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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Exclamation My English "Teacher" - February 19th 2009, 03:04 AM

Please tell me I'm not the only that thinks this lady is completely ridiculous.

I'm currently in English III AP.

I quoted the word teacher because she does not teach at all.

If there's anything that we have to learn, she makes everyone in the class each research a different part of it and teach it to the rest of the class.

If she gets tired of us doing that, she gives us some pages in a text book and tells us to read it and take notes.

If she ever is giving us some information, she is reading directly out of a textbook or some other source that she had nothing to do with.

When she grades essays, she tells us she's going to take very few points off for grammar(As AP essays would be graded) yet when we get the graded essays back, all they have are grammar corrections and a bad grade. If there is a correction that's not grammar is something completely subjective like "I don't like how this is worded" when it clearly makes perfect sense. There are no other explanations given.

When we ask her to explain, she gives all frustrated over being asked a question and either says, "It's not rocket science!" or "It's just not the way I teach!" She said this to me for THE FIRST ESSAY I EVER WROTE FOR HER ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!

Most of our class time is spent reading things that will have further significance in the class. Recently, we had to read Frederick Douglass' Narrative which we spent a whole week "reading" in class. She tells us we're going to have a test the next Monday. Monday comes along and she's completely forgotten about it.

And while we're reading in class or doing whatever, she's either emailing her friends, talking on her cell-phone(which literally rings constantly during class which is a major pet peeve if a student's phone rings, not to mention that it's against school rules) or she's playing solitaire.

Sometimes she doesn't even bother to stay! I have her the last hour of the day this semester and at least once every 2 weeks, she leaves usually 30 minutes before the end of school to do personal things like GETTING HER HAIR DONE. I can't wait until the administrators find out she's doing this.

I also once came to her for advice on a personal matter(heaven knows why I did that!) and she gave some half-assed response and then turned the subject to how I shouldn't waste her time with a problem that a friend or a parent could help me with! If you aren't disgusted, please read that again.

Now, I'm as lazy as any other high school student, but I would really like to pass this AP exam which is going to cost me money that I don't have. And if I waste $80 because this - you know what - is lazy then I'm going to be VERY angry.

Feel free to offer your advice on what I should do, but you're probably wasting your time. Nothing below getting her fired will feel adequate enough. Does anyone have a similar teacher?


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Re: My English "Teacher" - February 19th 2009, 04:17 AM

I've had a similar teacher. Strangely, she also taught AP English III. I tried talking to my guidance counselor about how terrible she was, but she just offered to transfer me to Honors. Is there another AP English teacher at your school? I always regretted that I didn't get one of my parents involved to transfer me to the other AP teacher. It's pretty late in the year for that, but it's not like it's very hard to catch up in English. As for the exam, it's not as hard as my teacher kept implying. Just practice writing timed essays and get a couple of those AP study books. I'm sorry you have to deal with this, I know how frustrating it is.
   
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Re: My English "Teacher" - February 19th 2009, 10:06 PM

Can you call the district anonymously and report it? I know people who have done that and the teacher was in deep sh-- after that.


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Re: My English "Teacher" - February 19th 2009, 10:08 PM

I would shy away from vengeance and from investing any more emotional energy into this.
Grab a few AP prep exam books. The multiple choice is key. Rhetoric and the rhetorical strategy isn't too hard to learn. Get a self-disciplined study going.


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Re: My English "Teacher" - February 19th 2009, 10:12 PM

I'm not one for unnecessarily getting teachers fired, but seriously, this is a joke.

I'd start keeping a diary. Get as many as your class mates to do the same, or all sign your name after each entry. Write down after each class a summary of what you did in the class, any homework set, photocopy any essays she marks and keep a note of any explainations she gives if you ask for clarificiation. Keep them all together. After two weeks make an appointment for you and if possible around 2 other people from the class with your principle / the most senior person you are able to make an appointment with. With your diary and other evidence, they cannot ignore it. If they do, go above them, get other students involved. If you do as I suggested and they do ignore you, I'll tell you what some students did at my college last year.

But the basics is, you are paying to do this and you are not getting the standard of teaching you require or deserve. It's unnacceptable and I can assure you that she will be teaching other people in exactly the same crap way.

For now, all you can I do I suppose is try and work extra hard outside of classes. Google and see if there are any revision guides or helpful sites that will guide you on what you should be studying, and try to do that at home.
   
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Re: My English "Teacher" - February 19th 2009, 10:27 PM

$86, I think.

