Teacher changes not quite the best of both worlds

September 24, 2010 — by Sabrina Cismas

The average junior has probably had three teachers for each subject or maybe fewer. I doubt, though, that many students have so far had five teachers for one subject the way I have.

One day toward the end of first semester in my sophomore English class last year, my teacher was not present in class nor the next day, nor the day after that. My class wasn’t told a word about the disappearance, and then we entered a phase of about three rotating substitutes. As the weeks stretched on, we began to worry about what might have happened to our teacher.

At this time, winter break was coming, and I assumed that the whole situation would be resolved next semester. However, once second semester began, one of our regular substitutes who had come out of retirement to give a helping hand announced that our original teacher would not be returning as a result to an illness, and that she would be taking over the class.

Shifting around policies and teaching methods once again, my class assimilated to her for an even shorter time than to our original teacher. This teacher had unfortunately gotten into a car crash, and had to leave in order to care for her injuries.

In the end, my class ended the year with another temporary teacher who tried her best to catch us up on missed coursework.

Throughout this crazy and dysfunctional year, I have to admit that I did enjoy some benefits. The constant transitions and a lack of authority meant little or no homework for most of the year. Yet while many students would have loved to be in my shoes, I, being the nerd that I am, regret that I did not get the opportunity to dive deeply into the course.

Many students who get the same teacher for multiple years complain about a monotonous learning experience, while some are just plain sick of the teacher. I, however, learned the hard way that consistency is the best policy. Getting samples of various teachers throughout a school year may be anything but boring, but a consistent classroom environment maintains the supportive bond between a teacher and his or her students and is much more productive educationally. But look! I still now how to write.