What to do about this teacher?

<p>Um... need some advice. </p>

<p>My Japanese teacher counts the final as 30% of our class grade. And no one in his history of teaching has ever gotten an A on his final. In fact, me and one other person are the only people who have ever passed his final. I got a B+ once and I was elated for a week:) Now, my problem is that his finals are getting worse and worse. I have tried to talk to him, but he insists they are perfectly fair. When I tried to involve the principal, he just told her that we weren't studying enough and he wouldn't lower his expectations for us. </p>

<p>What should I do? He is the only Japanese teacher in our school and I love Japanese so I won't drop it no matter what. But I am afraid of my GPA being unfairly ruined (As far as I know, I'm the only one who's ever gotten an A in his class, but I feel that changing as his finals get worse and worse...).</p>

<p>Any ideas?</p>

<p>Study your butt off. Some teachers hold their students to higher standards. Ask him for extra help.</p>

<p>Otherwise, value your B+.</p>

<p>He's the teacher. It's his rules. He thinks they are fair. Get over it.</p>

<p>Not to sound too harsh, but that's life. If you want the A, work harder. You don't make the rules, and it doesn't seem unfair (in which case you can take it up with the counselor/principal).</p>

<p>You will face this sort of issue your whole life.</p>

<p>He may just have very high expectations his students and thats just something you'll have to accept. I'm sure you can absorb a B. I had like 12 : P</p>

<p>If he hasn't changed his policy by now, he's probably not going to change it for your class. You probably weren't the only one to complain, but while his policy sounds strict, it doesn't necessarily sound unfair. It's his classroom, so he can set the standards where he likes. </p>

<p>Just study hard and take the B. It's not going to kill you. Your GPA won't get killed with one B.</p>

<p>I'm a little bit of a minority here. I understand the point about learning to deal with such disappointments. However, we have a few similar situations at D's school, & the problem is, sometimes high school teachers have inappropriate standards & expectations for high school. The standards can be high without being college level. For example, overly weighting a final exam (or doing the reverse -- underweighting it extremely, so that the student has no opportunity to improve the grade by studying hard) is really not, i.m.o., appropriate for the h.s. level. (And I'm a teacher.) That is expected in upper division in college, & sometimes not even until graduate school -- where, for example, one killer exam or one killer paper is practically your entire grade.</p>

<p>OTOH, if it's only 30% of the grade, I don't think that's nearly as bad as what my D has faced: 50% or even more of the grade. That is <em>not</em> appropriate for h.s. JMO.</p>

<p>I think you deserve a lot of credit for wanting to stick with Japanese despite a teacher who is making the course seem impossible for you. It seems like you feel you are learning a lot from him, but for some reason he does not want kids to do well in his class. Odd. Doesn't this teacher realize that if his students feel there is no hope of doing well in his class, they will not be very motivated to put forth any effort? Or to even sign up for the class? I hope you can get the teacher to at least give you some idea of what he expects students to be able to do for the exam. Are you learning enough that you would be able to take an AP exam? Or SAT II (is there one for Japanese?). Also, if your grade ends up being the highest in the class, that is something that your guideance counselor could mention in your record. It is not necessarily a bad thing to have a teacher with high expectations.</p>

<p>ya..some teachers are like that..
i had all A's this term except for computer science because of her rather weird standards...then again, my school only gives A's, B's, or C's, no - or +.</p>

<p>Study your butt off. Getting a "B" isn't the kiss of death in college admissions, including for the very top ones. </p>

<p>Stop complaining to the principal. Instead, talk to the teacher about what you need to do to excel in the class. Use whatever resources you need to to do that in an ethical way: extra reading materials, tutoring, etc.</p>

<p>Consider writing your essay about how despite having a notoriously tough teacher, you stuck with Japanese because you loved the language.</p>

<p>Also consider having that teacher write you a recommendation. I would bet money that the teacher respects the students who take the class.</p>

<p>I was a notoriously tough prof when I taught college journalism.To get an "A," the students had to do work that was stellar. Students who got Cs had to do work that was good enough that they could handle an internship in journalism. Many students avoided my classes, and took profs that were easier. Those students could get high grades, but they lacked the skills to handle internships or to handle other jobs in the field.</p>

<p>The ones who stuck with me (and some took my class a couple of times in order to finally earn a passing grade) learned a lot, and were first in line for jobs in the field. I was very well known to recruiters in my field, who respected me because they knew that I had tough standards, and the students who passed my classs would be excellent employees.</p>

