The end of September bids farewell to the haze of summer and we welcome our sweaters and the routine of “real life”. School is now officially in session for the next nine months.
So? How’s it going? Have you fallen in love with your teacher and are happily following them with your brain each and every day? Or…are you just not feeling it? Worse, are you getting the sense that your teacher isn’t feeling it for you?
If this is the case – what do you do?
This is a generalization. Most teachers like teaching and genuinely enjoy working with young people. For now we’re going to give your teacher the benefit of the doubt. Being able to work with your teacher makes the difference between a successful year and what could end up feeling like a waste of months of your life. DON’T GIVE UP! Give your relationship a chance. I’m going to give you a few tips how to connect to your teacher – while you may not have a love connection – you’ll at least learn and grow this school year. Which is the point of school, right?
First: Get a hold of your emotions. Make yourself calm. Take a couple of days and just watch your teacher. What’s going on in class? What does your teacher do in class? How would you classify your classroom? Classrooms are busy places that can be difficult to control. Try to see if there is a connection between situations and the reactions that caused your initial negative impression. Teachers generally are too busy to bother to hate any of their students. That’s not saying that they don’t get frustrated. Maybe that’s what you’re sensing? After this couple of days dedicated to calm observation, consider if you still sense the same negativity. Do you see your teacher reacting to frustrations with other students? Hopefully the outcome of this “investigation” will reveal that your teacher isn’t out to get you (because you’ve sort of kept a low profile) and that you can look at your situation in a “big picture” less personal sort of way.
Going with this assumption (for the moment), it’s time to ask: are you bringing your “best student self” to class? What’s your “best student self”? It’s the version that screams: “I love learning!”. You all know what this student looks like. Think Hermione Granger. Reality is that teachers don’t expect perfection in students – we just want to see true effort and hard work. This looks like students who try to do all their homework, study for tests, ask good questions and students who try to organize themselves and their school business.
That’s it. And really, it’s only fair that you can expect your teacher’s “best version” if you too are bringing your A-game.
So what do you do if you really have a teacher that doesn’t make the grade? That is, no matter how you try, you just can’t find the “best version” that they are supposed to be coming to school with everyday.
It’s important to talk to your parents. Maybe they can help you to feel better or even (if you’re comfortable) help you talk with your teacher about what you’re experiencing. Regardless of whether you talk to your teacher, make sure you talk to your parents. Ultimately they can help you through the last option if you really are in a dead end, disconnected situation.
Ultimately, it will be up to you to make your school year feel successful. There is so much to learn in a school day – if you can’t count on your teacher, (which is unfortunate) then YOU have to take responsibility. What can you do? Try to read more, write more, do math and learn about all the different people around you. As for your school work – make sure that you do your best to show your best. Even the grumpiest teacher can’t ignore true effort and honest work from students.