I Hate My Teacher

originally published January 2012

This+layout+by+Karl+Lovaas+%2714+was+named+a+Best+of+Editorials+2012+by+the+National+Scholastic+Press.+

This layout by Karl Lovaas '14 was named a Best of Editorials 2012 by the National Scholastic Press.

When walking in the halls, I hear a number of conversations taking place. However, there is one conversation which I hear more frequently than any other. It always goes something like this: “Student A: Oh my gosh, I hate that teacher! He stinks! Student B: I know! I haven’t learned anything in that class all year!” I know that we all have our rough times in classes, but lately, these conversations have gotten extreme. What has started as innocent rants about our frustrations in our class has turned into frequent hateful conversations.

The biggest problem I see is that students are starting to take on a negative mindset. It is absolutely preposterous to say that no one has learned anything in a class. Our teachers are experts in their subjects of instruction, and it is incredibly ridiculous to suggest that it is impossible to learn from them.

A common argument I hear from many of my peers is that some teachers refuse to answer questions. In other words, some teachers refuse to hand out answers to an assignment which they probably spent a lot of time creating in order to make it a worthwhile endeavor. In all reality, those teachers are actually encouraging us to think for ourselves rather than be lazy about our work. This is called the Socratic Method, a technique developed by the Greek philosopher Socrates to encourage critical thinking. According to many psychologists, it can be used to clarify complex ideas and bring deeper insight to the thought process. This is extremely beneficial to students as it allows them to explore complicated topics and gain a better understanding of the subject at hand.

After hearing my fellow students complain so much, I sometimes wonder: How can we even expect to learn when we have such a permanent mind block? If we continue to tell ourselves that we cannot learn in a class, eventually we will be unable to.

In short, learning is a two-way street. It takes an open-minded student to receive the information from a knowledgeable teacher. A positive mindset is necessary for the student to even begin the process of learning. If we remain to be so close-minded to our teachers, it will be impossible to learn from them.

As we enter this new semester, I encourage everyone to keep it positive. It would be beneficial for everyone to self-evaluate and ask ourselves what we could be doing better, instead of the constant criticizing those who strive to educate us.