All teachers have the potential to make a difference in each and every one of their students’ lives. But, this potential can only be reached if the teacher works hard to make sure that his or her students are actually learning. But, what do you do if you are a student who feels that your teacher isn’t teaching you anything? The following tips may help you deal with this difficult situation:
1. Talk to your teacher
Before you talk to any other authority figure in your school’s administration, you should always think about talking to your teacher first. Tell him or her about your concerns, but word them in a way that helps your teacher fully understand your concerns. For instance, instead of saying, “I don’t think you are teaching me anything,” you should tell your teacher, “I am not able to understand what you are teaching. Can you please explain to me right now, or can you make yourself clearer?” This way, the responsibility of the situation weighs on both you and your teacher, and your teacher does not feel cornered.
2. Talk to an authority figure
If you have already spoken to your teacher and nothing has improved or changed, you should think about going to your counselor or your school principal. First, speak with your counselor, if you have one. Usually, the counselor can advise you on how to handle the situation, or your counselor may change your class. In an extreme situation, if the counselor receives more than one complaint about the teacher, the counselor may want to speak to the principal.
If you do not have a counselor, speak to the principal. Voice your concerns in a polite and mature way. Give the reasons why you don’t think you are learning anything in class. Are students in another similar class learning more than you? Do you feel that you are struggling with the material, and the teacher isn’t supporting you or your classmates? If these questions can be answered validly, then you should discuss them with your principal.
3. Work on your own
This should be your last resort if you cannot change classes or your teacher. If your teacher won’t help you, you should find help on your own, or accomplish the work yourself. Ask friends and family to help you, and get together with your classmates so that you can brainstorm together. Simply remember that two brains are better than one.
If you feel like your teacher is not teaching you anything, your best bet to get out of the situation is to communicate your feelings to your teacher first. And, if that doesn’t work out, you should seek help elsewhere and learn on your own.