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What Do Students Want Teachers To Know?

With the school year coming to a close, New York Times reporter Jessica Lahey took the time to ask students what they wished teachers knew.

Lahey surveyed hundreds of children grades K-12 here is what she found:

 “Be Fair:” Students are very in tune with even slight injustices they experience in the classroom. Whether it be favoritism towards certain students (teacher’s pet) or even if the teacher is scolding the boys more frequently than the girls. Kids easily understand if they are in their teacher’s favor, or if they have fallen out.

“Don’t give so much homework”: This point does not come as a shock. The students understand that it is necessary for teachers to give homework, and they even admit that some assignments serve a purpose. Students that were surveyed felt that teachers did not understand how much homework they had, and that there was a lack of communication between teachers resulting in extremely heavy workload. Some students reported that long nights of homework left them, as well as their parents, feeling frustrated .

“Treat us more like people”: Many students expressed the need for teachers to be more in tune with how their students are feeling and notice changes in their demeanor. One student of New York City Public Schools said, “[Teachers] need to understand what is happening more. Like if a kid is feeling bad, or being bullied, or having a hard time at home they might do badly on tests. If a teacher was paying attention to the kid, they could be more helpful and not just get mad at them for getting bad grades.” Even younger children responded to the survey that they understand that the teachers are talking down to them and they wish that they would give them more credit.


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