With the very many subject teachers involved in teaching the high school curriculum, it is likely that all students will face teacher troubles at some time. Our first blog gave practical steps to help you identify and resolve teacher troubles. However this process may take some time during which your marks may well start to suffer. Whilst you are trying to figure things out with your teacher, you will still need to pass your class. At no point is it OK to point at a terrible mark and blame your teacher. Your marks are YOUR responsibility. So here are some bad teacher survival ideas:
- Find a friend in another class with a good teacher. Ask them each week, what they have covered so you can keep up with the course content. Ask to borrow their class notes and copy them out or photocopy them. Don’t wait to borrow notes until the night before an exam. No one wants to lend notes then!
- Start a study group with friends from other classes. This is a great way to make sure you are keeping up with the work. They will appreciate the chance to “teach” you because it helps them revise and memorise the work.
- Use study aids. We recommend The Answer Series for CAPS curriculum support. For maths and science online help including by topic videos and problems, we recommend Khan Academy.
- If you are motivated you will probably find there is a good deal of the work you can understand on your own. Really, you have done yourself a favour here because you now have the keys to becoming a life-long learner. Don’t moan that you had to do it on your own, congratulate yourself on learning to learn.
- Work out specifically what you don’t know, either by topic or by sections within topics. It is hard to recruit help when you just vaguely say you need help with maths. It is easy to recruit help for a particular topic or problem that you have already tried to solve yourself. You can ask for help from students in other classes, teachers of other classes, students in higher grades or family members.
- Remember that one bad teacher is just one bad teacher. It doesn’t mean the subject is terrible or your school is terrible or that you are terrible. Most students recover from one bad teacher but if you find that your gaps are really too big, particularly maths or science gaps, you might need a tutor to help you catch up. Master Maths is our favorite Maths/ Science tutoring agency.