. But listen close to this. If you are ever going to make a motivational speech, no matter when you say it, don’t ever diminish what we are going through. This isn’t even just because of corona. This is every time of the year, in any decade, in any month, never make our situation look easier than it seems. I don’t mean that you should just say “your life is shit, school is shit and it will never get better” because we need to know that someone actually has hope. What I mean is that you shouldn’t be like “but if you think about it, you are actually really lucky and your better off than other years because blah blah blah blah blah”. Turn that shit off because I don’t wanna hear it. This happened not long ago from another teacher and I was just looking at her as if she just was mental because who the fuck is she to tell us how we should feel. She literally could have said something like “keep your head up because I am going to get you guys through this and you will do great” but instead you really had to assume what we think and feel. I do not feel luckier than any other years and I most certainly don’t think I got it easier because this has fucking sucked so much and having you put words into our mouths is making this situation feel so much worse. You make us feel isolated or dramatic because we think nobody else feels this way. Try not to be too uplifting with things and think before you speak I guess.
If you are a teacher and you have made it this far, you are a real one. I know that you care and aren’t offended by what I said because it is the truth and you want to help improve your students lives. I really appreciate it if you are one of those teachers because you are going to change someone life. I hope you have a great day, stay safe and stay yourself PERIODT