“It’s not my fault! My teacher hates me!”
Almost everyone has used this excuse when explaining a bad grade to their parents.
Are we lying when we say it though? Every high school has teachers who are known to have favorite students. They call on them more, they joke around with them or is it just the students’ perspective?
“For myself, It’s like a mirror reflection. If a student is friendly and nice, I’ll be friendly and nice. I say that on the first day of school” said math teacher Doug Kramer.
“I don’t think teachers do (have favorites). It’s just that students perceive it that way. If I ask a question and only one kid raises their hand every time, kids say ‘you only talk to this person’ and I’ll feel ‘well they’re the only one to call on,’” English teacher Holly Astheimer said.
But if teachers don’t really have favorites, why does it seem as if teachers like some students better than others?
“I have over 100 kids” said chorus director Melissa Telesco. “I know for me, there are certain students that I’m around longer and get to know more. So if one teacher is a coach outside of school, they might talk to one student more because they can connect with them on whatever sport they play.”
Sophomore Kristina Simon agrees.
“I think teachers have favorites because they might know that person more and have a stronger relationship with them. It’s not intentional. You might think a teacher doesn’t like you, but they really just don’t know you as well as other students,” Simon said.
However, not everyone thinks that teachers have favorites just based on common personality.
“I’ve never really been a favorite. I think people who get better grades and talk and contribute to the conversation are the favorites,” said sophomore Vicky Nase.
So maybe the teacher knows other students better, but doesn’t it sometimes seem like they dislike certain students, and never talk to them?
“I’d like to think that every teacher is nice and professional, but obviously they aren’t. So friends talk to each other and teachers get reputations of not being helpful, and then the students are already prejudiced of the teacher,” said Kramer.
“With a limited amount of time each day, it’s hard to know what everyone wants and is thinking, because I can’t get around to talk to everyone every day. That’s why, every so often, I like to give out note cards and chocolate bars to students so I still have some connection with them,” said Telesco.
But if a student is not the teacher’s pet, does that make them discouraged?
“If you don’t like the teacher, you don’t really want to participate. You won’t want to do what they ask you to do. You become lazy,” said freshman Jessica Hanner
“Sometimes a student might say on an evaluation, ‘You joked around more with so and so and never with me. That’s why I didn’t talk.’ but it’s just human nature to be drawn to the people who are outgoing and funny. I want to tell them ‘No, talk to me,” said Kramer.
So when it comes down to it, talk to your teachers. They really do want to help you.
By Lindsey Ostrum