Dear Katy

March 18, 2000

I've been having a big problem in one of my classes recently. Since the beginning of the year, one of my teachers has been giving me a hard time in class, but now it's gotten worse. I get good grades, and I'm involved in a lot of school activities, so it's not like I'm a bad student.

cont. from lifestyle

Actually, that seems to be the reason she's constantly teasing me. She barely even calls me by my name anymore, it's always Ms. Perfect. I don't know what to do about it, but it's gotten to the point that I hate going to class every day. Please help.

- Singled Out

Dear Singled Out,

It must be rough having to deal with constant teasing on a daily basis, especially when it's coming from a teacher. Students depend on teachers and look for words of encouragement. Your teacher's behavior is wrong.


In defense of the teacher, she may not know that this teasing is damaging to you. Not that it makes up for it in any way, because it still is unacceptable. I'm just saying that maybe she's not aware of what she's doing.

The first thing you need to do to solve this problem is to confront the teacher. Don't be defensive because it will most likely make the situation worse. Instead, explain to your teacher that she's singling you out and embarrassing you in front of your classmates. Let her know that when she picks on you, it hurts your feelings and makes you not want to come to class.

A good teacher will apologize and realize her mistake. If, however, talking to your teacher doesn't solve anything and the situation doesn't improve, you probably need to discuss it with your parents. Perhaps they can set up a conference with the principal or even with the teacher.

Whatever the outcome, it's a dilemma that you shouldn't have to be dealing with. It's hard enough to stay focused in school and do well without worrying about what your teacher is going to say to offend you. Teachers aren't perfect, and they're allowed to make mistakes, but they're still supposed to give you the best education possible.

Katy Huffer is a sophomore at Hagerstown Community College. Send e-mail to her at

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