Switch Your Class, Switch Your Perspective

Brooklyn Brackett, Staff Writer

Many students understand the struggle of a poor relationship with their professor. No matter the subject, if a student is only focused on their frustration with a teacher, it seems impossible for them to learn. This effect is prominent in a child’s developmental years (like elementary and middle school), but as high school students, it impacts our lives the most. According to studies at NYU Steinhardt, “relationships with teachers in the later years of schooling can still significantly impact the academic achievement trajectories of students” (1). Students’ lives during our high school years can ultimately decide the future of our education. When deciding on a major, a college, and how to continue our educational careers, support from faculty members can radically reduce stress and keep us on target. Studies show that “positive teacher-student relationships can reduce rates of dropping out by nearly half, help explore options for college, and provide support for further academic or vocational aspirations” (1).

Students often struggle to form “constructive relationships” with their teachers. Unfortunately, administrators often fail to realize the impact of their faculty members on a student’s grades. At Goffstown High School, it’s not uncommon to hear teachers and other faculty claim that “students are responsible for 85 percent of their education, while teachers can only influence 15”. However, this idea has been outdated; “the main variable in the classroom is not the student, but the teacher”. The Australian Society for Evidenced Based Teaching claims that an educator must “believe [their] students are capable of succeeding and …  press them to do so” in order to reveal their true potential. Articles published by BOHA show that “positive teacher expectations were associated with high academic performance or academic gains, whereas negative teacher expectations resulted in decrease in academic performance”. As a teenager and student, it is extremely difficult to believe in yourself without the proper support system. In turn, if a teacher doesn’t form a positive bond with a student, grades, motivation, and confidence can crumble.


To students:

Fight hard for a proper education. It is your responsibility to take pride in your grades and other academic activities. The way you choose to live these next four years is what you will remember for the rest of your life. If you feel unchallenged or unmotivated, talk to your guidance counselor about a class or teacher change. A new, healthy environment can pick you back up onto your feet right away. That’s what guidance is here for!


To teachers:

Remember that you influence the trajectory of a student’s life in every class you teach. You have the power to change a student’s perspective of learning with some constructive criticism or an interesting lesson. Focus on your lessons. Help your students understand. Guide students to their true potential and teach them to respect and appreciate themselves and their teachers: no matter their grade level, motivation, or GPA.