by the Hamden Change Organization
Good morning, we are the Hamden Change Organization. (HCO) We work independently from The Albatross, although we may cover the same issues. We are here to highlight the ways we can change and make Hamden Public Schools a better place. As a preface, this article is purely constructive.
Criticism will be given not to stir up controversy but to facilitate improvement. If we work together to discuss the flaws within the current system, less stress and problems will be present.
The problem we will be discussing today is teacher bias and misconduct. Arguably the most important part of school and education stems from the teachers, the ones in charge of a student’s future. Many overlook the importance of teachers to the student body – if they do not do their job correctly, the path of somebody’s life may be irreversibly altered.
Firstly, there appears to be no baseline for grading.
As many students have pointed out, there exists a significant discrepancy in the grading system – it is a structure that allows one student to get a different grade than another in the same level subject, despite similar performance. Your grades should not rely on the teacher you are assigned and teacher bias should not play a role in student achievement. The authority of teachers over students creates a hierarchy that puts the student in less control over their academics, even if they put the same amount of effort and studying into their work as their peers.
Second to this problem is the use of extra credit. Not all teachers offer extra credit, and some offer it more than others.
Suppose one teacher is offering 5 extra points in an assessment. In this case, if a different student from a different teacher doing the same subject material isn’t offered a 5-point extra credit, that’s 5 points of an advantage they do not receive. Over time, this effect is exacerbated. It is unfair for grading to be favored by one teacher and unfavored by another. Colleges will start to look at your grades in high school, and if one student is put in a stricter teacher’s class, they won’t be as likely to get in the prestigious school they want.
Lastly, it is difficult to report irresponsible teacher conduct. Students should have access to resources that allow them to report teachers that fail to fulfill their duties, if their claims are substantiated.
Currently, maltreatment, disdain, and indifference run rampant among teachers toward students, usually due to incompetence in classes or personal life seeping through. Some students are afraid to report a teacher because they feel powerless against them. Students should learn self-leadership and the ability to stand up for themselves, even when they feel they can’t. It is unreasonable for a teacher to get away with something because students feel they can’t do something about it. There have been many reports of teachers that infringe on learning and behave inappropriately towards students, yet still remain. If they are not good at their job, it can affect a student’s interest and passion for a subject, and for learning in general. If there are no other options, so be it; but if there is a way to improve these teachers’ teaching capabilities, or to even find a replacement, that is the step that should be taken.
These problems are prominent in Hamden High School, along with other schools across the state, but how can we change this? It’s time to shine some light on the good staff and teachers at the school. These teachers come to work every day to make learning more fun and engaging for their students, and the staff works tirelessly to keep the school in shape and handle any problems that may happen. The principal should be watching for these people to make sure they get the attention they deserve, so they don’t feel discouraged being seen the same as every other teacher in the school.
Now what should be done about the bad teachers? As stated before, these teachers can seriously affect a student’s interests and passion along with their grades and their future. It is only fair the right thing is done and the bad teachers are fired for not following correct conduct. Violation of school duties, laws, or simply incompetence is enough to get a teacher fired.
If nobody else will take the initiative, we’ll have to bring this up with state law to ensure all students get the proper education they need for a better future.