Teacher, student relationships essential to student motivation

A student-teacher relationship is one of the most important elements when it comes to schools. Since students have seven teachers, it can be hard to always have a close relationship with them. Some students feel that for certain classes such as English, teachers pick and choose their favorites when they are grading student essays. Since there is no way to grade an essay like a scantron or multiple choice test, students have been concerned that their teachers don’t give them the grades they deserve, whether that is good or bad for their grade, based on their relationships.

There are people at school who feel that since they aren’t that close to their teachers compared to their classmates, they have unfair opportunities to get a good grade, such as retakes. Even though I don’t feel like I am in either of these positions, I have seen times where teachers (not only English teachers) have given some students retakes while other students were told they could not take it. Another argument these students have made is that since some students are closer with their teachers, they tend to get better scores because their teachers favor them. “There have been times where my English teacher worked with me a lot on my paper, but I still didn’t get a good grade,” a senior who wished to remain anonymous said. “I received a bad grade while other students who my teacher likes received good grades even though they didn’t go in for help.”

Even though people think teachers pick favorites, this is just not the case. Teachers can have better relationships with some students over others, but this doesn’t mean that they would grade unfairly. Teachers also tend to have retake policies that they have to follow, so having a student who was told they can’t retake or rewrite something usually isn’t the case. “My teachers have retake policies that are standard for all students so I don’t think teachers ever choose who can and can’t do retakes,” freshman Brett Strauss said.

Teachers have reputations and jobs that they care about and want to keep, so picking favorites, not being consistent with their grading and risking their jobs is not their intention when they are grading an essay. I also have had teachers such as SarahDebnam who take initiative to make sure that there is no unfair grading. Debnam makes sure that students do not put their names on their essay and instead makes them write their student ID so she does not know whose essay she is reading. Another reason I believe that teachers do not grade essays based on who wrote is because teachers have rubrics that help them grade papers. These are the same rubrics that are given to students so they can know what the teachers are looking for in their work. “I believe my English teachers care about our jobs and all of our success so I don’t think they would pick favorites,” junior Garrett Koch said.

For as long as we are going to school, there will always be problems pertaining to whether or not teachers grade students essays well. There are ways to make this issue better and to show students that teachers aren’t grading unjustly, such as what Debnam does; having students write their ID number instead of their names. Another thing teachers can do when dealing with retakes and rewrites is setting up rules about them before the year and talking about the guidelines for retaking a quiz or essay at the start of the school year.

 

Daniel Rothenberg

News Editor

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