Five Things Teachers Do that Students Hate

Want to drive your students crazy? Read about the five things that teachers do that students hate. Keeping these in mind will help you have a great start to the new school year!

There is so much that informs a teacher’s practice. We must listen to federal and state mandates, district initiatives, building principals. But in all the chatter, we must not forget to listen to the voices of our students. And so, in that spirit, I asked some of my high school students what they enjoy most about school and their teachers, and then, of course, what aggravates them. First, here are students’ top five things teachers do that drive students crazy:

1. Taking forever to grade and return work.  “I worked like an animal on that project, and I didn’t get it back for a month. By that time, I had forgotten what it was even about. It no longer meant anything to me.”  

As teachers, we all know the rules about feedback being targeted, specific, and timely. But with our intense workload, there is much that can get in the way of correcting. Students want to remind us, however, that an assignment can lose relevancy if it is graded weeks after it is handed in. Since there is plenty of research showing that feedback helps motivate students and enables them to persevere, managing the grading load is critical.

2. No patience with questions“I know you’ve probably heard my question before, but it’s new to me. It also might be repetitive – maybe you did just answer it five minutes ago, but I swear, I really didn’t understand. Please don’t embarrass me by rolling your eyes or sighing with impatience.”

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves how important the act of questioning is to thinking, communicating, and even social interaction. Helping a student develop questioning skills can be extremely valuable. That may mean teaching a student how to ask a question or even how to answer his/her own question. Even so, no matter how many times we answer a question, it is important to show patience and empathy to all our students.

3. Testing on material you didn’t teach – “Seriously, why do teachers do this? Do they forget and think they taught us something they didn’t? Nothing is more frustrating than trying to call up knowledge about something you know you’ve never learned.”

I took issue with this one, explaining to the students that we want them to interpret and apply the knowledge from the lessons, and so while it may seem that they didn’t learn the material, they actually learned the skill needed for success. But they were adamant in stating that this was not what they meant. They talked about being tested on material they never, ever learned. I would encourage teachers to use the backwards design model – deciding what you want students to know and be able to do before creating the lesson – to make sure that this doesn’t happen in your classroom.

4. Punishing the whole class“I did my homework. I was up past midnight. But now because most of the class didn’t do it, we are getting twice as much homework tonight. And you’re mad at all of us.”

Group contingencies can be tricky. Sometimes they can motivate students and help them work toward a common goal. In that respect, reward contingencies work much better than ones that punish. Most students will definitely rebel against receiving a consequence for someone else’s behavior, and you may make the offending or non-compliant student a target in your classroom. If you punish the class for the actions of a few, students may end up resenting you, and you will most likely lose their trust.  So think twice before punishing the entire class, and stick with the positive reinforcement that goes along with a reward contingency.

5. No autonomy in choices – “Everything is so rigid. Why can’t we pick our own groups? Why can’t we get a couple of choices for assignments? Why can’t I research something that I’m interested in? Or pick my own book for literature circles?”

Students like options. They hate inflexible requirements. Students like to choose their own groups for cooperative learning or their own topic for research. They prefer to select from several options for assessment. But we don’t give students the autonomy they crave. Allowing students to exercise some control over their own learning will empower them, and that can be extremely motivating. Permitting students to demonstrate their understanding several ways – choosing their own essay topic, selecting their own book for literature circles, deciding on what part of an assignment they will do first, can be appealing and inspiring for them. As long as assignment or assessment aligns with the goals of your classroom, giving the student autonomy to choose can be a win-win for both the student and teacher.

Keeping these five complaints in mind will help you get your school year off to a great start! Stay tuned next week when I’ll reveal the “Five Things Teachers Do that Students Love”!

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  • Allie Magnuson

    I love this article Nancy.

    I love this article Nancy.  It’s the old saying – Learn to listen, listen to learn.  You just never know what wisdom comes from kids if we don’t hear them.  

