What Teachers Really Want from Students

Student success starts with all parts of “self” i.e. self-discipline, self-control, self-confidence, self-motivation, self-awareness, self-concept, self-actualization, and the biggest of all, self-esteem! Thus, student’s success needs a lifelong process of authentic self-esteem and a strong moral compass.

“Children with a healthy sense of self-esteem feel that the important adults in their lives love them, accept them, and will go out their way to ensure their safety and well-being.” (NAEYCE, 1998).

Teachers are the most influential adults in the life of a student and they go out of their way to help students learn successfully. They are lifesavers of their students. In fact, teachers reach out to students to not only teach, mentor and tutor but also to parents when the need calls to.

Teachers take students to faraway lands, places they might have never known without their teachers’ helping hand. Teachers give students tools to succeed that otherwise they might have never found, and they make students feel better about themselves than they might have if teachers hadn’t believed in them.

As teachers, we are concerned human beings first and always. Teachers want to act and manage their classrooms harmoniously and efficiently, appropriately in a stressful situation; teachers show grace under pressure and they respond insightfully; teachers do not like to react impulsively, and above all teachers want to teach students and positively impact their world, that is our main goal!

All teachers work hard to respond to children’s demands and need endlessly and tirelessly.

However, teachers don’t want to spend time and waste energy on battles that can be avoided, on behaviors that are unwanted, or on assaults that can be prevented!

The destructive power of unwanted behaviors acts, and inappropriate comments in everyday classrooms are the daily setbacks that can be prevented or avoided when teachers and students are at their BEST practice. Therefore, it’s no surprise that for both teachers and students to succeed, they “must work together” with a common goal of meaningful learning, and “not against one another”.

We all should come to school prepared! Teachers prepare their lesson plans and the classrooms so that they can teach students effectively.

Teachers don’t want students to come to school to disrupt their teaching plans, or to ruin their lessons, and infect their classes.It takes both teachers and students to create a climate of learning, and a harmony in a classroom.

Therefore, teachers really want their students to have:

1. Responsibility and Commitment

Teachers want students to know that they are solely responsible for their learning process and that they should take the ownership of their learning, i.e. personal responsibility and commit to active study as learners. Personal responsibility as it relates to knowledge acquisition and skills gain is taking charge of one’s own learning. This includes complete assigned assignments on time, sufficient practice study and gets prepared for tests, accept consequences for the mistakes or failures students creates and learn to correct them, and put on an effort in your learning process to the best of your ability.

Students have the responsibility to abide by the Student Code of Conduct-good conduct that does not disrupt, distract, or interfere in any way with teaching and learning process. The school and classroom policies, rules, and procedures are set to light and guard, to teach and guide, and so to help students stay out of trouble.

Recent studies reported an increased number of students with behavior problems in the classroom and the problem is on the rise, that there are more students with behavior problems that interfere with teaching.

Teachers want to spend less time disciplining unwanted behavior and more time preparing their lesson plans and collaborating with their colleagues for effective teaching and learning to occur.

The other part of student responsibility is to embrace the “student-centered learning”, i.e. each student is an individual who has unique learning needs and interests and he/she need to be part of the solution. Read more about personal responsibility and strategies for effective learning on www.ewa.org and http://www.studtgs.net/.

2. Engagement and Active Participation

Teaching and learning require enormous dedication. Teachers want students to show up and engage in an active learning by taking advantage of the learning resources available-access to quality educational tools, materials and programs designed to help the students learn better and effectively.

Studies show that students who are engaged in active learning are more likely to perform well in class, improve grade scores and the learning ability.

Teachers also want students to fully participate in the process of learning during classroom sessions. Practice active listening by giving full attention to your teachers and classmates. Sharing knowledge is part of earning too, so students should take time to share lessons they have learned with others in school or at home. Both teachers and your peers will appreciate student’s willingness to not only actively participate but also contribute to the class. The goal here is to understand one another especially during classroom sessions and recognize that a school is a place for learning and growth.

Teachers also want students to know that attendance and punctuality matter!Keep attendance up, tidy up, and be punctual; in addition, coming to classroom prepared and ready to learn. Arriving at school and classrooms on time keeps everyone on time and make things run smoothly.

Teachers want the students to know that when they miss classes, they miss learning. When students come to classes late, they not only miss part of the lessons taught but also, they cause some disruption and delays in the class.

National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) asserted that “Every school day counts in a child’s academic life…. A missed school day is a lost opportunity for the student to learn…Research shows that attendance is an important factor in student achievement.”

3. Expectations and Accountability

Teachers want students to perform high and above the expectation set for high achievement and one way to beat the expectation set is to work on your learning ability-set expectations for your learning and behavior towards learning, set goals for things you want to accomplish, use your learning time wisely, and study plan/strategies-thus, just be accountable for your learning achievement success.

Learning effectively matter! School success matter! And knowledge is power! Former President of South Africa, Mr. Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.” That means to value the education and the time for learning, for education entails how mind and intelligence develop and serves as a means to facilitate the development of the whole person physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally.