You know, teachers suck sometimes. I go to a huge public school and I took that English course last year I had an amazing teacher, but some of my friends got the bad one... frankly teachers are grab bags are you just have to adapt sometimes.
You're going to go to work with crap managers and stupid bosses and you know.. like it's going to be there and you should use this as a learning experience for dealing with incompetent people. </tough love>

That being said, you could self study for the exam. It's not the easiest to self-study for because of timing on the writing, but you could ask her for old AP multiple choices, do those, and read a lot. Read a LOT. Read a lot and know what's going on when you read. Buy an Essay Reader like "One Hundred Great Essays" compiled by Robert Diyanni.. I think that one has questions after each essay you can answer.

And maybe "A Practical Stylist" by Sheridan Baker. That talks about writing, as does "The Elements of Style" by William Strunk and E. B. White. Just naming some of the books I used to prep for the AP last year.. they're all good. And you probably should get one of those study books. A lot of people I know who don't even have AP classes offered at their school use them and then still take the AP exam.

When it's all said and done, the AP curric advisors will probably weed her out in a few years anyway.


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Re: My English "Teacher" - February 20th 2009, 03:22 AM

Thanks for all the advice guys!

The only other AP English teacher is the English IV AP teacher, which, strangely enough, is also a very "inadequate" teacher (From what I've heard, of course). We've just recently scheduled our classes for next year, and I've gone ahead taken some of my upperclassmens' advice and scheduled Honors instead of AP. The honors teacher is very good and, assuming I pass the AP English test this year, taking another AP English class would be "useless" in terms of earning college credit.

I know it's my responsibility to ensure that I'm ready for the AP test, but I feel really cheated that I have to do it by myself. It's just as much her responsibility to make sure I'm ready too. I know I can't just put all the blame on her if I don't do well, but seriously...

Of course, I believe in adapting to teachers, but, in this case, I think it's safe to say that I should even bother continuing to try to adapt to her "methods."

As for reporting this to a higher authority, I may just be making excuses, but the administration at our school is very unorthodox in the way they deal with things. They are prone to ignoring teacher's complaints(My chemistry teacher refuse to let us do any labs that use the bunsen burners because she is ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that there is a gas leak. She's reported it to everyone she could and they refused to even inspect the classroom).They're also more inclined to just give warning after warning and maybe a few slaps on some wrists because they don't want to deal with things in a complete and just way. Unless, of course, it's some minor offense like wearing our IDs on our collars which they'd go to the end of the earth to enforce and control. I could seriously go on for days explain how illogical and, for lack of a better word, stupid our administration is. I guess that's another topic in itself.

" When it's all said and done, the AP curric advisors will probably weed her out in a few years anyway."

By all means, she's an expert at looking like she's grading fairly. According to her, the AP program is ALWAYS soliciting and inviting her to go grade AP tests. Of course, for her, paying for plane tickets to go do that "just isn't worth it." And this is not a teacher with any sort of financial problems. Her husband (who is 21 years older than her, I might add) is very wealthy, and she cannot go a week without telling us how delicious her usually Sunday lobster dinner was and how well it went with the 20 year old wine that her "hubby" got her "just because." Let me stop before I get to personal(too late, haha).


Anyway, I'll speak to some of my friends and see what they think and/or what they are willing to do. I'm quite aware that it's probably a hopeless cause, however, as much as I shouldn't and don't like admitting it.

Thanks again!
-Monotony


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Re: My English "Teacher" - February 20th 2009, 07:00 AM

Some things she does I will have to say I agree with. For example, the subjective comments are to be expected as, well, it's an english class. Interpretations and such are purely subjective, so subjective feedback is to be expected.

The low grade may not be due only to grammar errors but I cant be sure as you have the paper, not me.

Reading a textbook and taking notes seems very reasonable in almost all subjects. I don't know why that would be a complaint, it may not be exciting but it's a very effective way to learn.

Getting her hair done, the advice, etc.. I find unacceptable. The phone ringing depends on how often. Occasionally, our university professors' phones ring (about once if ever in class) then they turn it off. If it's 3,4,5 or more times, that's getting unacceptable, unless it's some emergency in progress.

I had a similar teacher in grade 10 or 11 for french cant remember. Anyways, she wasn't as bad in class, although she rarely if ever taught us a single word, it was essentially a self-taught course. Happily, she marked really easily, so getting a high mark was easy. A few times, she gave some really weird tests with mispelled words or an incomplete question, and only until 3/4 through after we told her multiple times, she'd say "oh, wait, you silly people, question is wrong, it should be...". We didn't get extra time but the correction usually didn't make it too hard, so it was fine.

However, she did go on a leave due to some illness (whether it was a fake one or not, we don't really know) so we had an amazing substitute teacher. Anyways, the real teacher was meant to return but didn't, until a few weeks later, she strolls in with a nice tan and babbles about her trip to Jamaica as a "healing place", even though she wasn't from Jamaica nor had any family/friends there. Anyways, the parents were pissed off, and the school told her, either teach elementary grades or you're not going to work. The parents for the elementary grades also complained about not wanting her, so she chose willingly to leave and was told to never come back.

