Teachers are not here for your entertainment

The road to happiness does not need to be paved by teachers. They should simply be held accountable for carrying out their job: teaching.

Having purpose and meaning contributes to overall happiness, and having a good education and developing skills that can translate to the real world helps find this purpose.

The U.S. Department of Education’s mission is to “prepare students for global competitiveness.” Although recognizing the stress students are under and being accommodating is beneficial to students, having a classroom in which ignores academic progress and tries to be “fun” and “relatable” to teenagers really isn’t fulfilling this mission.

Students will take their instructor more seriously and most likely respect and enjoy the class and its curriculum if the teacher fulfills their duties of “teacher” instead of “friend.” The teachers who try to be relatable and friendly end up focusing their attention on that aspect of the class instead of the material. Those teachers who try desperately to maintain entertainment and happiness in the classroom really end up doing the opposite.

Students attend school to learn. With a lack of learning in the classroom, students don’t succeed, and with a lack of success, students are left unhappy and ultimately frustrated for a lifetime instead of for a two hour block period. For example, entertaining students with movie clips that narrowly relate to the topic don’t help them visualize the concept, it just induces anxiety for wasted class time or confuses them.

However, not all “alternative” teaching methods are in vain. Teachers who take the time to consider how students learn best are appreciated, and at times videoclips can help students visualize the concept or add a new perspective. Playing an unrelated clip from Parks and Rec when learning about Algebra, however, is not one of these times.

The purpose of high school is to stimulate intellectual development in children and prepare them to further their education at a college or university. Positive reinforcement and fostering a sense of meaning are essential to students, but the traits that are vital to success and happiness—like grit, optimism, and self-awareness—can not be taught in a classroom.

As students continue their education or begin to pursue a career in the real world, they won’t have bosses or peers that provide them with the constant sympathy and cushion they are accustomed to. Therefore, high school should not sugarcoat reality.

If administration wants to set students up for the real world, the last thing they should do is have teachers focus on students’ “enjoyment” instead of the actual curriculum and material.

Students do not come to school to have 40 year old friends; they are fully capable of developing their own relationships in their own time.

The administration’s standards for a teacher shouldn’t be held to what adult can be fun and relatable to teens. Instead, they should fall along the lines of who can fuel a passion and love for the subject into their students while learning the material.

The classroom isn’t a place where teachers should walk on broken glass to spare their student’s feelings and spirits. It is a place of growth and knowledge that will give teenagers the tools to achieve contentment later on in life.

High school is a place where students need to take charge and uphold certain responsibilities. Certain subjects aren’t fun or easy and are not going to bring happiness to every individual student. The teacher can not, and should not be expected to do anything about this other than teach the material to the best of their abilities.

The line between considering a student’s well being and obsessively trying to have a “cool” classroom is no longer approached, but crossed. Students need to be challenged and surrounded by an environment that fosters their education and growth, not babied or entertained.