Not too lenient, not too tough: Teachers strike impressive balance between pampering and over criticizing


Take yourself back to that jam-packed night when you pulled into your driveway at 11:00 p.m. and crawled into bed without doing any homework. You knew that the following day you would have a bulletproof excuse tucked under your belt: I had a really busy night.

But the next day, when your teachers wouldn’t have it, you wondered, where is the sympathy?

Blake students sometimes feel aggravation with their teachers’ policies. On top of a lack of sympathy, students mention seeing regular favoritism.

Phoebe Warner ‘16 said, “There have definitely been instances where I think, okay, this teacher is going way too easy on this kid.” Watching a single classmate get away with slacking time after time can make kids feel that their teacher isn’t treating them with a just approach.

Another complaint that surfaced among students is that retakes should be allowed more often–I think getting a second shot provides a boost of confidence and an “I can do this” mindset.

Raine Robichaud ’14 said that when someone does poorly on assessments, “Teachers should at least help you make up points or get back credit if you put the effort in.”

However, students also experience problems when pampered. Robichaud pointed to teachers being too easygoing, “If they don’t drill you enough, then you don’t become better.” Very little is nice about that.

Though having loose, relaxed teachers may be nice in class, having them go easy on you isn’t beneficial in the long run: as life accelerates and takes off beyond high school, leniency isn’t a luxury that lasts.

Michael Smith ‘17 agreed without a doubt that having a tough teacher can be constructive, explaining that getting grades lower than expected actually motivates him to improve.

Smiling, he said, “It has definitely helped me out more than it has hurt me.“ The trouble for teachers is finding the middle ground where they are neither too severe nor lenient with their students.

Luckily, Blake teachers generally have an acute sense for this balance. Warner recognizes this: “Teachers are really considerate–their policies are dependent on how the class is doing as a whole.”

I think the teachers here at Blake definitely deserve credit for adjusting well to students and making the environment well-suited to their needs.

Robichaud added, “I think that they are fair but they still challenge you.” Blake teachers care about the students, and almost any criticism or challenge I’ve ever faced was hurled at me with the intent to help me grow.

Despite the difficulty of such obstacles, “You just accept that there will be times where you succeed and times where you don’t. That is what we sign up for,” according to Robichaud.