Staff Editorial: Advice to Teachers


The “Unhelpful Teacher” meme

Teachers, do not be alarmed! I come in peace. As a newly minted senior in hopes of finding common ground, I believe I speak on behalf of all students that, although the school year has barely started, we are already swamped.

But, before I begin asking you for an extension or extra credit, I’d love to take the opportunity to give you a few pointers. I understand what you must be thinking right now: you, the superior, taking advice from an underling, on how to have a successful school year? On what grounds? Yes, I know this is completely absurd, but, if you will give me a moment, let me explain myself.

You have your classes, and I have mine. We both are stressed or, if one of us is doing particularly well, the other is not stressed, but knows they will be soon. You give us advice all the time. It is part of the job. Whether it is reprimanding us for a sweatshirt that isn’t in the dress code, taking our phone because we are using it during class time, or simply explaining whatever is your lesson of the day — Bottom line is that you are always giving us advice.

So, with that said, let me, the one who has hopefully picked up on a thing or two from the past three years being amongst you all, and return the favor. Here is a list that I have created to maximize the cool in school.

1. Be funny. This is how you wake up your first block and get your third block out of the lunch coma. Whether it is Loeffler-esque — riddled with math puns — or Currier-like — filled with wit — we love it. Even when we say we hate it, we truly do love it.

2. Answer our questions. I know. Sometimes they are about what corner we should write our name in. And, sometimes, we want you to repeat instructions for the fifth time in a row. But, whatever the question, please give us the answer! Our energetic minds are oozing curiosity; some of it even intellectual!

3. Make us talk. The figurative sound of crickets filling the room are just as bad when it’s the same student’s voice being heard ad nauseum. Some of us aren’t the most talkative, and others are, but not in the ideal way. Don’t do flashcards or go by seating chart. Find the medium in which we feel like you want to hear us, but you want to hear all of us. Your vocal chords could also use a break from lectures. Just looking after you.

4. Don’t pick sides. Whether you’re an English, History, Math, or Spiritual Life teacher, we can tell when you have a bias. And, the kids aforementioned who might be shy will only hear your side and not learn to see it from both sides. In a time of political divisiveness and especially in our location, seeing only one side of things is not preparing us for the real world. We want to hear about everything. We want to learn even if we don’t say it.

5. Give us food. I mean, this one is kind of a given.

I hope this helps. We want a good year. We want to see you thrive and become our favorite teachers.