Teachers, I Wish You Knew…
BY JASMYN GONZALEZ
There are many different types of teachers. There are the teachers that are easy to talk to; easy to be honest and real with. There are the teachers that want nothing to do with students after the bell rings; the ones that could care less about their students or their grades. Other teachers that do everything they can to make sure that every student passes but sadly are usually taken advantage of, and the teacher that doesn’t see you for who you are beyond your grade. I would like to point out a few things that teachers maybe never seem to really notice that is right in front of them.
To begin, I would like to touch up on the different students that roam around school everyday. There are many students who face different hardships everyday that both students and teachers don’t even know about. There are students who have it very very easy, such as having loving parents and a strong bond with their siblings; they are well off financially and emotionally and mentally stable as well. However, there are also students who don’t have it so well. It would take forever to give various examples as every student has a rare and unique situation.
Any school year is a difficult challenge for both students and teachers to be consistently dedicated to learning or teaching something new everyday and to continue going at that pace even if they didn’t understand the last lesson. For teachers, learning different techniques and having patience with their students can at times be challenging and I’m sure also a bit discouraging. Although it is their job to educate students, I feel it is also their responsibility to realize changes within their students.
Teachers should understand that there are some students who struggle with school because of their circumstances, and they cannot always simply be resolved with a tutoring session or with extra time after class. There are students who don’t look forward to going home, who have to work and pay rent even though it may be illegal for parents to charge a minor for necessities. For these students, school and their school work is the last thing on their mind.
I wish teachers could see that, I wish teachers could empathize for that. I am not saying that these students deserve an easier road or an easy way out from all the school work and from all the tests and studying that school is going to command; I am saying that school involves so much more than academics. It is something that all try to conquer or at least dream of conquering, and if a student is blocked from that because of their personal circumstances, how is it fair that the teacher judges who that person is because of their grade? I am not saying that these students need pity, or that they need to be treated like they are handicapped. I am acknowledging that it is unfair, and that is just a fact. Grades show only the surface of a student’s integrity and commitment to life. The devotion a student may have to working hard at their after school job or, volunteering at an organization can show more of what they are made of instead a letter grade that represents their academic abilities.
Going throughout this school year in itself, I have faced many challenges personally; physically, emotionally, and academically. If I looked back at what I learned, I know that I definitely learned how much grades truly matter and how important school is. Something else I also learned is that life is not at all like school; sometimes, even when you put work into something, it falls apart and that doesn’t mean that it is wrong; it is just the way of this world. From having two jobs, three AP classes, medical challenges, and obstacles outside of school, what really surprised me the most was that one of my teachers who definitely had multiple chances to see a change…had no clue. He didn’t even know that I had a job and I don’t mean to sound like teachers should remember everything but, I had invited him to have a free meal before. It was shocking that he didn’t know. I feel like that is where most teachers lack awareness; simply noticing changes. Because in my eyes, changes symbolize cries for help.
So, just as teachers have a life of their own and it’s weird to run into them at the local grocery store, there are students who have begun to feel the stress of the “real world”, there are students who face responsibilities most students don’t have to even think about until they are years into college.
As my final time writing to you, my readers, I would like to thank you for listening to what I have to say. I am a student who has changed so much over this year and being a part of the Ethic Newspaper staff not only gave me a reason to look forward to school, but allowed me to gladly and happily practice my first amendment rights as a journalist. I have made some of the closest friends within this group of strangely dedicated students with scattered and random personalities, and I am most grateful that I had the privilege to write a column. I have definitely learned to grow up in many things, and I hope you have enjoyed reading whatever it was that I might have felt like sharing; let’s hope this new chapter offers much more. Good bye my dear reader.
This column was written at the beginning of the week of publication. As a journalist, I felt it was my responsibility to inform the teacher I mentioned earlier in this passage that I was writing of him in my final column. So, I went to explain to him how I felt his awareness could have been helpful.
As can be expected, stepping into his room to tell him this was quite awkward; I was about to tell my teacher that I felt he wasn’t doing a good job watching out for his students. So, I approached him and explained what it was that I have experienced and why I changed so much and how it was probably the most evident in his class. I even asked him if he had noticed anything different about me and he admitted that he didn’t.
As I explained to him that I felt he could have helped if he acknowledged anything that had changed about me, he had me sit down and explained how his life was much similar to the events that had taken place in mine so far. He stated that he wonders at times, why he chose this career path if he doesn’t obtain the gift some teachers have of realizing when a student is changing or going through hard times in life.
He gave me so much insight on this whole issue that I realized this is a mutual issue. Teachers don’t know their students, and students don’t know their teachers outside of their performance at school. I don’t feel like pointing the finger at the teachers is the best thing to do; I think that students and teachers should both be aware of each other and consider that there is a lot more going on than we see.
After having this conversation with my teacher, I realized that we are all human beings; we all have it deep down within us to help others but are either too hesitant or embarrassed to say anything. I wish it wasn’t that way. Every teacher is a great teacher to try and educate children and every student is a person who has feelings and a life outside of homework. I would like to let him know, because I know that he’ll be reading this, that he
is not a bad person or a bad teacher for not being aware. I have also realized that there is so much I don’t know about all of my teachers, that I couldn’t possibly point the finger at him for something I myself am at fault for. It wouldn’t be right, or valid for that matter. This is an update on what I believed a few days ago. Now I say my final goodbye to my readers. This time I mean it; I have enjoyed this experience so much. Thank you and I wish you luck on your future journeys.