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Dearest Susan by Susan Zelda Maroon


Dearest Susan,

I have a problem with one of my teachers. This particular teacher rides the line between praise and destruction.  I feel like I’m doing so well in the class and then I’m torn down when I’m told that I, alone am bringing down the class average. How should I proceed in my academic career?

~Lost in Translation


Dearest Lost,

Always try your hardest despite what your teacher may say to you. If you’re happy with the progress you’re making in the class then try not to think too much about the teachers criticisms. If your teacher is saying these things but it’s not affecting your grade then brush it off. Don’t get discouraged! Sometimes, teachers base their opinion of students only on what they see in class, not off overall performances on things like quizzes and homework. Just keep doing what you’re doing if you like your grade in the class.

If you’re not happy about your grade in the class, it never hurts to ask for help. If you’re afraid of continued criticism from your teacher then you could go to one of your classmates or the tutoring center until you understand the topics in the class. If you are working on the class then your grade should improve and your teacher will notice the improvement.

If your grade is good or you try to improve your work and you still feel like the teacher is insulting, you might want to mention it to the teacher. He/she may not notice that they’re being insulting. Either way if you ask them to stop they should respect you enough to stop. Under the extreme circumstances that the criticisms persist you could talk to another faculty member about it, you shouldn’t have to feel like someone’s criticisms are affecting your work.

~Susan Zelda Maroon