The Norman Transcript

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January 17, 2014

Remember to get both sides of the story

NORMAN — Our family is of a different ethnicity from the majority of the students at my oldest child’s school. He has said to us several times that his teacher doesn’t like him because of his skin color, especially when asked about his mediocre grades.

With your many years of classroom experience and working in schools, we would like your honest opinion as to whether you feel that he is making a valid point. If so, who should we talk to about this problem?

— Joe, Norman

Dear Joe,

You asked us to be honest, so here goes. The majority of teachers we have worked with could care less about the color of a kid’s skin or what clothes they wear or how they fix their hair. Teachers want four basic things from every student:

· Be in class on time and ready to work: When a student is absent, it actually makes more work for the teacher because the lesson has to be retaught and graded at a later time. It also causes unnecessary stress on the student.

Imagine you’re the teacher in first hour; you have four students absent. When do you teach those students the missed lesson, and how do you make sure they are as prepared as the other students? Same class, but now three students have walked in tardy at different times. This means the class has been disrupted three times and the class has had to be started four separate times.

· Have a pleasant attitude: In life, we all have to be places we aren’t particularly fond of. By adopting a positive attitude, it only aids in receiving positive responses. Nobody wants to deal with someone who is surly and rude. Why would anyone go out of his or her way to help someone when being treated badly?

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