In that case, the school handled it all, but that really was the worst teacher in highschool that I had. Another one, for accounting and economics, was nice and friendly, just sometimes flirted a bit too much with students and really wasn't too bright. she marked people wrong on tests numerous times, so we showed her the textbook said the opposite of her and she gave us proper marks. Sometimes, her "outside the text examples because the text is too wordy and confusing for anyone to understand", were wrong. She wasn't always wrong, only sometimes but a lot more than one would expect.
   
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Re: My English "Teacher" - February 20th 2009, 11:40 PM

No, it is your responsibility. AP is above and beyond "high school" and is not required by law to even exist. I know it's unfair that all the spoiled private school kids get well paid teachers in cushy jobs teaching them.. but that's no reason to throw your arms up over one bad teacher.

I would get a review book like Ergg said and choose a few of the books I listed and get studying on your own as soon as you can. It's something YOU can do to yourself to make things easier in for you in May.


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Re: My English "Teacher" - February 21st 2009, 12:14 AM

She sound slike alot of the teachers I had at school. No wonder I didn't do so well.

You just gotta make do with what you're given, i suppose. It's not right that you should have a teacher that sucks that much, but if you think you're not getting enough out of the lesson you could take it into your own hands and do extra studying. You could find a copy of the English syllabus for your course so you know what you need to be learning.

You could also talk to your classmates about this and see if they feel the same about her. If there are a reasonable ammount of you that hold the same views, you could track down your head master or head of English and talk to them about it.

If that fails, get your folks to write a strongly wqorded letter of complaint. Kicking up a fuss works wonders : )


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Re: My English "Teacher" - February 21st 2009, 01:29 AM

I had this problem last semester actually, my English teacher did nothing but sit at her desk and stare at us. She wouldn't talk to us at all and we were expected to come in, read the bored and do the assigned work. If she were to talk to us it would be to clarify something completely obvious, or to read something written by someone else. She'd mark up our essays with "?????" and "HUH?!?!" no matter how well written they were, presentations were also dreaded, she'd sit and give you dirty looks during the whole thing then tear you apart once you were finished ( if she even let you finish ) she made many students cry. The majority of the class ended up failing, i pulled through with a 72..not quite what i needed for university but what could i do?. I will never understand why they wouldn't fire her, but no matter how hard we tried we couldn't get any administration on our side. Really the only thing you can do is try REALLY hard, impress them. Otherwise try gathering some evidence or other students and appeal to administration.


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Re: My English "Teacher" - February 23rd 2009, 03:11 AM

This woman should not be teaching, this is ridiculous. I would try talking to the Principal first perhaps, and then after that, go to the school board, and if that still doesn't work then have the students in your class sign a petition and then have a group of you go back to the school board...

I don't like the idea of randomly having a teacher fired... but, in this case, she shouldn't be teaching in the first place. You are the ones paying for her choices, and that's wrong, you go to school to learn, and she goes to teach you. If she doesn't want to teach then the shouldn't be there.



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Re: My English "Teacher" - February 23rd 2009, 11:23 PM

Here are some ideas I thought of:

1. Go to a principal or someone with authority, explain that a number of students are struggling with the teacher's style and attitude, and ask if someone in administration would be willing to sit in and observe the class one day, preferably unannounced. This way the teacher won't know it's coming and change her usual routine to get past administration. This might be difficult though, depending on how involved and cooperative the principal/administrative staff at your school is. Whatever you do, do NOT run in bitching about the teacher and rattling off a bunch of reasons why she should be fired. You have to do this in a mature manner to be taken seriously at all.

2. Ask the teacher if it would be possible to review some past students' work or some templates/examples of what she is looking for in a high-grade paper. Don't accuse her of being an incompetent teacher, just express your feelings that you're having some trouble understanding what it is she's looking for in your work, and just one class of review or preparation with examples of how to do well would be a great help to you.

3. If going to the administration or the teacher directly doesn't help, then take matters into your own hands. Form study groups, or get together outside of class and work on the assignments, peer-review papers, and study AP questions and/or sample essays. In an AP course, ultimately your grade on the exam means more than your grade in the class. Even if you aren't doing well with this particular teacher, studying actual College Board AP material will prepare you for the exam, and you can get a passing grade to receive credit. Yes, it will mean extra effort on your part, and effort that shouldn't be necessary because your teacher should be guiding you in the right direction instead of impeding your progress. But it all comes down to the fact that it might be the only thing you can do to pass the exam.

