Middle School Student
Q: What do you have in common with your teachers?
A: Teachers have always been socially and emotionally distant from us, the students. Especially in my earlier days in school. Now I can find more things in common with my teachers.
One main example of this was when I was in fifth grade. Throughout all my years in elementary school, everybody looked forward to fifth grade. The teachers were nice and relatable to the kids. They wanted to make school fun instead of just get their job done.
The first thing is that there were only two fifth grade teachers at my elementary school, making it more personal. Also, not only were those two teachers very close friends, but they also ran a blog about their classes, both as an educational tool and for fun. One of the teachers published vlogs each day.
Looking back, the main reason I liked them so much is because we shared common interests. They shared memes in class and whenever there was a new tend one of the teachers would bring it to our class and make a vlog about it, like lip sinking lyrics to popular songs, or having a March Madness basketball game.
Because they were so relatable, they were fun. But that was just one year. Every other year in my school career all of my teachers have been female. I feel that these teachers weren’t relatable, not because of their gender, but because of their personalities. They wanted to get stuff done the right way, and that is not a bad thing, but they just didn't make it fun along the way.
Q: Does it matter that students and teachers have things in common?
A: Well at first, I would say no. We should not go out of our way to find a teacher that is the same gender or race as the students.
Yes, it may be helpful, but unless there is a language gap, it seems inconvenient to choose teachers based on gender or race. You should not discriminate, but you should not chose a teacher only for those aspects.
However, a good teacher should be emotionally relatable. Not just a figure of power forcing their students to do boring things, they should be like a close friend. Keeping them on track academically but not being afraid to have fun.
Photo (c) 2017 Kristin Leong
Humanizing the gaps separating teachers and students.