Middle School Student
Q: What do you have in common with your teachers?
A: I like having things in common with my teachers. When I was India I had three things in common with all my teachers in each grade. All my teachers were Indian just like me, they spoke the same language as me, and they were all female like me. There are very few male teachers in India, most of then are female. Also one more thing I had in common with my teachers in India was that they were the same race as me. In India I had a lot of things in common with all of my teachers. But in America now I have very few things in common with my teachers.
At my elementary school, I had one thing common with my art teacher. We both liked art. I was always excited when we had art. My teacher appreciated me, and we could talk about art. I was sad when I didn't have her as my teacher the next year. I always enjoyed art. What I had learned was that the more you have in common with your teachers the more you pay attention in class with them. You do not goof up, and get in trouble. You have fun being in their class. That is what happened to me. I had fun being in my art teacher’s class.
This year in middle school, I had one thing common with my French teacher. We both liked French. Since I had this thing in common with her, I really like French class. I pay more attention, which helps learn French better. The more I understood French better, the better my French grade was. What I learned was that the more you like your teacher, the more you would try to get a good grade in that class. If you do not have anything in common with your teachers then you will probably not like your teachers.
In addition, this year I had one more thing in common with my International Studies, we liked human geography. Every time I had International Studies, I would be excited to learn. I also understood better. When I learned that in 2nd semester I was not going to have her, I was sad. Now I have a new International Studies teacher.
Q: Does it matter that students and teachers have things in common?
A: Yes, it definitely matters that students and teachers have things in common.
When teachers and students have things in common, they interact more with each. They get to know each other. Students pay more attention, they like their teacher.
If you have nothing in common with your teacher, then you probably will not like the class. You also will not be able to focus in class much.
There are kids who do not have anything in common with some of their teachers or maybe all of them, and it is hard for them to focus in school. Some students try to find things they have in common with their teachers, and they find it. Then they can start to know their teachers better.
Students and teachers can talk about the same thing if they have things in common. The thing is that students can get in trouble if they do not have things in common. What happens is that they will not like their teacher because they do not have anything in common with them. They will goof in class, and not pay attention. This is why it does matter for students and teachers to have things in common.
Photo (c) 2017 Kristin Leong
Humanizing the gaps separating teachers and students.