An Open Letter To Teachers

How often do you ask if your students are okay? With GCSE’s and A levels getting harder, the pressure on today’s students is immeasurable. With companies constantly looking for bigger and better employees; the strain on today’s generation is like one like we have ever experienced before. Teachers’ constantly enforcing the idea that your best isn’t good enough is starting to take its toll.

Ever care to ask why your student is acting out of character? As much as teachers may be shocked to hear this, as students, we actually want to get along with our teachers. It is proven that students get better levels and enjoy the subject more when they have a good relationship with their teacher. Students are also proven to do better when they feel like they can speak openly to their teacher, this way the pupils feel like they can ask any questions without feeling half-witted.

How many times have you ignored the red puffy eyes, dark circles and the long sleeves? Mental health is a problem that’s dramatically on the rise, especially in young people. Even though the number is high, it’s still the silent illness.  Teachers aren’t helping that. Teachers are becoming too focused on the levels and attendance of their students rather than their wellbeing. They aren’t interested why there’s been a drop in levels; they just want it to change back.  They don’t want to know why you haven’t been in lessons recently; they just want 100% attendance.

Why did you start teaching? I bet it wasn’t for the pay. Was it for the holidays? The maternity leave? Or was it more than that. Was it to give the students the skills they need to pass their exam, or for life? Was it to make them proud of themselves or the council proud of the school? Was it because you care? If it was I beg you, please look out for the child who’s acting out of the ordinary, look out for the child whom looks like they haven’t slept in days, look out for the child who is constantly shaking and by the open window, even when it’s cold.

My name is —- I am 16 and I am struggling. My life and wellbeing may not have got to the severity it has if a teacher had spoken up. That’s all it takes. A simple “are you okay?” “I’ve noticed you’re not yourself recently, what’s going on?” I am not asking for a million pounds, I am not asking for a lifetime supply of food, I am not asking for mortality. I am asking for you to ask if I’m okay; I know you know I’m not.

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