Middle School Student
Q: What do you have in common with your teachers?
A: “You follow MY rules in MY room.” First, it is not your room. It is the school's room. Second, why even have rules? Third, why should I even listen to you? Fourth, I really hate that voice of yours. These are my first four thought that come to mind when the teacher says the rules.
I am Asian. I am female. I am tall. I have glasses. I do not follow the rules. In fact, I hate the rules.
I never have had much in common with my teachers. I have had a few things in common, like gender, or family, or what I favor. However, one thing I had never had in common with my teachers was having an all-Asian teacher.
In addition, I have never met or had a teacher with as much opposition towards rules as much as me.
I remember that back in 5th grade, I had a Norwegian female teacher, who was very strict and expected a lot out of us. She was the bane of my fifth grade school life. And since our class was so boisterous, she was a pain. For all of us. I think that the biggest reason that I disliked her was because she had a chart of rules. And I always broke them.
In addition, for some reason the teacher disliked me so I was punished. If some of the teacher’s pets broke the rules, they were not punished. For an example, I broke the rule, “No talking in class while the teacher was talking.” I was punished by staying in for my recess. The other kid who was talking to me should have been punished too. But she wasn't, since she was favored. My teacher obviously did not like me. I was fine with her not liking me, because I did not like her. From having this teacher, I learned that rules are rules and if I do not follow them, the teacher will dislike me and I will have a terrible year.
I want to be who I truly am so I won’t change how I act in front of teachers or other people. Because I do not want to.
Q: Does it matter that students and teachers have things in common?
A: Yes, I think that having things in common with your teacher is very important. When we have things in common with our teachers, we can solve problems easier and we can have fewer problems. Though it is important to have things in common, we cannot always have things in common, and if we do, we must cherish them.
For me, it is very important to have someone who I can rely on and relate to. Whether that is a friend, or a family member, or a teacher, it is very important to have someone to relate to.
I honestly do not like counselors. It seems like they understand you. However, humans cannot understand everyone’s feelings. We are humans. So we tend to take sides. It's human nature and we cannot deny it. I really felt this when I was involved in a problem with a fellow classmate in 5th grade. She had misunderstood what I said and was hurt and had started crying. I tried to explain but the teacher and the counselor took sides with the crying one. So I couldn’t really do anything.
I am not sure if being Asian effects any of this, but one thing for sure is that in my family, I am taught not to keep all of my emotions in and stress over them. Therefore, if it is appropriate, I will say what is on my mind. However, teachers on the other hand want "school-appropriate conversations" and they want people to feel comfortable. Not saying that I disagree, but we should be able to express our feeling and not be punished.
Photo (c) 2017 Kristin Leong
Humanizing the gaps separating teachers and students.