As teens, it sometimes feels like the world is against us. It’s easy to believe your friends, family and teachers are going out of their way to make your life difficult. When you think a teacher is out to get you, it can feel like a personal attack.
Communication is key, says Jim English, an English teacher at Whitney Young in Chicago. Sometimes teachers say or do things that are taken the wrong way, but it can easily be resolved through a discussion.
“In all cases, I think the students are mistaken, and I would suggest they talk to the teacher,” English said. “And if they are too nervous talking to the teacher (by themselves), they should bring the counselor in.”
If a student doesn’t talk to the teacher or an administrator, they may be able talk to a fellow student who can help them get through the class.
Rick Cazzato, a junior at Bartlett, suggests building a bond with your teacher by breaking the ice with a joke. If you’re still wary of talking to a particular teacher, Cazzato suggests interacting with that teacher only during class when you’re surrounded by other students.
“Students could also ask questions during class to have a more friendlier atmosphere than having the fear of having an individual appointment to ask questions,” he said.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to get over whatever prevents you from doing your best in class.
“If students can’t fix it, they should ignore it and do their work,” English said, “because it’s that old cliché that nobody has to like you, and I guess that’s true.”