Great Teachers, Bad Students

"I have a student in my second hour class who is an idiot ." Students probably
have never heard their teachers complaining about them in the halls. In
contrast, a person could roam Jefferson and hear conversations about how
terrible teachers are from every corner of the school. "I got an F- on the
final but it\'s only because Mr. Doe* is a crappy teacher." This a common
attitude among students who fair poorly on a test. It is not bad teaching that
causes a student to fail a class, it is bad learning. Laziness, foreign
substance abuse, and truancy are a few characteristics of a bad learner.

The word "lazy" is frequently used to describe high school students who do not
turn in their homework, study for tests and are constantly ill prepared for
class. One form of laziness is the dreaded disease that only affects seniors,
"Senioritis." The symptoms include lack of motivation and falling grades. Yet
the seniors who have the most severe case of "Senioritis" are the same ones who
complain about poor teaching. Of course all lazy students are not seniors.
There are students from every grade level who do not do their homework or study.
Effort must be put forth by the student in order for learning and retention to

Students who use illegal substances show the characteristics of a poor learner.
The abuser may consistently forget homework assignments and do poorly on exams.
Recovered drug user Bob* explains, "The pressure from your friends and society
to use drugs is sometimes overwhelming. Once I started, everything went
downhill, especially my grades." Drugs soon consume the student\'s life, leaving
no time for studying or homework.

Truancy is obviously going to produce a poor learner. By not showing up at
school there is no possible way he or she can get assignments or take tests.
Even skipping only once or twice in a semester can be detrimental. "I skipped
one day when we had a pop quiz. My teacher never let me make it up because he
said I skipped," said Susie* a junior at Jefferson. The teacher had every right
to not let Susie make up the quiz that she missed because she skipped class.
This is a classic example of a student who is a bad learner. Every day the
teachers show up prepared to teach their classes. When students are
consistently truant, bad grades are the result and no blame can be placed on the
teacher. Students should be responsible by coming to class prepared.

There are many reasons why students consistently do poorly in school. Laziness,
illegal substance abuse and truancy are only a few characteristics of bad
learner. Students should take the responsibility that goes along with receiving
a decent education. Instead of finding a scapegoat for their problems by
blaming teachers, students should start putting the pressure on themselves.

*These names have been changed to protect the individual\'s identity.

Category: English