What I learned as A Teacher’s Child

I grew up at home with both my parents being high school teachers. My mother is an English teacher and has been in education for 23 years. My father has been in education for 22 years, and has taught social studies, world history, psychology, and leadership. They always told me how important my education was, and they pushed hard for good grades. A’s were expected in every class, and we always had to read for an hour each night before watching any T.V. But the most important thing they taught me was how to interact with teachers. I don’t think they consciously did it; but through stories of their favorite and least favorite students(yes, teachers have them), I learned a lot.

Kids (Mostly Freshman) Who Act Up To Be Funny, Will Be Lost In 2 Years

Both of my parents teach exclusively juniors and seniors. They have countless stories about the same kid: he acts up and is disruptive to everyone because he thought its funny. And it was, freshman year. So they kept at it. But by junior year, it wasn’t funny anymore, and they didn’t seem to get the memo.

Good Grades Do Not Imply Intelligence

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”

Mostly everyone had that quote somewhere in their high school. Probably in or near a locker room. But my parents have always applied it to classes. In all of their years of teaching, between them they can think of 24 students who were exceptionally smart. All the other kids that got good grades worked hard, set priorities, and studied.

Recommendation Letters Are 90% You, 10% The Teacher

Asking a teacher to write you a recommendation is easy; receiving a good recommendation is hard. For you and for the teacher. Because if you didn’t do anything special, they have nothing to write about. My parents have written countless recommendation letters with the same format:

“X is a good student. They work hard and actively participate in class and always hand their work in on time. They are attentive and..”

But if you side against the whole class on an issue and stick with it, or if you nail a project or always help other students, all the sudden your recommendation gets better, and it gets easier for the teacher to write. (Bonus tip: ask for the letter immediately after the course ends. They won’t remember anything special if you wait a full summer before asking)

Copy + Paste Rarely Works

As an English teacher, my mother grades a lot of essays. After reading enough of your writing, they can tell what your abilities are. If you say anything that doesn’t fit your style, it will be plugged into google; if it gets a hit, you get a 0.

Thank Them

Teachers often remember the little things; like when you say thank you after a class on your way out. I transferred to public school in my freshman year of high school. I tried this with my teachers, and most of them looked at me like I had two heads. And then they figured it out, and boy are classes easier when the teachers like you.

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