  • marsharatzel

    Can I clarify one point?

    Hi Nancy,

    I really like this post and it’s a good thing to keep in mind.  Honestly, I don’t like these things about other teachers….it puts me in a difficult position when a student is complaining.  I agree with their complaint and it’s a tricky thing to help them think through a way to overcome one of these without undermining your colleague.

    I did have one question…..<wink> and I hope you haven’t already answered it <wink>.  It really is how does someone balance the “I have a question” problem.

    Has this ever happened to you?

    You start class.  Pass out the materials needed to complete the activity.  You have directions on the board and you explain what to do.  You ask for questions and everyone seems good to go…and then that hand pops up.  Someone who was usually digging through their binder, sharpening a pencil or just spacing out.  They ask….”Could you repeat that please?”

    “Repeat what?” I ask. 

    “I don’t get what to do?” they say.  Really?  Nothing? I think in my head but instead I ask.  Here is also where I really have to resist eye-rolling….especially when this is the umpteenth time this student hasn’t been on task.

    “Which part don’t you understand?” I ask instead.

    To which the student replies….”The whole thing.  Can you start from the beginning?”  Everyone moans.  

    Because that launches me into a mode that I hate.  The mode where I’m peeved that you were listening or concentrating or doing anything.  The mode where I’m working harder than you.  And that hacks me off.

    To those kinds of questions, I try to say “Well, start me off where you got lost.” or “Can you read the directions to me and when you get stumped, we’ll stop and go over that part?”  Honestly I think it’s a much better thing to do than to repeat everything because I believe the question has come from a place where it is inattention rather than a lack of comprehension.  If I simply started over, I believe it reinforces a bad habit of not listening.  

    Maybe you were addressing students who have been listening and who still don’t get it….and I’m 100% behind continuing to work at it until they get it.  But the students who don’t pay attention and then rely on me to compensate for that…..well…..respectfully they can just hate on me.  I’m not going to make that any easier.  in fact, I’m going to work hard to try and show you that it’s easier to pay attention the 1st time.  I try really hard to not reveal what I’m thinking on my face, take a deep breath and extend patience….they are only 8th graders and there really are more important things than science.  Goodness knows I wouldn’t be able to tell you what that might be though. :-}

    Hopefully this is not the kind of question you meant.  But I’d love to hear what other people do when this happens.  Maybe there are better strategies out there and I would be up for learning some new ways of dealing with this more professionally.  Thanks.

     

     

    • ReginaMcCurdy

      The Buddy System

      Hi Marsha, 

      I teach 7th grade and fully understand your question and concern. I think the ways you extend patience, grace (and we know how hard that is to do, especially as the year progresses) and ask clarifying and more detailed follow-up questions are great. 

      Because kids are grouped up for most activities in my class, I’d also suggest the buddy or partner system. Telling students, especially those who have chronic “not-paying- attention-itis”, to re-read the directions and work with their group. I’ve also told these students to ask a classmate what question they may have, and to be ready in about five minutes to tell me (usually away from the rest of the class) what the directions were. I also ask them why they we not paying attention so they are aware of how this type of questioning can delay the learning for themselves and for the whole class. 

    • Alice Mcpherson

      Questions

      This used to drive me crazy as well. One strategy I have tried is not giving the directions orally. I write the directions and post in Schoology or distribute the directions on a handout. I give ample time to read and annotate the directions. At the end, I take questions on the directions. Students have taken much more ownership of the task. 

      At first, I had a few students who wouldn’t read the directions. They’d ask questions and I would direct them to the section on the assignment and ask them to read it again. I’d give multiple reading strategies if they were having trouble. Generally, though, it wasn’t trouble; it was being a bit …. Shall we say … Lazy?  

       

      This is system has really worked for me. Students practice their technical reading skills and get the information at the same time. I don’t use this strategy every day, mostly on major tasks/assignments. 

