Students and Teachers Talk Change

Hannah Tennant and Meredith White

At any school, there is a delicate balance between students and teachers. Every classroom has its own specific chemistry, and one unpleasant interaction can change the classroom atmosphere.
Teachers take on a variety of approaches to confront, befriend, combat, and above all educate the unpredictable teenage mind. Results vary from classroom to classroom, although the objective remains the same. In giving students what is in their best interest (whether it be a pop quiz or no homework for the weekend), teachers and students can forge a unique strain of friendship. However, it is difficult for teachers to glean much of a student’s authentic personality in the classroom setting.
As with many conflicts, communication lies at the core of the rubbing the wrong way between teachers and students.
Mirador offers a modest start at the resolve. Mirador asked both students and teachers at Miramonte if there was anything they would like to change about the other party.

Teachers:

Distractions: “Lose the enchantment with the cell phone. It’s a huge distraction. Some students are so obsessed they can’t put it down. Get over it.” Mr. Whitaker

Relationships: “My job is not to befriend anyone. I’m not trying to please anyone. I have a pretty serious firewall. My objective is to educate. If you ask a kid what they want for dinner, they’re going to say ice cream, not what is in their best interest.”- Mr. Frippiat

Boldness: “I wish that students were more outspoken. I want them to challenge me more.”-Mr. Fitzgerald

Environment: “I want school to be a fun place. It becomes too much of a drudge if it’s not. I want to tease you, I want you to tease me back. I like to play Trivial Pursuit once in a while. I don’t want students to hate coming to this place.” -Mr. Whitaker

Stress: “Students at Miramonte are far too stressed. There are so many exterior pressures that it takes away the fun of just being a kid.” -Mr. Collins
Personalities: “I don’t think classroom personalities and outside personalities are similar. Students wear a mask in my class. I was a reserved student in high school, but I wouldn’t say I was very reserved in high school. It’s a nice ideal for students to feel comfortable to reveal themselves in a classroom. But people are at different stages developmentally. I’m not into forcing people to talk who don’t usually.”- Mr. Frippiat

Student Activism:
“I wish that students felt more of a sense of a need to change the world. I wish they took a stance, and on some level followed through and understood a need for social justice.”

Students:

Stereotypes: “It seems that most teachers fit us into this Miramonte stereotype and assume that we’re only after good grades. But some of us do actually care.” -Senior Kirby Schultz
Plans: “I like it when teachers have a set schedule and lesson plan.” -Senior Brian Henson
Grades: “I wish that teachers posted grades on Blackboard.” -Sophomore Julia Govan

Collaboration:
“There needs to be better collaboration between departments so there are more consistent school wide policies. Grades should be based on your performance, not your teacher.”-Anonymous Junior

Rounding: “Teachers should be more like Mr. Collins. I had an 89.7%, and a teacher didn’t round up.”-Anonymous Sophomore

Group Work: “I don’t like when teachers generalize grades for group work. One person can end up doing all the work and everyone gets the same grade. It’s hard to get to know your teacher super well, or have them know you.”-Sophomore Taylor Nielson

Miscommunications: “There are a lot of miscommunications with Blackboard and when you’re absent. Teachers don’t make it very easy to make-up work.”-Sophomore Emma Jones

Availability: “More open office hours, teachers are never there at lunch.”
-Anonymous junior