teacher-advice

holy crap holy crap o my god the swatch of the fabric that i want from my prom dress came today and its freaking gorgeous like idk how they made it bc it looks like ENCHANTED FABRIC but its like most delicate chiffon ever i’m soo worried that i’ll mess up i’m gonna bring the swatch to school and ask my former sewing teacher for advice lolol

if you’re an adult that works with kids of any age do me two quick favors:

  • learn the symptoms of adhd and autism and their presentation in all genders. you dont have to be an expert, just know a bit about it beyond popular knowledge.
  • learn to recognize signs a kid is being abused in any way. beyond bruises and black eyes. learn to recognize the fearful apologies and hesitation. do some research.

do me these two favors and save tens of lives.

that’s no exageration either. after teaching my mom basics about mental disorders, she started spotting neurodivergent kids in her classrooms and helped them get help. almost every child she’s helped has been diagnosed with the disorder she predicted and none of them would have been diagnosed at a young age without her help. knowing this stuff matters.

learn. save lives. don’t make kids grow up in fear of their symptoms and family.

advice for college freshmen:

tolkien your essays; hemingway your emails

essays are tangents and rabbit holes and diversions, woven together with lots of unnecessary descriptive words to demonstrate a proficient understanding of a subject you were meant to research in more depth but did not, in place of other pursuits, or could not, because you chose your subject poorly, and so now you must flesh out an arduous ten-page research paper and convince your scrutinizing instructor that you are well-versed in the topic at hand.

emails are blunt. say what you mean. be specific. end it quickly.

my biggest piece of college advice:

develop good relationships with your professors. 

  • be that one kid who raises their hand for EVERY question in class (but don’t talk just to talk – you don’t want to be like the one girl in the back of my philosophy class who was clearly just in love with the sound of her own voice. make your answers/questions valuable and related to what’s happening in that lesson)
  • pay excellent attention in lecture and remain engaged (even if the class is…horrid)
  • introduce yourself to your professor on the first day of class and tell them how much you’re looking forward to the class
  • go to their office hours and discuss the lectures and lessons, if anything just to reinforce what you’re learning and making sure you’re on the right track
  • send them links every now and then to material that is tangential to the course they may find interesting/useful in lecture
  • don’t be barraging and relentless and annoying, but show them that you are an active/engaged learner!!

showing that you are engaged and interested in what they’re teaching will make them remember you. this will make your life INFINITELY easier when shit maybe goes bad during the semester – if they know that you are an engaged, interested, good student, they are far more likely to meet you halfway and compromise with you when you maybe don’t do well on an exam/paper, or when you are going through some Shit™ and need to catch up on stuff. 

i firmly believe one of the big reasons i was able to graduate with a perfect GPA was because all my professors liked me, because they knew i was invested in the material (whether i genuinely found it interesting or because i needed to be for the grade). i was able to negotiate due dates on papers when my anxiety got really bad, work out extra papers to ensure a good grade in the class to make up for previous flubs, get loads of help on catching up on lecture when i was absent, get help on drafts of essays, etc. also, it just makes your professors happy to see engaged, passionate students, which is a reward in and of itself.

so yeah. put forth the proper effort to make friends with your professors – it is 300% worth it in the long haul.  

when around a crush...

my brain: be cool, don’t act too interested otherwise they’ll notice somethings up and  do not try and be funny because you might end up embarrassing yourself.

then what ends up happening: comes across as uninterested to the point of boredom and seems boring with no originality

me: why am I like this

2

Disclaimer: This is how I personally deal with scary teachers. While I hope my advice would help a lot of people, it does not necessarily apply to everyone.

Teachers are arguably the most important part of the classroom. Their personality, teaching style, and overall handling of the curriculum can make or break a student’s productivity in that class. Most are brilliant; however, there are some that take their brilliance with a big spoonful of intimidation. Here is how I deal with them.

ONE: Be prepared. Some classes you can walk into with half a pencil and a sheet of paper. This is probably not that class. Make sure to have all the supplies you might need with you - a pen, an extra pen (in the exact same color), a corrector (if allowed), and some pencils as well as a notebook or paper. Have your textbook with you. If you can, bring an entire stationery shop. Don’t be the parasite that takes from their neighbors.

TWO: Be alert. Don’t fall asleep, please. It may be a 7am class or the one after lunch, but do whatever it takes to stay awake and alert.

THREE: Be respectful. Some teachers are fine being called by a simple “cher”. Some are not. Make sure to know what this teacher prefers. And while I recommend you do this to all your teachers, I stress this for the scary ones: greet them. Give them a curt or cheery “Good morning!” (depending on what they seem to prefer) when you pass by them in the hallway. Say a polite “Thank you!” when you leave the class. Smile at them in the hall and greet them a good afternoon. They might ignore you (actually, they most probably will), but don’t stop. Just keep doing it. It might seem awkward, but this show of courtesy isn’t a fault you have to fix.

FOUR: Participate in their class. You’ll need an insane amount of courage. It’s so much easier to retreat and keep your mouth shut - but that’s what everyone else is already doing. So when the teacher asks a question, raise your hand and answer it! It shows you’re genuinely interested in what they’re teaching. Major bonus points.

FIVE: Be patient and persevere. It’s not easy. Sometimes they make you speak in front and you feel like fainting, or they spring a hard question onto you and you want to cry - but whatevery you do, don’t give up. Take every challenge with poise and grace, and please keep your dignity, haha. Put effort into your work and that effort will not go to waste. If they ask you a hard question, think on it, and give an answer you genuinely believe in. If you’re wrong, ask why and try to learn from it. Your effort may not translate into your grades - that’s not a guarantee, unfortunately - but it will stand out to your teacher in a very good way. You may be wearing ripped jeans but you can still be treated like a mature adult - just act like one.

And that’s it! Thank you so much for reading. I personally think this should apply for all teachers, but it’s definitely a must for the ones that make you want to crawl into a hole. Treat all teachers with the same respect you extend towards your favorite teacher, and your relationship with them will become so much better.

Anyway, I hope these tips help you, even if just a little bit! Have a nice day!

  • Schools: Why are all the students so tired?
  • Students: Probably because of the 4-5 hours of homework you give us
  • Schools: Why are all the students failing?
  • Students: Because we're fucking tired
  • Schools: We better give them more homework so they understand the material
It’s easy just to tell people what their faults are. Especially from a distance; you know, like you need to braver, you need to be kinder, you need to grow a little common sense. But, if you really want to help people, you have to actively encourage them to be the best that they can possibly be. That’s how you get results, that’s how you make a difference.
—  Charlie Fairhead (S31 E13)