  • NancyBarile

    I Know EXACTLY what you’re talking about!

    Hi Marsha –

    And YES, I know EXACTLY what you are talking about, and it drives me crazy, too! (Someone already suggested that I do a post called THINGS STUDENTS DO THAT DRIVE TEACHERS CRAZY, and this might be at the top of the list!)

    I think your techniques for dealing with this issue are excellent. I also try to make sure that I have the lesson written down in Schoology (our school has a 1 to 1 ipad program) and on the board in an abbreviated form), so the student can refer back to it. Often I’ll ask another student to get a student who walks in late caught up with the assignment. Or I’ll encourage the class to get started, and speak to that student individually. However, one of the most effective things I try to do is to identify this student early on (it always seems to be the same kid or kids right?), and to make sure that I have his/her attention when I begin my explanation. Being proactive really helps. 

     

     

    • TriciaEbner

      Another trick to try . . .

      Nancy, and Marsha, I can so relate to this! One thing I’ve started doing–usually after counting to ten, to make sure I’m not reacting in a punitive or angry way–is to say, “Could someone explain what we’re doing in different terms that others might understand more easily?” I know it sounds crazy, but “kidspeak” sometimes works better and gives them that “light bulb moment.”

      • NancyBarile

        Love it!

        Excellent, Tricia! You are so right about the power of “kidspeak,” – and I think both students benefit when that kind of transaction takes place!

         

  • NancyBarile

    Student Voices

    I agree, Allie – I am constantly trying to make sure I hear the student voices through all the “chatter”!  Thanks for commenting!

  • LotharKonietzko

    Another trick to try

    I too have had my days with the “What are we supposed to do?” question from students not paying attention.  It comes with a choice, rinse and repeat or find a way to keep the whole class moving and then deal with that student creatively.  I like Tricia’s idea of having a person in the class explain something in “kidspeak.”  I usually try to get the class started on an activity and go to the student after telling them, “I’ll be with you in moment.”  I also have an intern that can help provide some one on one attention when I can’t. I think this is one area where excellent teachers could be helping students and the profession at the same time, the ally of an intern can truly make a difference with this situation.  Don’t forget, when we have the distracted student there are reasons: cell phones, day dreaming, bad situation at home the previous day or perhaps morning, as well as the classic of the people sitting next to the student.  We have some real great challenges with these students.  The important thing is to breathe, be creative, be understanding, be firm when needed, and most of all try to keep yourself smiling inside at all times. 

    • NancyBarile

      On the Money

      How lucky you are, Lothar, to have an intern in the classroom. And I agree with you about distractions – we have a 1 to 1 ipad program in my schools, and it is a constant challenge to keep students on task and focused. They’d much rather be texting, tweeting, or playing pool. It’s on ongoing struggle! 

  • jozettemartinez

    Plus 2

    I work with a student non-profit called Project VOYCE (Voices of Youth Changing Education ) and they would add two items to the list of 5. 

    6. They hate being called “kiddos” and we as teachers might see it as a term of endearment, but they hear it as condescending. It suggests that we have that top-down view of them. I’ve stopped calling them kiddos to be respectful. 

    7. They hate it when we eat in front of them. Food and who has it, strikes a very primitive cord with students. They might not understand that we had to work through lunch (again) or met with parents, had a conference call, etc. That is why it is important to find even 30 minutes in the school day just for YOU. Enjoy and digest your lunch. 🙂

  • NancyBarile

    Kiddos

    This is great, Jozette! I don’t think I’ve ever called them “kiddos,” but can I get them to stop calling me “Miss,” “Miss,” “Miss”!?? I hear that in my sleep. And I have one rule about food in my classroom: if you bring it in, you have to bring enough for everyone! My colleagues have suggested that I write a “Five Things Students do that Aggravate Teachers” lol!