Do not go about this with animosity or vengeance in mind. It will only show the faculty and staff that you're "out to get her" and make them think you're just not trying hard enough and you just don't like her as a teacher. Be proactive. Talk to the teacher before or after class (or during office hours if she has them). Be respectful and explain that you (as in the entire class) are having problems being successful and you don't know what to do. If you get nowhere with her, go to her superiors. The department chairperson (English chair usually) and ask if they have materials to help you better prepare for the AP exam, because you're not feeling confident with the classroom instruction. Ask if the chairperson would observe your class and then meet with you to discuss if anything can be done to improve your success. If that doesn't work, go to assistant principals/the principal. While doing all of this, you need to be working on your own to try and master the material, because you don't really have time to waste when it comes to an exam like this. Let these people know about how much time you're spending outside of class to prepare, study, and re-learn material that should have been taught to you properly in the first place. If they know you're making an effort, they'll be more willing to listen and help you out.

Bad teachers suck, and it's even worse when you have money and college credit riding on the education you receive from a horrible teacher. It's going to take a lot more effort than it should, but you CAN succeed and pass the exam. And afterwards, you won't have to deal with that teacher anymore, and you'll be more than prepared for the responsibilities of studying and learning on your own in college.


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Re: My English "Teacher" - February 24th 2009, 02:59 AM

As for the teacher herself, call an AP, explain what's going on, and that'd be the end of it,
as for now though, ask her to explain what she means by certain comments she's written down, like when she writes "I don't like how this is worded" ask her what it is she doesn't like or what it should be like but make sure to seem completely respectful and calm so she can't turn it on you and send you back to your seat by saying you were being a smart ass,
even if you don't get the answer you were looking for you'd get to enjoy the look of a sorry excuse for a teacher with that look of "I'm lost" for the next few minutes


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Re: My English "Teacher" - February 27th 2009, 03:24 AM

At my school, we can file 'grievances' to the unit principal (or if it's a problem with the unit principal, then to the head principal). Is there a system like this at your school?
   
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Re: My English "Teacher" - February 28th 2009, 11:03 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by St.Vincent View Post
I know it's unfair that all the spoiled private school kids get well paid teachers in cushy jobs teaching them.. but that's no reason to throw your arms up over one bad teacher.
funny... i go to a private school... is that how it looks like?

cushy job... hahaha not really. some teachers break down in my school. its because most of the kids there are big -hole snobs...

but anyway... yes, you shouldnt e upset over stupid teachers. i've had so much teachers like that and sometimes i just laugh about how stupid they act. what we do is go as a class to an administrator or something and complain. give her/him evidence. call in the teacher. argue and shout with her. the principal settles the matter. the teacher's given a week to change if not pack up and leave already and its dine. seldom do they stay though...

you can also submit a letter of complaint or something. find out how its done.
   
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Re: My English "Teacher" - March 2nd 2009, 12:37 AM

Im only in 9th but ive had a few teachers already do that...
Call the school board and get em to look into it
Your grade is at harm


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Re: My English "Teacher" - March 2nd 2009, 01:20 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ieatpeople View Post
funny... i go to a private school... is that how it looks like?

cushy job... hahaha not really. some teachers break down in my school. its because most of the kids there are big -hole snobs...
I dunno. It seems like the kids who go to private schools around me have more "concerned" teachers. Ours are a little more likely to make you fend for yourself, and don't give a damn some of the time if your feetsies get wet. Now, that doesn't necessarily work for all students (a lot of people have legit needs that my public school does not meet) but if the teacher is "teaching" in some way or another, has planned lessons and goes to class, then I tend to think it's your responsibility to get yourself together and run the extra mile for a good score on the exam. That's just my two cents, though. I know a lot of people think differently.

I also think it's a lot easier to improve my own learning and studying style than fixing someone's teaching style.


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Re: My English "Teacher" - March 8th 2009, 12:09 PM

oh... do you mean spoonfeeding? yeah that happens alot. i could go a whole month and not do anything and still pass... its because...

uhm.. okay the teachers.. well in my school.. i keep saying my school because not all schools are like this... the teachers are all afraid of the parents and stuff... coz... the parents could just sue them and stuff... like come to school interrupt the class and start screaming at them... hence the breaking down part...

really... i think im ignorant...i didn't know how low people think of priv schools. they arent perfect... just more ...well... you can manipulate it into the way you want... we have a very low population count.. that's why.

im sorry you guys have to suffer like that... and well i suffer like that too so were all in this i guess... i have this chinese language teacher... she is soo much like that teacher except she keeps insulting countries... haha we all hate her.

and people from public schools have it better i think. you are showed the world and the world teaches you. you learn from it. but we are protected from it... though we still end up facing it alone and the hard way.
   
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Red face Re: My English "Teacher" - March 15th 2009, 04:56 PM

Yeah my maths teacher is like this. For about 5 times now he hasn't turned up for lessons. Tell a headteacher? I know you've heard it before. Sorry. If you want to pass try and study at home for it. Good luck :-D
   
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