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Study group blog
Teacher doesn't like me! - What can you do about unjust grades?
“The teacher doesn't like me!” This is probably one of the most frequent sentences one hears as a justification when the grades are not what they should be. But can that be: bad grades because the teacher doesn't like the student and therefore gives unjust grades? Clearly: Yes, it can!
You just like some people better than others. That is quite natural and cannot always be explained rationally. Likes and dislikes always flow into the evaluation of others. You judge people you like better than those you don't like. Of course, a teacher should judge objectively and ignore his personal sympathies and antipathies when grading his students. When assessing clear facts, this is still possible - and also understandable for the student. But a teacher cannot always say unequivocally: “That is right” or “That is wrong”. Some things are also a matter of interpretation. And not every teacher is equally good at leaving their emotions out of the game when assessing, and then they are bound to give unjust grades.
And be completely honest: Can you say with certainty that you always treat or judge people you dislike fairly fairly? It's normal, if not fair. In school, however, there is also the fact that teachers have a say in the life of the students with the grades they award. That is why you should not necessarily let unjust grades sit on you.
How can you defend yourself against unjust grades?
Assess professional performance objectively
If a student has the feeling that they are receiving unfair grades from a teacher, the first thing to do is to assess their own performance objectively. A similar principle works with the student as with the teacher: You often judge yourself better than you actually are. It is helpful to get a second opinion from others who are familiar with the subject matter - especially when it comes to performance that is a matter of interpretation.
Analyze social behavior
Your own behavior and the impression you make on the teacher also play an important role. "Does the teacher really not like me or am I perhaps not entirely innocent of the situation myself?" Is the central question here. who
- disturbs in class, not paying attention or chatting, writing letters and text messages or listening to music,
- has only incomplete or not at all his school supplies with him,
- does not do his homework and does not prepare for classwork and tests,
- keeps his exercise books sloppy and messes with textbooks and learning materials,
- skipping classes or being naughty to the teacher,
- is constantly tired and constantly yawning,
- seems bored and disinterested,
does not have to be surprised if the teacher acknowledges this with bad grades. As far as your own behavior is concerned, one should put oneself in the teacher's position. A good guiding principle is to behave as one would expect students to do, even as a teacher, in order to be able to deliver a smooth lesson.
Do not offer any attack surface
If you have the feeling that the teacher is “on the edge”, it is a good strategy to make yourself invulnerable. This definitely includes avoiding the behavior listed above. Instead, you should come to class well rested, follow the lesson with interest and actively participate, conscientiously do your homework, take notes in class and prepare well for the next lesson and class work, ask interested questions, etc. Oral participation can be controlled by keep a tally of how often you have been pointed out and taken. It is important to show the teacher that you are ready to perform. For example, you can also ask about additional tasks. Of course, words must be followed by deeds.
Talk to each other
Anyone who behaves impeccably, performs similarly to the others but still gets poorer grades, should speak to the teacher about it. The same applies to students who want to change their behavior. Such conversations are not about reproaching each other, but rather asking about the causes and finding solutions.
It is also advisable for parents to talk to the teacher in question - regardless of whether it is during the parent's consultation day or during the teachers' consultation hour. In principle, the child should be present during the conversation. This ensures that the teacher knows which student is being talked about. That may seem trivial. In fact, it happens again and again that teachers do not assign the correct faces to some names in their notebooks due to the large number of students they teach. Such mix-ups can also be a cause of unjust grades. A conversation with everyone involved also has the advantage that no assertions can be made without comment. Teachers and students can describe their point of view and mutually respond to the allegations.
If a conversation with the respective teacher does not lead to a change, you can contact the trust teacher, the class teacher, the school management or the education authority.
Is there a just solution?
There will not always be a just solution. That depends on teachers and students alike. Doing additional tasks and trying harder than others to get good grades is of course not fair. Sometimes there is no other way to impress the teacher. Here every student has to decide for himself what he wants to accept: bad grades or extra effort. There is one consolation, however: every student experiences unjust marks in his or her life. And if you have to work harder with one teacher, you have advantages with teachers who are left behind by others.
You can also read our journal article on the subject of “Bad grades” and tell us about your own experiences.
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