  • jozettemartinez

    MIss Mister

    In Spanish speaking countries, Miestra y Miestro (Miss and Mister) are terms of respect for teachers. I think this might be where the miss miss miss comes from, at least with my student demographic. 

  • NancyBarile

    That’s It

    You’re exactly right because that fits my student demographic to a T!

     

  • Amy

    Grading

    I understand it can be frustrating for students to not get their work back quickly. However, I give them weeks to write essays and complete projects. I am one human being who has to grade 140 essays. If it is due on Monday, I always have students asking me the very next day if I finished grading them. I also have two children under age 4 who need my attention when I get home from work. I am actually considering leaving teaching because I can no longer take the stress of all that my job requires of me on top of what my children require of me. I have nothing left to give myself. Also, it would take me no time at all to grade essays if my students actually followed the rubrics I give them. It takes me a really long time to grade essays that are not only fraught with spelling and grammar mistakes that they didn't bother to correct, but are also missing vital content that they were expected to include. I think if other subject teachers were expected to teach writing instead of just placing it on the shoulders of ELA teachers, you would see a lot of discussion and change around how we teach and assess writing. The way it stands now, it just isn't humanly feasible and I am seeing major burn out within my department. I would love to know what other teachers do to face this issue. 

    • NancyBarile

      I Feel Your Pain!

      Hi Amy –

      I definitely can feel your pain, and it’s becoming more and more difficult with constant standardized testing. The teaching of writing SHOULD be cross-curricular, but I know from experience that it is NOT. My advice would be maybe to start with some “Focus Correction Areas” for writing for your students – you know 3 or 4 things that they ABSOLUTELY must get right. For me, this is a strong introduction, and no capitalization or puntuation errors. Then after they master that. Another solution may be – if you could afford it and your school would allow – part time work. I know several teachers at my school with small children at home did this and job share and it made it much easier!

       

  • SomaCassady

    Essay Grading

    So totally feel this – I try to schedule essays to be due right before a break so I have time to grade them. I have also found a few good ways to deal with this: I sometimes read them with only a highlighter in my hand. I highlight when I see a mistake and I keep a record of the most common issues I see as I read. When I pass them back I give them a copy of the common issues sheet and ask them to look through their own papers to see if they can find an example of each issue highlighted. 

    I have also created a few excellent peer editing sheets. They are given a random essay. The first thing they do is highlight the thesis statement. I have them count the body paragraphs, highlight evidence such as quotes or data, check the sources cited, check that every paragraph supports the thesis and then they write some advice to the writer about what they could improve. It is really interesting and leads to great discussion about what constitutes useful feedback. We talk about the words “fine” or “okay” as opposed to more precise advise like “wordy,” “wandering off topic,” “thesis needs to be stronger.”

  • from a student who is tired of teachers

    No I disagree with everyone.

    No I disagree with everyone. I dont have simpathy for the teachers anymore because half of them dont care and SHOULD NOT BE TEACHERS. I as a student have this one teacher who doesnt teach. I am a 10th grade student who has college classes and my biology teacher is stricter and the way she teaches is different and way harder than my college course. Now I am a A-B student who works hard,does all my work, comes in for tutoring, asking for help but my teacher doesn't teach me. I have had to go to three other teachers of the same subject to get help and they have probably taught me more and helped me through it than my actual teacher. So in this biology class I had a 84 which is one point from a B so I politely asked just for one simple point so I could have a B instead of a C but being the hard strict stubborn teacher she said no. I once took a test and I will be honest I didnt do to well, but no one can say i didnt study because I did. I used flash cards I went to other teachers to explain and walk me through it and I take all the notes. So seeing my grades later that week and talking to several other students I noticed EVERYONE failed that test. Now what should that say to the teacher "hmm maybe i should reteach that to help out the students"  but nope we got nothing in return. Just this one teacher,  I have 5 100's in five of my classes. I am a great student. I do all my work and more. I am always ontime, but this teacher is beyond my control and I so despriately want to send a hate note to her or even going to the principal. I even went to the counciler to get a class change. but after so long I gave up and I told her that and said I gave up on her and her class. 