Embrace and value education because it teaches us not only how to think, but how to think critically and creatively, not only how to react, but how to react analytically; and it gives us imaginary power. Education has no limit, don’t limit yourself!

Teachers want the students to remember that future belongs to them and especially to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Dream big, aim high, and work hard-plan your study daily, weekly, monthly, and for the year with the help of your teachers, your peers, your mentors and or parents.

Teachers also want the student to do homework because homework:

4. Electronic Devices / Technology

Education-technology is the way forward in the 21st century and has benefitted both teachers and students and student should take the lead in daily learning with the support of the technology gadgets. No doubt that technology has boosted the student engagement in learning immensely, i.e. technology improves all aspects of the student learning experience…the rise of mobile learning (Smartphones), the chrome books (laptops) has allowed many students who otherwise would not engage and participate to become fully engaged, actively participated and improved their learning greatly.

Learn more about Edu-tech research findings at:

On the other side, the use of these electronic devices needs to be controlled to ensure the balance of its use, especially in the school environment.

Schools/teachers priority is also to ensure and protect your child’s health and safety. Students may use their electronic devices during designated periods at School which is a privilege for the students, not a right; and it is increasingly proving to be not a good decision to allow “personal electronic devices” in the classrooms in the first. It is important for all students to follow the guidelines for safety, responsibility, and respect for other people and school environment.

Students with devices that are used to aid in the completion of homework (laptops, tablets, e-readers, other devices) may be utilized during the scheduled homework time in designated areas ONLY and MUST remain SECURED on the table.

Students should refrain from the use of gaming devices that are not permitted in school. Personal cell phones are not to be used at school and MUST remain in the student’s backpack always.

There is an increase in the use of personal cellular phones by students during school program hours! Students need to know that they may not be permitted to:

Communicate on any social media (including, but not limited to, social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat,

Take and or post photos and /or videos with or without the consent of the student involved and the adult-teacher.

Visit video-sharing sites such as YouTube during classroom sessions, Email, blog, visits chat rooms or post on bulletin boards!

Some teachers have been so lenient on this issue of the use of electronic devices to the extent of allowing the use of “personal electronic devices” during classroom sessions as an incentive for students to calm down…have they forget that students are smart manipulators and actors too…that they will disrupt the class intentionally so that you can allow them to use their devices…some students rushed to finish their assignments so that the remaining time they can use their devices because some teachers allow it as a reward that when students finished his/her assigned work they can then use their devices!!!

As a parent, I struggle with my children with the same issue of the use of electronic devices at home, and I have to tell their teachers to take away their phones should they make poor decisions to use their phones during classroom sessions…Students should learn to use these devices with moderation as they are now becoming too addictive and harmful…too much of anything is harmful.

On electronic games- students are now playing games which involve violence, profanity, etc. etc. How these are supposed to entertain and or teach young children values and or morals? These games are deemed inappropriate by school and teachers, yet they surface in the schools’ environment. Off course, if students are caught in such acts they will be reprimanded but how many time you will catch them before they infect others and the school? Is there a better alternative than allowing them to bring them to school lockers and or keep them in their backpacks?

Now some students allow other students to listen to the music contained on their personal device including, but not limited to, iPods, iPads, MP3 players, etc. They are students sharing as we teach them to share, but it’s the contents of what is being shared that worries many adults!

I did not have any of these electronic gadgets when I was in school and came out school well grounded…perhaps the time is upon us to rethink the pros and cons of allowing personal electronic gadgets in school!

Tech devices are good when used appropriately and when needed especially in the school environment but now students have access to connect any electronic devices at any time and even during the program hours!!! This is a BIG problem awaiting to explode…and as it is now it is interfering more and more with student learning.

5. Honest, Trust, and Truth

It is wise to direct your anger towards the problems, not the people; also focus your energies on answers, not excuses. Trust is the first chapter in the book of knowledge. Trusting your learning process is a part of building a stronger you and good relationships between student-teacher and student-parent should be honest and trust their teachers’ interests in their learning.

Trusting your teacher and be honest with then especially when there is a situation that you need to address whether academic or behavior issue

Teachers are in schools to teach and mentor. They are interested in how the student learns and what kind of a person you are and going to be. Teachers get up every morning thinking about their students first or more thank about their own children. They are ready to help students learn successfully, improve learning in the classroom and make each student happy and eager to learn.

Therefore, when teachers give students their knowledge, wisdom, and dedication, they want students to give them back your discipline, character, and integrity!

Air your dislike and or argument amicably. Thus, for example, instead of a student throwing a tantrum, speak out your need or your displeasure!

Teachers may not see all and time may not allow it either. Our intentions are always good ones, to teach our students effectively and see them succeed in school and beyond.

If you feel you are left behind you can also take charge and be a self-advocacy of your learning needs which includes speaking up for what you need, know your strengths and weaknesses; and find the support you need from teachers or others-from your peers or your parents!

I am an educator. I am a woman. I am a parent. I am passionate about teaching and learning things that made us whole and great!