When Teachers/School Discourage You

I hadn’t had this happen to me until only after I started going into my high school and decided to try out some advanced English classes because one of my previous middle school teachers suggested I try it out. Over the passed 3 years, it’s 3 years of high school technically because my school district decided it’d be smart to have Freshmen in this sort of void where they’re not considered middle school nor high school, I’ve felt like I’ve been discouraged to even both writing.

First of all, I knew that advanced English classes would need a lot of essay writing and all that. When I first signed up for one of those advanced English classes, I remember that I had actually felt O.K. and comfortable with the writing assignments. Sure they were tough and I didn’t get perfect grades and all of that fun stuff. In the first semester of Sophomore year, I remember that I felt sort of confident in my ability to write essays at my writing level and could do assignments rather well. Second semester didn’t go so great as I started to realize my essays were getting worse in the grade department. I was like, “Maybe I’m a little too confident and should write my essays more carefully” and basically put more into the preparation of the papers, which by the way, I’m horrible at. Not going to sugar coat that lie.

So Junior year rolls around and I’m in yet another advanced English class, except for this time, I’m more wary on the whole writing of essays. As each paper gets handed back to me, the grades and comments started getting worse. Most of the comments were on how I had written like it was a dairy/journal or more on how chaotic and random the papers were. Because of my teacher in Sophomore year was notable one of the hardest graders in the English department, she would grade papers harshly. I don’t mind a teacher doing that, but at least on my part, I felt like she never explained why my papers were so bad as her little red ink marks suggested. I thought it was only me, but a couple of other people in the class were having the same problem. It had gotten so bad, I remember that this one girl just edited someone else’s essay off of the internet…

After the first semester in Sophomore year, I just became more confused and my writing started to really show it. Apparently my writing started getting more chaotic and at times didn’t even follow with the assignment. I was starting to write essays in the sake of just getting something, anything for a grade.

At the end of Sophomore year, I had failed the first semester of advanced English and had to make up for it Senior year. Second semester I had barely passed and that was only because my teacher was on maternity leave and had a substitute.

So after Sophomore year, I decided I would take normal English classes. Signed up for normal ones when it was the end of Sophomore year telling myself that I just wasn’t cut out for all of the essay writing and that my writing was horrible and that it should only be used for blog, stories, and journal entries.

Senior year comes before I know it and I’m sitting the day before with a map of the school (CAUSE IT’S HUGE, 4,000+ STUDENTS HUGE) and I’m looking at my schedule. And guess what? My school counselor, who was in charge of putting together student’s whose last names were close to mine in the alphabet, HAD PUT ME IN ADVANCED COLLEGE PLACEMENT ENGLISH. This was even after I SAID NOT TO DO THAT.

Wasn’t going to bother asking him to change the English because that same semester, I had tried fighting for an art class, which I was denied. The one subject I found joy in, I was denied because he said I needed to retake the English class I failed the year before. Excuse my language, but I thought that was complete bullshit. I’m a senior still right now and the one subject I held dearly was deprived because of a class I failed due to a harsh teacher, who in the second semester WASN’T EVEN THERE because of a baby.

First semester, Senior year:

I’m trying to stay on top of these stupid assignments in my English class, the class I specifically stated I DIDN’T WANT, and all of my grades start suffering because not only the usual stress and depression, but because I felt like the whole classes were stupid and I didn’t want to be in school because I felt like I wasn’t smart enough for anything because of my English classes. Everyone else around me would start talking about colleges and universities, that fun stuff and I was sitting thinking to myself, “What’s the point anymore?” If I couldn’t write simply essays, how was I going to handle myself in a college setting where there was way more writing involved?

Despite the negative emotions, I pull through the first semester.

Second semester as of right now is atrocious. Almost all of my grades were F’s, English being the hardest hit. At one point, I had a ~25% out of 100% because I had just stopped with the essays completely because at this point, I could care less. I’ve been made to think that no matter WHAT I DO, I’LL GET A POOR GRADE. And I swear if anyone tries to make a quick buck by saying, “I’ll write your essays for you” or whatever, I will ignore your existence.

Now every time I walk into my English class, my poor English teacher, which this one is probably the best I’ve had since the beginning, has to ask me if I’m O.K. and if I’ve even started the paper(s) we’re currently working on. She’s had to spoon feed me things because I don’t even know what I’m doing anymore and am discouraged to ask because I don’t want to seem like a complete idiot in front of my classmates who all have their school lives together.

Summary of my English class experience in high school:

  • Sophomore Year: Meh, O.K. I guess…
  • Junior Year: Horrid, teacher had a baby and went on maternity leave 2nd semester.
  • Senior Year: Teacher’s wife had a baby, fraternity leave AGAIN. Right now struggling because of lack of confidence.

Hopefully I’ll graduate high school and won’t be held back BECAUSE OF MY LACK OF CONFIDENCE.