"The teacher never fails, only you do."
"The teacher never fails, only you do." poetry stories
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devonsummers
devonsummersI write and sometimes I share it.
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The first poem in a series about my experience in the U.S. public education system.

"The teacher never fails, only you do."

by devonsummers

It’s your fault if you don’t understand the way the teacher explains it, you should come in after school for extra help.

I can’t come in after school, I, play sports, have to work, have to babysit, need to go home and check on my mother. I, have somewhere else to be.

You should come in at lunch if you don’t understand the lesson.

I can’t come in at lunch, I need to eat because you won’t let me eat in class because it distracts me from trying to understand the words you throw together in haphazard assortments.

I can’t come in at lunch because I have to retake a test in another class at lunch because I don’t understand what’s happening in that class either and i can’t come in after school to ...

... retake the test. And before you ask, I can’t come in before school either because I, take the bus to school, walk to school, need to babysit until my parent gets home from working ...

... the night shift I, can’t come in before school.

You’re going to learn that there are different types of learners and different styles of teaching and you’re going to be asked to label yourself on a fill-in-the-bubble ...

... only-use-a-number-two-pencil scantron test are you:

a) a visual learner this means you need to see things laid out in pictures and numbers and words in order to learn it

b) auditory learner this means you need to hear things you need to hear people say words and numbers and examples out loud

c) a read-write learner this means you need to see words in front of you, you need to take notes you need to rewrite those notes you need to see lists you need to organize things and summarize...

... them with words

d) a kinesthetic learner this means you need to do things with your hands feel examples be given real life examples feel tangible knowledge at your fingertips

Which one are you? You can only pick one fill in the bubble accordingly.

You’ll never hear about that test again and nothing will change in the classroom or in the school rules and they’re going to expect that now that you know what type of learner you are, ...

... you should be able to learn better. Don’t you understand?

Now that you know that you are an a) visual learner b) auditory learner c) read-write learner d) kinesthetic learner

now you can adjust accordingly because we, educated educational professionals believe it’s easier for a vast majority of kids who don’t learn the same way to be taught by a teacher who ...

only teaches one way and once you know how you learn best you can, adjust yourself accordingly.

Excuse me, this teacher, this teacher, this one certain teacher I have, I don’t understand what he says when he speaks can I switch into another teacher’s class please?

No, you can’t, it’s the same class, it doesn’t make any sense for you to switch out of Algebra 2 into Algebra 2 you’re going to stay in that class because it doesn’t make any sense for you ...

... to switch out of it. We won’t let you switch out of that class based on your dislike for that teacher.

It’s more than dislike, it’s discomfort, he, stared at me too long, made a suggestive comment, made me feel uncomfortable being near him.

He’s been teaching for over ten years, he has, tenure, you know, the thing where it doesn’t matter if he, stared at you too long, made a suggestive comment, made you uncomfortable ...

being around him, it doesn’t matter if he, touched you in a place you didn’t want to be touched, requested a favor in exchange for a good grade,

it doesn’t matter if he, takes it too far, because he has, tenure, you know.

We won’t, talk to him, take this seriously, fire him, because it’s your word against his and he said nothing happened and he has, tenure, you know.

Excuse me, Can I retake this test?

No, you can’t, you can’t retake this test because you’re not failing the class.

I, have a B minus and I’m grounded because I need to have a 4.0 GPA.

I, have a C plus and I really need that to be at least a B minus so that I can play sports.

I, have a C minus and my boss said I need to have at least a 3.5 GPA if I want to keep my job.

I, have a D and I guess that’s not technically failing but I need to get my grades up if I want my college application to even get looked at.

If I let everyone retake the test- What? If you let everyone retake the test, they’d,

have higher grades, be liked by their parents, not get beat up at home for doing badly in school, be able to play sports, keep their jobs, get accepted into college, what?

If you let everyone retake the test, you’d, have more tests to grade? You’d, have to stay a little later after school?

If you let everyone retake the test, maybe they would, like you more? Respect you more? Clean up after themselves more? No, you can’t retake this test because you’re not failing the class.

The teacher never fails, only you do. But what if it’s not just me failing, what if it’s, everyone in that class failing, what if it’s, that no one understands what’s going on in that class, ...

... no, the teacher never fails, only you do.

You’re going to come across teachers in your at-least-twelve-year-education who you don’t, like, understand, respect, feel comfortable around, and that’s just part of being a student.

Get used to it.

Get over it.

It’s your fault you don’t understand the way the teacher explains it. .end.

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