So. When my son and his friends complained about certain teachers, I listened, at first, with half an ear. I figured they were mostly attributing their own lack of motivation, work and committment to the teacher’s flaws. And then I started to actually look at the assignments in a different way. This was primarily as a result of my son experiencing a brief disastrous dip in his grades and schoolwork. A dear friend of mine started talking to him and us about how to be successful, how to address schoolwork, etc. An example of what I began to see in some classes was as follows. Read Oedipus but I won’t give you any background on Greek drama. Tell me what all these words mean (describing aspects of Greek drama) but I won’t gie you historical context or source material or references. Do a presentation on Macbeth but oh, by the way, you don’t have to read Macbeth. Now I won’t underestimate the teenagers lack of motivation, work and committment, but this is not good teaching. It is hard to describe here the deficits in the method of teaching but I am covinced they are there. Next, there we are at the dinner table and the teenagers start in complaining but before you know it, they are asking what to do. Wow. I believe that you instill respect for teachers and others in authority, but they don’t all deserve to be “liked” or esteemed as teachers. My answer way this, you have to find a solution because the teacher isn’t going to change. The teacher isn’t going to acknowledge that they are doing something in a less than helpful way. And the teacher is going to give you a grade. So you need to solve for what is. You learn what the teacher does, how they operate, and you figure out how to succeed despite it. That is your job, along with learning what you can, to succeed in spite of those who may not be the best at supporting your success. You learn to be a problem solver. Because all through life, you will be the most valuable… player, friend, employee, if you are the problem solver and not the complainer. Complaining rarely does any good; success I think really is the best revenge.
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