There are no bad students..... Only bad teachers........

@James72 (26829)
Australia
July 3, 2008 3:32am CST
I was told this statement the other night. Do you think it is a fair call? Can we fairly say that if a student does not learn effectively then the teacher is ultimately to blame or not?
2 people like this
6 responses
• United States
3 Jul 08
This discussion topic really hits home with me. We have 5 children all of them gifted in their own way, by this I mean some are great at sports, one is naturally gifted in the art of sitting in a class room and receiving an A without much effort. Children all learn differently as do adults for some of us it may take weeks even months to totally understand what is put in front of us where as the person sitting next to us my obtain it in a matter of hours. This is life, however the teacher makes the difference this where in lies the blame. For anyone to learn effectively they need a teacher with patients, understanding, and most importantly willingness to give more to those who need it. I started out saying that this topic hits home with me, the reason for his is because my son had a teacher who refused to give him anything better than a C on any work he did. She even went as far as to tell me during a conference that she knows he (my son) will never be more than an average student. How dare she my son was only in 4th grade at the time. She also said that it would be best if he planned on working with his hands. What the h*** is that suppose to mean, do you really think that because someone is hard worker, and works at a job that needs physical as well as mental abilities that they are nothing more than average. Well, to make a long story short my son moved on to receive A's the following year and the year after that. We will still need to wait and see what this year brings but the damage she did to his self esteem took quite awhile to overcome. So, yes in many many many situations the teacher is ultimately to blame.
1 person likes this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
4 Jul 08
You have certainly put forward a very real and relevant example of how one teacher versus another can make such a difference! (I am assuming that when your son started getting A's it was with a different teacher.) All children need role models in life and not just within the family unit. You would think that a good teacher would inspire a child regardless of their being "average" or not. Sometimes all anybody needs is just a little self belief. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
• United States
8 Jul 08
Thanks James for the best response. Yes, it was with a different teacher when he started getting the A's. Have a great day...
1 person likes this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
8 Jul 08
You are most welcome! And your example goes to show then the difference between a proactive and GOOD teacher versus a bad one.
@irishidid (8716)
• United States
3 Jul 08
Sometimes it's the teacher. Sometimes it's the student. Sometimes it is both.
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@James72 (26829)
• Australia
3 Jul 08
Well yes I agree. But does a truly gifted teacher not have the ability to overcome these circumstances? This is the question.
@irishidid (8716)
• United States
3 Jul 08
Only if the child is willing to be reached.
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@James72 (26829)
• Australia
3 Jul 08
They are children! It is up to us as adults to shape their futures; including their ability to learn. The argument is whether or not an effective teacher is one who can ultimately reach ALL children or not. Surely even a child that is considered to be NOT willing to be taught CAN be reached with the right approach? In my opinion, any young child becomes a product of their environment until such time that they are able to make fully independent decisions concerning their lives. And even at this time; they are still influenced by their past experiences to a degree.
@Jemina (5779)
3 Jul 08
No, it's not right to say that. Come on, teachers are not perfect individuals. They have limitations like anyone else. Teachers deal with more than one students who have different learning styles and it would be impossible to give their undivided attention to every single student's need. If you had the same students year after year then I guess it would be easier to make them learn effectively as you would be able to know each learning styles. Students, on the other hand
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
4 Jul 08
Fair enough. And I guess when a child reaches high school and college etc; rather than having a single teacher all day every day; (like in earlier stages of school) they have many teachers per day over many subjects. It would definitely be a challenge for teachers to really get to know a student as in depth. But some do manage to do it! I guess like anything, there are exceptional cases. Thanks for responding.
1 person likes this
@Jemina (5779)
4 Jul 08
That's right, there always exceptional cases. That is why only gets the highest score in the class. No two students can have equal scores in overall performance at the end of the day.
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@mscott (1924)
• United States
4 Jul 08
I was told once that there is no such thing as a bad kid, only kids who happen to do bad things. There are certainly bad teachers but I would argue that there are also bad kids or students. If there are good students then there can be bad ones. perhaps it was their upbringing, society, or whatever the case that may have caused it but there are certainly bad students as well as bad teachers.
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@James72 (26829)
• Australia
4 Jul 08
I too have heard the same statement you have put forward. Yes, my topic line is certainly a generalization and there is always two sides (and even many more usually!) to every situation. There are many factors that contribute to a child's state of mind and behavior. Thanks for responding.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Jul 08
Like all broad generalizations, this is not strictly true. There are bad students and good students. The purpose of this broad generalization is to keep bad teachers from blaming their students for the teacher's own bad performance.
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@James72 (26829)
• Australia
3 Jul 08
It is most definitely a broad generalization... No question there. It was a statement made by a friend last night that git me thinking. There are many, many factors that would influence delayed learning in a child and a majority if the influences would undoubtedly be linked to their home environment. There are many unbelievably gifted teachers out there that can get through to even the most difficult of children. And at the other end of the scale there are many that should not be teaching at all. Everything still comes back to the parents and the base foundation they build with their children regardless. There are really many different perspective as to what defines a good or bad student as well. Behavioral and learning factors. Which responsibility do we ultimately attribute to who? Thanks for responding.
• China
3 Jul 08
It's not that simple.
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
3 Jul 08
Well it would have been nice if you had of actually expanded on your broad comment!