Making the grade: teachers and students express ideal expectations of each other

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Georgia Mynatt , Reporter

Everyone has a vision in our minds of what the perfect teacher looks like and it’s probably one that lets students mess around in class, is an easy grader and most importantly, never assigns homework. For teachers, the perfect vision of a student is one that always turns in assignments on time, acts like an adult, is never on their phone during class and never complains. However, neither of these visions are realistic.

One of the biggest challenges that teachers face is when kids have a negative attitude in class. “It’s really hard for me to teach when my kids are always grumpy and don’t even try,” language arts and public speaking teacher Heidi Jordan says. When students change their mindset about something, it affects them as well as others around them in a positive way.

Fr. Eliot Wright is in all advanced classes and works very hard to succeed. In order to do that he depends on teachers to make class fun and engaging. “For me, it is more effective when teachers make the content we are learning enjoyable and come up with creative, fun ways to teach it to us,” Wright says.

Making an effort to get to know students also has a big impact on the way the students  learn. So. Emma Fitzgerald says she loves it when teachers ask about her day or make an effort to get to know her outside of school. “It makes me feel like they want to teach me and overall, help me succeed,” Fitzgerald says. ”I also like it when teachers have a sense of humor. It makes them easy to relate to and takes the “teacher” label off of them. I feel like it’s easier for me to see them as a regular person.” add

Taking risks in class is hard for many students but it is something that teachers value.  Jordan says she loves it when students are not afraid of being wrong and are willing to experiment with different ideas and topics. “It’s great when students have an open mindset in terms of trying new things. If students dive into topics they are unfamiliar with and a little bit uncomfortable with, they will learn so much more,” Jordan spills.

There are some things that Wright finds disruptive about his teachers, “I hate it when teachers chew gum in class, it bugs the heck out of me when they’re talking in front of the whole class and all you can hear is their gum smacking.” This is a shared opinion among students.

Fitzgerald isn’t without her opinions as well,  “When my hand is down it means I don’t know the answer to your question, but when my hand is up, it means I do know the answer. I just don’t get what part of that they don’t understand,” she says.

Many students miss school due to sports and find it  difficult to keep up with all their assignments. Jordan says that she wants to see her students demonstrate the responsibility of asking for their work ahead of time so that even if they don’t have it done when they get back, they at least know what has happened when they were gone instead of showing up and expecting her to stop her teaching to fill them in on work. “I was never an athlete and it is something I regret not participating in. I know that sports and team activities teach kids a whole different set of life skills that you can’t learn in the classroom so I understand when they miss school for sports. I just want to make sure they communicate with me,” Jordan says.

Both students and their teachers value good communication, positivity, and open mindsets in the classroom. There seems to be a lack of communication and both the student and the teacher can reach out to close the gap.