Advice From: Teachers

As you see it, what is the biggest mistake you see students making that they should fix before leaving high school?

Mr. Macdicken

“They’re more worried about the grade than they are about the actual knowledge. If you worry about the knowledge, the grade will take care of itself. That’s where there’s a lot of stress with grades; there’s a lot of stress with points. Worry about what you know and the grade will follow. It’s okay to fail because that’s where you learn things, and your big “aha” moments always come when it didn’t work out the way you thought it was going to. So trying and not being successful is a really good thing. As long as you try and try to understand it, you’re going to be successful.”

Mr. Maack

“You don’t get something for nothing. Take advantage of the time you have. I’m not the technological whiz, I don’t have a website or any of that stuff, but I think students have a responsibility here too; the homework’s on the board. I think we as a generation of parents and teachers have enabled our kids to [not prioritise school work], you know? The parents need to be caring more, and the kids need to take more responsibility for themselves.

Ms. Walker

“Figuring out how to prioritize, how to balance all the things in their life, and then prioritize what’s most important. If students don’t, if they focus too much on their friends or the drama and let school or family relationships, homework, or their integrity slip because of those things, that would be a big mistake. They don’t have confidence in themselves. They don’t do their best because they don’t know how good their best can be, so they settle for just enough.”

Ms. Diamond

“Procrastination, but that would be for adults as well. I think we’re sort of a culture of procrastination, but besides that, I think the next would be the peer pressure aspect. If they procrastinate or are followers outside of school, you know, that personality type, it’s going to carry over into school as well. And organization. These freshmen that just have papers everywhere, crammed into their notebook, crammed into their backpack. You’re giving them the same handout every single class period.”

Mr. Challander

“They don’t understand why they’re here. So I see kids that, they think that they’re being forced to come here when really, we’re trying to help them be decent human beings. So I see kids that, they ignore us or they fall asleep, but really, on very rare occasions do kids make it on their own without education. I was one of those kids who thought that until I was in my senior year, and I just barely skimmed by, and then I went to college and I found out that you need to have a good education to really be able to do stuff. You need to be able to take this seriously and learn.

Interviews and photos by Hyland Cullen-Musengo