Inspired by a letter my friend wrote, but did not send or publish
Dear (school name),
I am very angry with how things have been running at (school name). You may be wandering why I would write a letter of critique considering the fact that I am an eighth grader. You may be annoyed and think to yourself, Don’t be so pessimistic, you only have five months left, you can make it, you’ll be fine. The thing is, I’m not writing this letter for just me, I’m writing it for all of the other students who I want to be happy with their time here by the time they graduate, not just praying to get out like the eighth grade right now. Believe me, this is not just an eighth grade feeling, younger grades tell us how they feel all the time and how frustrated they are because they trust us more than they trust any teacher! Our school needs to improve drastically and here are some ways it can do that.
1. Better Student and Teacher Relations and Communication.
The students and the teachers do not get along in any way whatsoever. On some days you’ll be walking through the halls and receive dirty looks from teachers. Sometimes you’ll notice teachers standing around with a mean look on their face just waiting for a student to mess up. It’s no wonder why the students are afraid to talk to them about anything! Even when students do talk to the teachers about issues they are having, they are usually not taken seriously. Some girls had an issue with something a teacher said (they had came to us first because it really worried them) so they told another teacher after much deliberation amongst themselves to do this. They told the teacher their issue and got scolded for coming to us first! Right after, the teacher they told came to us and told us the whole story. It seemed like this shouldn’t be our business, we just want to go about our day. I mean, if someone asks for advice, I think we have a right to help them out.
We were once told by some seventh graders that a teacher had called us “little snots.” How do you think that made us feel?
Communication also needs to improve. My brother had 24 missing assignments all at once and my mom never got notified about it until the end of the trimester when she noticed his grade was an F. This teacher never bothered to email my mom about this problem.
Many students have missing assignments or their grades don’t get logged so they think they are doing well when they are not or vice versa! Believe me, I am not just “making up” these complaints. I have heard these over and over again!
2. Teachers Should Spend More Time on Complex Subjects.
My class has recently had a test. Nobody got over a B. We got recover, but that was mainly people asking the teacher for the answer. In the end, none of us could tell you anything about intransitive verbs, verb tenses, passive and active voice, and anything else in that unit.
The reason that this happened was because of the fact that when a new subject is introduced, we are merely given a definition and told to go to work on the homework, even when no one understands. You would think that after all of us failed the homework assignment that we would go back and look over it, but this is not the case, we just move right along.
We are not learning anything at all with this teaching method. We forget everything right after the test. I could not even tell you what the test was on the unit before this one.
3. Teachers Should Have more Trust in Students.
We are always told that we are being “treated like adults” by the teachers. I know this is not true. We are also told that we are being “prepared for highschool.” Once again not true. I’m sure that you aren’t scolded for going upstairs and getting your lunch or going to the bathroom without asking. I’m sure that if two adults don’t get along in the work place, they don’t have to go have a “peace conference” with their boss.
I was briefly interrogated for walking to a lunchroom table a few tables away from mine to see my dad because he brought us lunch that day. A teacher wanted to make sure I was doing anything.
Also, what is with teachers teaming up to scold a student? I think just one of them to scold conveys the point, they don’t need to team up and make the student feel even worse about what they did.
Another thing that bothers me is the fact that teachers have to get involved in every small conflict. People aren’t going to get along all of the time. It happens. It should be up to the student to solve their problem unless they ask for a teacher’s help.
I could go on, but I think that I will start with those big three complaints.
So, did you like my open letter? Truthfully, I only ended it because it’s late and I’m tired. Now for a real ending.