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Maharrey, Julie, Jefferson state Community College, 55 county road 951
Mr. James Englerth, Pittsford Mendon High School, 472 Mendon Road, Pittsford, NY 14534
Sorry that this is so long. I have to be really precise about what I am implying (and am not implying) because trolls on this site are looking for any reason to verbally abuse anyone. This story is in response to the stereotyping prompt. I knew a kid who was ridiculously book-smart--literally Stanford-level talent at science and writing. Talented, creative musician too. She happened to be stuck in a rough family situation. It had always made school more difficult, but in the past, she had always persevered through, even in all her accelerated--and double accelerated--classes. Her home situation started to get even more out of hand, and the kid had the courage to confide in Mr. Englerth about what was going on. He listened to her concerns earnestly and tried to help her as best as he could. Good on him, really. :) Unfortunately, he simultaneously began to treat her like a broken kid. I think he assumed she couldn't have the executive functioning others her age could. (Mind you, that couldn't be further from the truth.) Many times, he told her it wasn't "reasonable" for her to take as many AP's or even honors classes as she wanted. She ended up listening to him and dropped the hard classes. Worst of all, she started to genuinely believe she was just some troubled kid, unable to achieve what the others did; even though she knew she was smart, she felt she was too much of a basket case to show it. Even in her required classes, she started underperforming and missing a ton of school. Since fourth grade, her dream school was Harvard. (She probably was smart enough not to tell Mr. Englerth because she didn't want to be considered even crazier for holding herself to "even more unrealistic expectations.") Fast forward to her senior year, and she was hard-pressed to get into a run-of-the-mill state school. She was sad of what had become but still maintained this harmful mentality. It's tragic. By the way, I used to go to Mendon, and I had Mr. Englerth as my counselor. I have a soft spot for the man. He's a good guy who genuinely wants to help his kids. NONE of this is intended to bash him. Without a doubt, he was just trying to make school easier on this girl and protect her from difficult situations. Unfortunately, he failed to realize she was such a strong person that all she needed was a reminder of her own strengths. She needed to be encouraged--not told to play it safe to avoid more tough stuff in her life. I don't know what ended up happening to her. [Insert name], if you see this, as always, I hope your family is doing better. Secondly, please know that your path to success has not been closed; it has just been interrupted. (Plus, whether you are at a community college or Yale, the school is unbelievably lucky to have a mind like yours.) If you believe in yourself like you once did, you will accomplish awesome things for the world! I think you know who this is. If you ever need to talk, just search my name in Instagram, and DM me. And Mr. Englerth, thanks for being a loving man. Just please be more conscientious about the value of your advice. After all, guidance is literally in your job title. Your words have more weight than you may realize.
Dr. Sara Wheeler, Gadsden State Community College, Anniston, AL
Dr. Wheeler is an excellent teacher. She takes the time to work with students and gives them every opportunity to improve their grade.
Randy Potcinske, 6553 State Hwy 66, Royse City, TX 75189
Arrested for masturbating on the side of the road. Shawnee Creek Road in Red River County. He exposed himself.
Libby Held, Holly High School, Holly, MI, 48442
Teachers like Mrs. Held are frustrating. It would definitely be understandable if they wanted kids to succeed in college and therefore gave them really picky feedback, allowing them to eventually reach high standards. (I've had a handful of teachers like that, and they're usually my favorites. :) ) However, a teacher shouldn't expect the students to meet the higher standard right off the bat--especially if, like it sounds Mrs. Held does, they can't even explain what that standard looks like. In truth, it seems like Mrs. Held couldn't explain her OWN grading. That raises a red flag. Now, I get that English grades are all somewhat subjective. However, there's a difference between Mrs. Held's grading and English teachers who don't have a totally foolproof grading method--but at least have a decently reasoned approach behind their thinking. Again, picky feedback does help students grow, so I would actually be okay with her giving students college-level *feedback* on their work. On another note, the unnecessarily picky *grading* really does hurt kids. Whether or not the colleges with purported "holistic admissions" want to admit it, so much of their decisions are still based on grades, especially junior-year grades. Teachers know those facts full well! It's not exactly fair for intelligent, diligent kids to be held to college-level standards grade-wise and therefore have to worry their dream school will reject them. Again, teachers know that full well! Plus, Mrs. Held, if you are truly worried your students will not be prepared for college if you don't grade them like you would a college student...please don't be! These are honors kids; unless they truly don't deserve to be in the class, their work ethic and abilities will be enough to do just fine--or better--in college. And if a student does not deserve to be in the class, please talk to the principal and knock them down to regular English! Please be harsh...when it's fair. Mrs. Held, if you can just save the picky criticisms for the feedback, not the grading and kick out kids who genuinely don't deserve to be in honors--I think your teaching style might be much more valuable to eleventh graders. Though ultimately, if you still feel the need to treat your high school students like college students, let's admit it...you might just not like high school kids. Which doesn't mean you're a bad person! At all!!! I don't really like high school kids myself. In my opinion, they are generally relatively awkward and entitled. Still, please don't make the kids bare the brunt of your attitude if you feel that way. And don't put yourself through a job you don't truly love! You work with kids more than they work with you...so I can't even imagine working a *full-time* job with people you don't like at all. As this reviewer mentioned, you might love teaching at a community college. You might be happier and more beneficial to students there.
tarrant county community college, TX
delaware county community college, Robert R Johnson (P), Media, PA
delaware county community college, Robert R Johnson (P), Media, PA
Math 1148, Columbus state community college, Columbus, OH
Love Benton, columbus state community college, OH