Trapped Voices

February 24, 2016


|Photo by Autumn Pruett

Teachers can be wonderful guides for students. They can be influential people who constantly help students on the road to success. However,not every teacher seems to do this.

Certain teachers are closed-minded and are not open to the ideas of others. It is not possible to be successful as a teacher with a one-track mind, not when there are over 100 students pouring out their thoughts and explaining experiences. Yet, some teachers tend to shut students down, dismissing ideas or answers that are different from their ideal response.This type of teacher often expects students to have an open mind and accept other opinions when they are not even doing that themselves.

Through my years in school, I have not always grown in my knowledge. Instead, I have grown in my understanding of the skills needed to pass. I have learned to please authority and feed them the answers they want to hear. It’s almost like I have been brainwashed into this one-way thought process.

I have had a few teachers who pulled thoughts and opinions out of me. It’s a difficult thing to think for myself, considering that for so long, my thoughts have been figured out for me. I grew up not comfortable with my own mind, and I cannot grow as an individual without formulating my own voice.

We always want to escape our heads; some people compare their minds to a prison. We do not always believe in ourselves, and part of this could come from our corrupted education system. If we are taught that we are never correct, that all of our beliefs do not fit the guidelines, or that our way is not the right way, it is hard for us to escape this mindset. It cannot magically happen. We will not wake up one day and completely alter our perspective. We also need someone to critique their opinions, help us expand these thoughts or help us think about why we believe what we believe. Teenagers are not always right, and we need to be told this as well. Teachers can be great critics to help us weed out irrational thoughts and direct us on the proper thinking path.

I try to be open-minded, accept all opinions, listen before I speak. I roll around others’ words in my brain before forming my own. We have to take what other people say into consideration before shooting them down. When students are feeding teachers their different ideas, some teachers seem to tune them out and continue to stay in their one-way lane. These teachers claim to be just helping and trying to prepare students for the real world, and maybe there is some truth to that, but maybe they are in the wrong.

I do not want to disregard the fact that some teachers are great at what they do. They listen and care about knowledge. School is supposed to expand our minds, and not every teacher tries to fill our heads with their personal ideas. I once had a teacher tell me that they could care less about my grade, because they cared about the amount of knowledge I gained from their class. At first, this was shocking to hear, but then I realized there are more important things than a letter grade. There’s actual knowledge, growth.

There are fantastic teachers out there, and I vote we all give them a round of applause for putting up with us ridiculous high schoolers, but there are some who focus on the wrong ideas. It is a pity that they will miss out on the ideas that we can form and share with them. They will never get to understand the growth that students will experience through the years. It is a shame that they will miss out on the chance to watch the expansion of their students’ minds because they fail to listen to the voices surrounding them.

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