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December 28, 2012

Do teachers have to offer extra credit?

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Q: It seems that more and more, there are so many teachers who just don’t like kids. Why do they go into teaching?

— Steve, Oklahoma City

Dear Steve,

Although it might appear at times that a teacher may not like kids, in our 49 years combined experience, we can only think of a handful of teachers who truly didn’t have the students’ best interests at heart. Fortunately, these don’t seem to last too long in education.

Are there days when teachers (same as parents) are fed up with behavior issues and non-cooperation? Absolutely. We both grew up during the time that “licks” were given in school, and we can honestly say there weren’t quite the number of issues we have now. Kids know they can’t be touched, so there’s no real deterrent to curb bad behavior.

Whoever thinks a teacher doesn’t like him should probably ask himself why. Sometimes a student’s interpretation of a situation isn’t completely accurate. For instance, if the answer to the above question is that “the teacher always tells me to sit down or be quiet,” the teacher has every right to expect the student(s) to follow classroom rules.

If a student feels as though a teacher doesn’t care for him or her, there’s a process to follow: Rationally talk to the teacher about the problem first, and if that doesn’t satisfy the problem, request a conference with a counselor or principal. As always, open communication is key.

Jeannie and Sally are certified school counselors with 49 years combined educational experience. Jeannie has two children, Sally three. The responses presented don’t necessarily represent the views of any certain school district. Please send questions to questions.classact@gmail.com.

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