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Staffers compare different teaching styles and policies

‘Generous’ grading style

It’s hard to admit that getting a good grade is more important than learning the subject, but that’s unfortunately the case. Students deal with trying to focus on schoolwork, study for the SAT, the ACT, subject tests, work on extracurricular activities, volunteer and maintain good grades. Let’s be honest, it’s almost impossible to do it all. Trying to simply balance schoolwork is hard enough and teachers often don’t realize that they are hurting us by giving us more material and grading harshly than by simply being generous with grading. Although it’s true that we might “learn more” by having a tougher teacher, the outcome of the potential grade could deter a good grade point average (GPA).

An “easy” teacher would typically be more generous with grading, making the class less about learning and more about getting the credit. Colleges don’t care what teacher you had or how hard you worked; they care about the name of the class and what grade you got. Because different teachers grade assignments differently, the same course would be unequally distributed grade-wise.

The first thing that universities look for in an application is how high the applicant’s GPA is. Everything else in your application is secondary, so by getting a teacher who is likely to lower your GPA, he or she is also likely to lower your chances of admission. Of course there are a lot of other factors that go into college admissions, but your application will definitely shine brighter if you have a stronger GPA.

Having easier teachers would also give you the chance to focus on your curriculum as a whole, rather than on specific classes. You will earn better grades overall and have an easier time getting into college. It is worth sacrificing a couple extra life lessons for an “easier teacher” because you have the chance to learn those lessons again, but you don’t necessarily have the chance to redo your GPA.

Rigorous curriculum and grading

A rigorous teacher will always trump the teacher who gives an easy A. Yes, it is nice to effortlessly receive an A from a teacher who couldn’t care less, but there is nothing better than a teacher who evokes passion within his or her students by teaching them unforgettable lessons.

Every now and then students come across teachers who can make us smile on a bad day by spreading the love of their respective subject. The feeling is purely golden. Even if it isn’t your favorite subject, you learn the true definition of passion, joy and discovery. These teachers garner a dynamic classroom environment that even gets the quietest kid involved.

A good teacher is not afraid to poke fun at his or her students. They will playfully jab at their students, developing a rapport that eases them into the period. This teacher knows that there is a time and place for fun and for learning but is not afraid to incorporate fun into the lesson in order to further the immersion of the students into the discussion. The integration of fun in a learning environment not only enhances the teaching but also encourages students to speak up and communicate.

Good teachers refuse to leave anyone behind. They spend tutorials, lunches and time after school helping students who would be left behind understand concepts they don’t understand. Great teachers care about their students as people. They set high expectations for each and every one of their students.

A good teacher understands that it’s okay for students not to get the concept immediately. It takes time and practice. This will not stop them from doing their job effectively. These teachers realize the workload each student has, but does not let this dominate the work they provide for their students.

Good teachers can reveal the hidden secrets to loving a certain subject even if the subject is notorious for being boring.

An easy A is nice, but achieving the A through hard, continuous work is truly worth all the guts and glory.

-Compiled by Noa Livneh and Arjun Sahdev

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