    • a teacher

      I realise you are frustrated,

      I realise you are frustrated, but frankly, you need to either do something about it (be VERY frank with the teacher and tell him/her just what you said here, or speak to your parents and the administration) or take this as a life lesson: you are going to meet many, many people who you don't like or understand, and all you can do is your best.  You also need to realise that anybody reading a transcript knows that ONE measly C in a sea of As over the years equals a strict grader.  This happened to me in college and I got into my first choice grad school, full ride.  By the way, I find it revealing that you would approach a teacher and "politely ask just for one simple point…" that you didn't earn.  There are two kinds of people: those who are proactive and take responsibility for their learning, and those who simply feel entitled to something and continue to stew fruitlessly.  Who will you be?

  • Leanne Strong

    While did want some autonomy

    While did want some autonomy in my classes when I was in school, I would have preferred that the teachers pick our partners for partner activities, because there is always that one kid who gets picked last for everything, and I didn't like that (especially if it was me, but even if it was someone else).

    • NancyBarile

      Balance

      I think the best way for teachers to deal with this is to give a balance – sometimes pick the partners, and sometimes let the students pick. That would work best!

  • Casey Mirre

    I would like some advice.

    This was a wonderful, insightful post. I now would like some specific advice pertaining to number 3; but first, I will explain my background.

    I am currently a highschool student, and I actually plan on attending college for education in English. My two favorite subjects are English and social studies (including history, government, and economics) and I am extremely talented in these areas. I would like to point out that, while I do possess above-average, natural learning abilities, I am far from a genius; I had never earned anything less than a solid A in my high school career (elementary and junior high are different stories) solely due to my incredible hard work and dedication to my goals of success. I may sound as if I am talking myself up, but this is honestly how I feel; I study for at least two hours every night, occasionally replaced with some homework, all around my extracurricular activities, job (at a movie theatre, which gives strange, late hours. The reason I took this job was that I could study during playings) and volunteer work. I barely have any time to sleep, let alone spend time relaxing. I enrolled in the most difficult classes offered and signed up for every AP and CollegeNow course. I only have two of these classes left, and one of those is almost over.

    When I was in elementary school, I had a difficult time reading, and my teachers were worried I was dyslexic. Even after they determined that I wasn't, I had to attend special reading sessions up until the sixth grade. Come middle school, I was one of the school's top readers, my best friends were the librarians, and I was placed in LEAP for English (a group meant to further stimulate students who were well above that grade's standards for those classes). But I got Bs and the occasional C in every single class except English and social studies. 

    For purposes that will be apparent later, I will also mention that during this time I was emotionally bullied by two other girls.

    Also during junior high, I began to notice just how, for a lack of better words, poor my family was. We are much, much, much better off than many other families, that is for sure, but my mom was scared that she wouldn't be able to afford to send all four of her kids to college, something she had never gotten to do because she had grown up dirt poor (she lived off the state's food month to month and worked 3 jobs when she was 15). This fear was reinvigorated when my mom was diagnosed with MS, which caused our medical costs to skyrocket. Also at the same time, my relationship with my dad was deteriorating, and we shared hurtful words. He told me that I would never be as smart as my older brother (who had gotten a 34 on his ACT).

    As I still don't have much life experience under my belt, I consider this moment the deciding factor in my life; I promised myself I would get the best possible grades in high school in order to disprove my dad and to win as many scholarships as I could. That leaves me where I mentioned before.

    Now last year, I had taken AP US History with a notoriously tough teacher, Mr. Baxter. Quite frankly, he scared me! He tolerated absolutely no nonsense, he assigned loads and loads of homework every night, and he graded harder than any other teacher I had ever had! Oh, and his tests – they were a nightmare! I never got a wink of sleep the night before!

