Advice column

Advice column

Emily Djohan, Contributing Writer

Adjusting to high school is tough for many students: learning in a new building, enduring many classes, embracing more freedom, enjoying “off” periods, and a myriad of other  transformations from middle school. 

It can be tempting to enjoy the social atmosphere within Schreiber and ignore that not-so-spectacular grade or shy away from a supposedly scary teacher but this is the least effective approach to high school. 

Open communication with teachers is incredibly important.  Creating positive relationships serves as practice for the numerous professional relationships that one may foster in the future.  Also, many future college applications require a teacher to speak on behalf of the student’s character, work ethic, and personality.  Teachers and other staff want to see their students succeed and are here to assist them on their educational journey — not hinder them. 

“Honestly, just talk to your teacher.  They’re here to help you, and if you’re open with them, then they will most likely do whatever they can,” said senior Spencer Lane.

The most important part of any class is to put in the effort required, including participating in class.  Many teachers within Schreiber have reasonable expectations and understand that students participate in many activities including sports, music, art, and more, in addition to attending classes.  However, part of building a relationship with a teacher is establishing oneself as a responsible and hard-working individual.  By demonstrating effort, one proves to their teacher that despite their own busy life, they are willing to devote time to do well in their class.  Teachers are more willing to assist a student who has continuously shown effort over time rather than the student who asks for help the day before progress reports are released. 

“Just be respectful of the teacher.  Understand that they don’t want to see you do badly, but if you come up to them acting like you are entitled to extra credit or an extension, they will probably tell you no.  Make sure to tell them that you have been trying very hard in the class and you would appreciate any opportunity for some extra credit that they can offer you.  If they say yes, that’s great and you should thank them.  If they say no, respect that,” said senior Gabby Gitman.

Another important aspect of communicating with your teachers is to be respectful.  All teachers are human beings and deserve the same courtesy and respect given to other elders.  This often means being genuine and honest with teachers, even when it is difficult to do.  It means holding to academic integrity even if you did not study.  If an unexpected situation occurs, many teachers will give extensions or allow for a different test date— but teachers can only do that only if they know what happened.  Ultimately, students and teachers share many life experiences and by explaining situations to teachers, it can create opportunities for reasonable compromises to be agreed to. 

“Try to be sincere and don’t just complain.  Own your actions and try to resolve the problem but don’t get upset if they say no,” said senior Amanda Cotuamaccio.

Once again, teachers are here to aid students during their time at Schreiber.  Most teachers consider student opinions, including letting students decide their essay topics,, picking a test date that is more convenient, as well as providing extra help  in many cases.

There is no harm in asking teachers for an opportunity to earn extra credit or an extension during a stressful time period, but to do those things successfully often requires having a strong student-teacher relationship, which takes time to build.