Middle School Student
Q: What do you have in common with your teachers?
A: I unsurprisingly don’t have much in common with my current teachers. I mean, obviously everyone has some things in common with their teachers--we're all human, right? However, things like being human, and being alive, those really broad and abstract things really do not matter.
For nearly all of my teachers I have not been able to connect on a personal level to find out things we may have in common.
I am male and I have only had three non-substitute teachers who were male.
I am also white and nearly all of my teachers have been white from grades K-6. I cant quite grasp how much that interferes with the education of my friends of color.
So the two teachers I think Identify with the most would be my 4th and 5th grade teachers. Both of them are male and Caucasian, like me, but there are other things that connect me to those teachers too.
One of the best memories I have that bonds me to my 4th grade teacher was when everybody was sharing what they had done over a three-day weekend and once the people who wanted to share had finished, my teacher said, “Who spent the whole weekend playing Halo the Master Chief Collection?” He raised his hand and obviously expected nobody else to raise their hand. And nobody did. Not one single hand was in the air out of the 48 hands in our class, except my teacher's, and of course mine. This small memory seems kind of small and unimportant, but this has meant a lot to me because at that moment I just felt so connected to my teacher and it really helped me pay attention and just realize class is actually worthwhile.
Q: Does it matter that students and teachers have things in common?
A: I personally think that having things In common with your teachers in absolutely critical. Words cannot explain how important I think this is. I definitely believe that the teachers who have things in common with their students are the ones who have the biggest impact on students' education and, just as importantly, who the students turn out to be. I also think that it is way easier to teach somebody who you are able to identify with them.
One thing that I think is the reason that having things in common with your teachers enhances your education (and basically your life) is that having things in common with somebody helps you humanize them. Instead of seeing them as just another random person you see them as an actual human. Instead of seeing your teacher as just another person trying to tell you stuff, you see them as a human with human qualities and an interesting personality.
If you are able to see the humanity in your teachers it will help you understand them so much more. There is so much to say about this but it’s hard to put it into words. As somebody who has had many teachers I have not related to, I really think this needs to change.
There are a LOT of students who have their education and life limited by the fact that their teachers/mentors don’t seem even that human.
Humanizing the gaps separating teachers and students.