<p>When I wrote recommendations for students, I always stated that my classes were some of the toughest in the major, and students who chose to take them were hard workers who were serious about their studies and were willing to take on difficult challenges in order to learn. </p>

<p>I wrote a graduate school recommendation stating that for one student who had earned a "C" in my class. He got into the grad school, andrecently got his doctorate (in a field related to what I taught) and sent me an invitation.</p>

<p>I am going to disagree with many here, in every class, there should be a range of grades, some As, some Bs, some Cs., etc in HS...to have no one A's on his tests actually means he is not a good teacher...if he was teaching the material, and giving the students all the information they need to do well, you would have a few As</p>

<p>Sometimes being a touch grader can, not always, but can be a mask for incompetence</p>

<p>"I am going to disagree with many here, in every class, there should be a range of grades, some As, some Bs, some Cs., etc in HS...to have no one A's on his tests actually means he is not a good teacher..."</p>

<p>From my own experience, I disagree with the above.</p>

<p>Unfortunately, many students have learned through experience that teachers will curve grades, and as a result, the students don't work up to their capabilities. Indeed, spineless teachers have taught the students that if few or none in a class bothers to study and therefore doesn't do well on exams, the teacher will curve so that whatever grades are highest willl end up being As even if those are failing grades. As a result, the students learn to strive for mediocrity and to encourage their peers to be lazy.</p>

<p>Everyone knows that Japanese is a tough language. Consequently, I am not surprised that the final is tough. The fact that this students way of trying to deal with that is by going to the principal to complain instead of asking the teacher for the best study strategies is a red flag to me that the student is looking for the easy way out instead of learning the material.</p>

<p>In one journalism class that I taught, students' grades were based on how many articles they published during the semester. I was willing to help the students select stories that were publishable. All of the assignments also were based on that. Instead of doing those assignments, some students spent their entire semesters complaining about what they thought was unfair about their expectations. </p>

<p>Then, when they flunked, they'd complain to the department chair. Some had to take the class up to 3 times before it finally dawned on them to stop complaining and instead, simply do the work -- which wasn't very hard at all once they put their minds to it.</p>

<p>Interestingly, once the students caught on to that, I had some classes in which every student got an "A", and all ended the class with portfolios that helped them get jobs.</p>

<p>NSM, if you have only 2 people ever pass his final, that says something to me</p>

<p>and if there is a history of that, over years, what does that say</p>

<p>you can't have class after class after class of kids who don't care</p>

<p>my D has a stats teacher, and the teacher was terrible, and yes the tests were hard, but it was because she didn't cover the material</p>

<p>and when it came to the AP test, of course many failed? why, because these motivated kids hadn't been taught, and believe me, my D tried, and studied, etc</p>

<p>I do not think that a teacher that has few if any kids passing his final is a good teacher</p>

<p>SOMEBODY always blows the curve</p>

<p>If no one ever has gotten an A on his final, ever, ummm, bad teacher</p>

<p>^No, actually. I had a teacher who never let anyone get a perfect score on a test. If someone did, he changed it. That said, he curved every test on a true bell. </p>

<p>An 'A' grade should be for 'A' caliber work. I think that kids are too used to seeing them to appreciate the amount of work it SHOULD take to earn the grade.</p>

<p>Final is 33% of our grade here, some classes even value it as much as 50%.</p>

<p>both NSM and CGM both brought up good points.</p>

<p>In some classes, I have had some teachers who are just crazy and expect a lot from the students, while in others there were some that were benevolent and their class was a 'giveaway' (an easy A).
There's not really a cut clear answer to this.</p>

<p>Thanks everyone, even those who told me to just suck it up. Our final for this year was today. It was pretty equal to our last final, thank goodness. He graded them in class - half the class had F's or D's. Other half C's. No B's. One person actually got an A. Wow. I will sing their praises forever. They claim they studied about 5 hours a night the last week...</p>

<p>hey buddy, i go to a tough school, and my BC Calc teacher does the same thing (35 % ) actually, and while 2 or 3 do make raw A's (out of 19), the class is still hard. (To put it in perspective, the average SAT math score in my class is around 780 , seriously). My advice would be to talk to him, maybe show him how hard you've worked. I know you don't want to hear it, but your teacher is preparing you really well for college, where final exams will be huge.</p>

<p>Also, petition for a bell curve. It is rediculous for a class to not have ANY A's. But, at the same time, if the class is challenging enough, there needs to be F's given out too.</p>