Homework Help

What should I do about my teacher's favoritism?My English teacher has favouritism. He...

user profile pic

wanderista | TA , Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted March 29, 2012 at 4:54 PM via web

dislike 0 like
What should I do about my teacher's favoritism?

My English teacher has favouritism. He gives full marks extremely leniently to a student who doesn't deserve them, and 18's/19's to those who have put in lots of effort.

As a student who always receives 19's/20's, I think it's fair to say I put a darn lot of effort into my work. This student barely remembers to hand his work on on time.

What should one do in this situation?

10 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 29, 2012 at 5:03 PM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

My first piece of advice would be to trust your teacher. Often they know a lot more about individual students and their work and situations than you do, quite rightly. This means there may be other factors at play. At the end of the day, the only mark you should be worried about is your own, so keep on focusing on that. I often get accused of favouritism, but sometimes it is from students who have worked very hard and are annoyed that others get good marks through less effort.

user profile pic

mwalter822 | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted March 29, 2012 at 8:32 PM (Answer #3)

dislike 0 like

There is nothing wrong with asking your teacher where your mistakes are. They should be willing to show you what it is that you are doing wrong. In fact, they should be glad that you want to improve.

We often look at the work of others rather than focusing on our own. You can drive yourself crazy with that. Just focus on your own performance and ask for specific feedback.

user profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 29, 2012 at 10:53 PM (Answer #4)

dislike 0 like

Students often think this way.  They think that their work is better than that of others even when they may not be right.  My feeling is that students should not assume that they are right.  It may be that they do not understand things quite as well as they think that they do.  

Whether or not that is true for you, I agree with previous posts that you should simply ask about your own work.  Ask the teacher to show you exactly what was wrong with your work.  Don't go in claiming that your work is better than that of others who get the same (or better) grades.  You'll sound arrogant and put the teacher off.

user profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 29, 2012 at 11:08 PM (Answer #5)

dislike 0 like

I also answered your previous post and congratulated you on recognizing that your teacher was probably acting out of a sense of academic fairness. Hopefully, your teacher is not prejudiced against you in some way, and it sounds as if the teacher is trying to motivate you into working up to grade level expectations. Have a talk with the teacher and try to pinpoint what is expected of you. A closer relationship may actually benefit you and your grades, but more importantly, you may discover a few deficiencies about your work that you were not aware.

user profile pic

litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 30, 2012 at 12:01 AM (Answer #6)

dislike 0 like

It may not be favoritism.  It is hard to know all of the things that are going on with other students, and it really is not your place anyway.  I would talk to your teacher about your grades, not theirs.  Ask what you can do to improve your own grades.  It could be that your teacher expects more of you because you are capable of more.  Basically, do not worry about other students' grades.  You should be worrying about what you're learning.

user profile pic

stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:00 AM (Answer #7)

dislike 0 like

As the others have said, your concern needs to be with your own situation. You will gain nothing by asking why the teacher has favorites-the teacher will deny this suggestion and will not change his/her relationship with you in a favorable manner if you suggest such a scenario.

If you feel you are being graded unfairly based on the merits of your class work, ask what you can do to improve your personal grades. Don't compare your work with the work of your classmates and don't be confrontational. The goal is for you to learn how to fully develop and apply your own abilities.

user profile pic

rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 30, 2012 at 3:49 AM (Answer #8)

dislike 0 like

Teachers have very little to gain by playing favorites. The thing to do, as others have said, is to communicate with your teacher and see what it is you need to do to get the grade you feel like you deserve. Perhaps your teacher is trying to challenge you, and in any case comparing grades with other students doesn't always give you a clear idea of the rationale for your grades. You will never know unless you ask.

user profile pic

kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted March 30, 2012 at 6:29 AM (Answer #9)

dislike 0 like

I think #5 has the right idea. You clearly need a detailed conversation with your tutor about his/her expectations, the quality of your work at present and ways to develop your work in the future. I would advise against bringing in the treatment of other students. As you have indicated, your tutor is clearly differentating between students, and you have to respect his/her judgment to do this.

user profile pic

scarletpimpernel | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 31, 2012 at 8:28 AM (Answer #10)

dislike 0 like

One mistake that students often make is believing that the more effort, pizzazz, etc., that they devote to their work, the higher grade it should receive. Unfortunately, often when students spend too much time on their work or include too many frills, they fail to meet the requirements of an assignment. For example, I teach my students to write for university standards, such as MLA format. After I have devoted a great deal of time explaining and modeling what the first page of an MLA-style paper looks like, I still have students turn in fancy, colored title pages encased in sheet protectors or folders. This is frustrating to me as a teacher because one of the most important lessons I try to teach is that students have to follow instructions. No matter what your major will be in college or which career you choose, you have to pay attention to detail.

As others have said, forget about other students' grades. If your teacher is truly guilty of favortism, you will get nowhere by accusing him of that or by dwelling on that. If you believe that you are completing assignments according to the requirements, then you need to ask your teacher some very specific questions. 1. Do you have a rubric that I can follow so that I can work on meeting requirements? 2. How much time do you think I should devote to this assignment in order to complete it effectively? (For example, if I assign a short essay prompt to prepare students for an AP exam, I tell them that the final product should be something that they could handwrite in 40 minutes or less.). 3. Is individual tutoring available?

user profile pic

loraaa | Student | Valedictorian

Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:38 PM (Answer #11)

dislike 0 like

in fact, I get good marks through less effort,,,
This does not mean>>> I am not interested.
 Do not look for others!!

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes