Kaneland’s “Dear Edi” advice column

By on December 3, 2010

Dear Edi,
For some reason, I think my teacher hates me, and I don’t know why. They don’t call on me when I have my hand up. They even blame me for things I didn’t do. Any tips on how to get through the term?
-Not Feelin’ The Love

Dear Not Feelin’,
Despite what you think, your teacher probably doesn’t hate you, although you may not be their favorite. Chances are the issue is simply that you and your teacher have completely different personalities.

Not getting the attention we need is very frustrating. But before you write a teacher off as hating you, take a good look at yourself. Is it possible that something you’re doing—or not doing—is causing the teacher to feel frustrated with you? If you’re not turning in homework on time, then start doing it. If you’re talking in class or not paying attention, cut it out. Those kinds of behaviors are guaranteed to make any teacher feel frustrated with any student.

But if an honest look at yourself shows that you’re already the model student, maybe it’s just a personality clash. Use it to your advantage. Work harder and show the teacher your absolute best work. Consider it a challenge to do well in the class and prove the teacher’s “bad” opinion—which still might be in your head—of you wrong by being the very best student you can be. If you’re brave, you might even ask the teacher, in a non-confrontational way, what’s up. Say something like, “Mr. or Ms. Jones, I want to be a better student in your class. What can I do to improve?” Maybe he or she will have some suggestions. We think you should also start coming in during STEN to get extra help, because we all know that teachers tend to like students they perceive as hard-working and interested in their subject. (Plus, even if it doesn’t improve his or her opinion, it’ll improve your grade).

The absolute worst thing to do would be to stop trying or to return the negativity. First, that will only confirm the teacher’s negative opinion, and second, it’s just a fact of life that people come in all types. Learning to deal with personality clashes is part of growing up. We won’t get to choose who we work with or who our bosses are in the real world, so learning to cope now is a valuable lesson.

Dear Edi,
I have a teacher who really annoys me. What really bugs me is when they hand out worksheets and don’t explain it. I ask for help and they don’t help. Once, I had my hand up for 10 minutes. What can I do to cope?

Dear Annoyed,
We all know how crowded our classes are, so though it may seem that the teacher is just ignoring you, they are probably just be trying to help to many other students.

Most teachers can not stop class to explain something only one person has a question on. Therefore, we suggest that instead of just raising your hand, make the effort to go up to the teacher or see them during STEN. If you still do not understand how they are explaining things, you can go to a former teacher in that subject, one that you feel can really explain things in terms you understand. Just as every student has their way of learning, every teacher uses a different teaching method.

No teacher will intentionally ignore a student in need and they won’t try to make things more complicated. They are here to help students, so you if you make the effort to get extra help they will give it to you.

Have a question? Write to “Edi,” the Kaneland Krier’s 12–member editorial board. Questions can be submitted via email krier@kaneland.org, emailed to our adviser at cheryl.borrowdale@kaneland.org, or placed in the drop boxes in the library and counselors’ offices or the silver mailbox outside B111. While your name must be on any letter and submissions may be verified, letters will be published anonymously. Questions will be picked up by our adviser, and the name will be taken off before it’s given to us, so even the Krier staff will not know your name. The only reason the Krier will break confidentiality is in situations where harm is imminent, such as suicide threats or child abuse, which our board feels ethically bound to report.