One student's showdown with her teacher

Susan Ramsay |

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Recently, we had a term test paper discussion in my class. Of course, we were all very nervous about our results. But my disappointment has little to do with my score; it's to do with the conversation I had with my teacher.

I'm a really stubborn girl. In an argument, I never back down.

I got my test paper back, and I was quite okay with my score. But I got worked up once I realised there was a mistake in the question paper. The mistake led me to misunderstand the whole question.

I spoke to my teacher and suggested taking that question out. My teacher said it would be too troublesome, because it wouldn't just affect my class, it would affect the whole form.

This made me really angry. I started arguing with my teacher. It went from a discussion to a dispute, and then from a dispute to a quarrel, and finally to a full-blown argument. After lunch, I had calmed down.

I regretted being so disrespectful and I still can't seem to forget about it, even though it happened last week.

Suki Cheung On-kiu, The Chinese Foundation Secondary School

From the Editor

Thank you for your email, Suki. I can understand that you feel ashamed of having being disrespectful to a teacher. Perhaps you can find the courage to go up to him and apologise. That way you will take charge of your feelings, and maybe you will feel better about everything.

It will help if you have a strategy. Write down what you want to say. The most important thing is to have an "exit plan". You don't know what the teacher will say to you, but you don't want it to drag on.

Time your apology just before class, so you have some alone time with the teacher, but the conversation will soon be disrupted by other students coming in. Say what you have to say, listen to his reply and then go to your desk. If his reply is not helpful, then discard it.

If you feel you can't do this face to face then write a letter of apology.

Everyone says and does things they regret, and I mean everyone. It's all part of life. But things like this are not 100 per cent bad. You have shown that you have courage by speaking up over something you thought was unfair. Maybe it didn't go as planned, but many students would have just kept quiet.

And, also, you've shown Young Post that you have a "way with words". We would like to see more of your writing.

Susan, Editor