    But I would go to class every day and learn so many things! Mr. Baxter lectured and led group discussions on which he graded our participation (I never actually received 100 percent in this category because, as Mr. Baxter put it, there is always room for improvement). Mr. Baxter became my unsurpassed favorite teacher, by FAR. He treated me like an adult, and he respected me. And even though he was strict, he still CARED about his students. His class is still the toughest one I had ever taken, even more so than the CollegeNow courses, which were supposed to be more difficult. That was Mr. Baxter's last year, however, as he retired.

    Thank you for sticking with me through that melodrama!

     Now to my current situation: 

    My school hired two new teachers this years, a husband and wife duo who both taught social study classes (they had taught at a nearby school for over ten years). An entire quarter before my AP World History class, which was to be taught by the wife, Mrs. Strunsel, I stopped by her class due to her offer of loaning out that class's textbooks so that I could get ahead on the reading. I met her, talked and joked with her, and she was extremely nice and funny. I was really looking forward to the class, especially since I enjoyed World History a thousand times more than American history. I read ahead in the book, and found that the material was all familiar. But I didn't dare skip a single page. 

    When the class finally started up, she explained that our only homework would be to read the book. I figured this meant most of our work would be done in class. She then told us that, when we read, to focus on the big picture, the main concepts, and the relationships between empires.

    I even reread the chapters I had already read to make sure I hadn't forgotten anything, and then I realized that even the first test would be over a very large portion of the book (over 100 of 800 pages). We would only have 7 tests throughout the class, and they were to be 60 percent of our grade, so I knew I needed to do well on every test because there was little room for error. 

    The test came. There were only 30 questions on over 100 pages. I took the test, and believed I knew every single answer quite easily. Compared to Mr. Baxter's tests, it was a breeze. 

    I got 76 percent. (23 out of 30)

    Shocked, I asked her to go over the answers with me so I could see what I apparently had not understood during the reading. She went over the answers with everyone during class, and I realized that some of my smartest classmates were also shocked and near tears. Now that I look back on the questions, at least fifteen of them were trick questions. And at least five of them were asking of very specific details and did not have anything to do with "the big picture, the concepts, or the relationships". And I was still pretty sure I had gotten those right, though that's beside the point – she had completely misdirected us on how we should have approached the reading, whether is was intentional or not.

    I will give you an example (This is by memory, but it is still very, very close):

    "Which of the following WASN'T invented in the 500s-1450s?"

    A. An early form of Dynamite.

    B. Metal weapons

    C. Stirrups 

    D. Chainmail

    Now, I had read the section, obviously, and knew that, during that time, China had just discovered gunpowder, so I crossed off A. Next, I KNEW metal weapons (as opposed to stone weapons) had been in use for centuries before this time, and since it said "IN the 500s-1450s", and because the nature of these questions are usually very detailed in that sense, I believed this was my best option. Stirrups – I didn't particularly remember this one at the time, but I figured it would have been too obvious to pick (I later went back and found it mentioned in 1 sentence of over 100 pages – how exactly is that "big picture"?), and chainmail; I didn't need to read the book for that one because this sections included the middle ages and knights. So I went with B.

    The correct answer was A. Her reasoning? There's apparently no gunpowder in dynamite – just nitroglycerin. 

    How were we supposed to know that? We don't learn that in science class, and even if we did, how could she assume that? She CERTAINLY didn't tell us that! The book didn't tell us that! I didn't understand how that was testing our knowledge on world history. It's a very small class of 8 students (over twenty had dropped out because of rumors that she was a bad teacher), so I had asked each and every student about that question. Four had answered C for Stirrups, three, including myself, had answered B for Metal weapons, and one person had answered A because they hadn't read the book and therefore had not known when gunpowder had been invented.

    I shook it off and figured I just had to get used to her testing style. Now we only have one test left. I received 76 percent on every. single. test. The SAME EXACT score.

