An open letter to our teachers
First, accept my appreciation for your position. What you do isn't easy. I felt it the time I went to tutor my sister and ended up tearing my hair out. I felt your dedication when you introduced us to some new math, a structure, or a formula and I thought you were telling the story for the first time – but you weren't. You told the same story repeatedly, batch after batch, and you never showed any sign of annoyance.
Perhaps we failed to exceed your expectations when we didn't do well on that particular exam. Perhaps we tried and failed, or perhaps our negligence put us up to our demise.
But, should you have yelled at us that way? Not everyone functions the same way. Some of us could tolerate humiliation and move on; some of us would carry it our whole life, like a deep scar.
I know it was never your intention to hurt us. But human minds are emotional, sensitive, and vulnerable. I know you wanted to motivate us by scolding that one student for their imperfect grades, but what about their mental state afterwards? Did their grades drop? Were they able to obtain better grades at the price of their mental health? Did anyone check up on them?
I am not blaming you or trying to spread hatred. I am aware of the world we are living in. Where straight A's and GPA 5's seem to determine your eligibility and your status. Everyone posts updates, takes pictures, and congratulates each other on result day. The ones who don't do as well feel left out, isolated. And I know how you, teachers, think of us as families and don't want us to face disappointment.
But does one exam determine our skills and abilities? Should you use this approach for your students? How about comforting them, telling them it's going to be okay? You are already under immense pressure throughout the year teaching and creating exam materials, and you want to say you are exhausted at our inabilities.
Look at us. We too are learning this for the first time. And not all of us have the same potential. Some of us already feel insecure and inadequate because our peers are winning medals, going into competitions, and achieving great results in exams – while we couldn't do one job of studying properly. Some of us are scared because we put effort into something we liked besides education, and now our grades are falling. But we are trying, like you want us to, to reach a better destination and succeed in life.
We respect and admire you for your courage to choose this profession. But in times like this, when you strike a student with word after word, we lose hope. Please, my respected teachers, give us time and space to grow. We are young and it is our nature to make errors. If you forgive us for our falling grades and treat us with care, trust us, nothing will go wrong.
Sabiba is a Hufflepuff who plans to go into hibernation every winter but never succeeds. Send her fantasy book recs at fb.com/Sabibastro