    I tried talking to her. She told us in the beginning of the year that, if we ever needed to speak with her, she would listen with open ears. So I told her, with this in mind, that I was incredibly frustrated that if we were to talk about something in class, she wouldn't test on it, or how she told us to look at broad concepts and then tested on very specific things. I told her that the questions she asked had a discrepancy with the book.

    She became extremely defensive – claimed that it was her job to teach me how to access the pond of knowledge and not just the faucet – and then she told me that I was just upset about my B for a grade because I struggled with adversity.

    I. Struggled. With. Adversity?

    Apparently I was too perfect?

     

    I thought about my struggles with reading, my middle school grades, my experiences as a bully victim, my issues with my dad, my family's financial status, and my mom's sickness. I thought about getting benched in softball, I thought about Mr. Baxter's class, which was WAY harder, and yet I still received a solid A. I thought about my goal for perfect grades, the time I had spent studying, the time I had wasted reading the book she asked counterintuitive questions on. And I had never, ever, EVER, wanted to actually slap someone before. I was so tempted to scream at her.

    I was going to say more, and also mention her husband, who is slightly better, though not by much, (I was going to explain just how they insulted Mr. Baxter and claimed that his class was way too easy, and how he had given up on teacher because he was about to retire, despite the fact that they had never taken one of his classes or had even met him) but this is getting very long and I am getting very emotional.

     

    I've talked to her. I've talked to her husband. I've talked to the principal. I just don't know what to do anymore. I'm worried I may not get a specific scholarship if I get another B this next quarter, which would mean I wouldn't be able to study at the college I want to. Can anyone give me advice? Can anyone just comfort me and assure me that I'm not crazy? I am just so lost.

  • NancyBarile

    I’ve Been There

    Hi Casey –

    I’m sorry to hear about this problem you’re having. It seems like you’ve gone through most of the protocols on how to handle a situation like this – and if you haven’t, I suggest you go through this chain: (1) Talk to the teacher; (2) Talk to the Guidance Counselor; (2) Talk to the Department Head; (4) Talk to the principal. If a group of you could get together and talk to the teacher, that, too, might help. 

    That being said, I think every student in the world has been in your position. My advice would be to concentrate on the learning and not the grade (although I do understand the implications it has for a scholarship). In college and in life you will meet professors and employers who grade and evaluate in ways you might deem unfair. We have all been there. Sometimes, sadly, there’s just nothing that you can do about it, except to move on and grow from the experience of – once again – overcoming adversity. Practice with overcoming unfair situations and moving on is extremely valuable – because, unfortunately life is not always fair. 

    This experience would make a great college essay (on the common app – the question about failure), and how you overcame it to move on to success.

    I am 57 years old, and I can STILL remember situations like this from high school, but you move on. You realize that sometimes you can’t change unfair situations – ONLY your reaction to them. 

  • David

    Another consideration

    To all the teachers complaining about students not paying attention, I just want to say that there is probably more to it than you realize. This isn't me attacking you, but I really want teachers to understand.

    If one of your students is having a hard time with attention they most likely have ADHD. Instead of devolving into a bickering match with that student perhaps you should be helping them comprehend that they have a learning disability that needs to be treated instead.

    Teachers are the people who are in the best position to identify this disorder, yet so often they have feelings of anger towards the person instead of sympathy. Yes, ADHD might make them more argumentative and combative, but this isn't them trying to be a dick just to get a rise out of you, they simply can't help it.

    Also, ADHD isn't just a child's disease of being hyper. In fact, the hyperactivity is not the main problem: the inattention is. After all, it's not called "Hyperactivity Disorder." I really wish a teacher would have noticed my ADHD when I was in grade school, it would have helped me so much. But instead, it took me until age 29 to get properly diagnosed. Now, with appropriate treatment, I am excelling in college as a 30-something. It sure would have been nice to succeed at it as a 20-something though.