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Senior Advice: Just Be Kind

Social studies teacher Kevin Lawrence looks over the textbook with senior Laura Willem. Photo by Karly Matthews.

Social studies teacher Kevin Lawrence looks over the textbook with senior Laura Willem. Photo by Karly Matthews.

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Say “please” and “thank you.”

Smile. These small gestures may seem like common sense, but so many students spend all four years of high school burning bridges with their teachers, making their senior year absolutely miserable.

These small gestures may seem like common sense, but so many students spend all four years of high school burning bridges with their teachers, making their senior year absolutely miserable.

  As children, we tend to look up to teachers like celebrities, getting excited when we see them in public or after-school events. Yet, when we enter into high school, we’re suddenly too cool for the dedicated professionals who work just as hard as we do in the school building. So, my senior advice is to build friendships and respect with your teachers as soon as possible because it will pay off immensely by the time you become a senior.

  In kindergarten, we all learned to “treat others how you want to be treated,” but we’ve quickly forgotten this idea. In my experience, however, it is extremely true. Being respectful of both a teacher and his or her assignments means that the teacher will tend to respect you and your work. If the teacher knows that you take time on your assignments, he or she is more willing to help you when you need it. If your face has been buried in your phone throughout your entire high school career, it’s not wrong for the teacher to not be as willing to lend a helping hand. You haven’t put in effort, so your teachers are subsequently disappointed in you. They’re human too after all.

Spanish teacher Nick Schiffgens assists sophomore Justin Feild with an assignment. Photo by Karly Matthews.

Spanish teacher Nick Schiffgens assists sophomore Justin Feild with an assignment. Photo by Karly Matthews.

  That said, we’ve all heard the term “senioritis,” referring to seniors’ lack of motivation to get work done during their last year of high school. This feeling, which despite many myths is very true, is so much easier to deal with if you’ve worked hard and been respectful in your first three years of high school because simply, teachers respect you like you have respected them in the past.

  If you’re known by teachers as a hard-working, involved student, you’ve earned the faculty’s trust, and having teachers on your side makes senior year so much better. Because I have made an effort to get to know many of my teachers, it’s been easier for me to get letters of recommendation for college and get help understanding a subject when I need it.

  If you’ve worked hard to be studious and respectful through freshman, sophomore, and junior years, you have some leeway to make a few mistakes or take a break during senior year. If not, teachers won’t care about your senioritis, and you can’t ever take a break because teachers don’t trust you to do so. Seniors are famous for saying “I’m not a child anymore,” but if all you’ve done for the past three years is act like one, teachers aren’t going to change how they treat you nor should they.

Senior Camryn Burke and yearbook adviser Jessica Beste look over photos. Photo by Karly Matthews.

Senior Camryn Burke and yearbook adviser Jessica Beste look over photos. Photo by Karly Matthews.

  Believe me- once you put in your college deposit, high school has lost all excitement. I’m not saying that you don’t still have to apply yourself in school up until graduation, because you definitely do, but with three successful years behind you and teachers’ respect in your pocket, you can take a deep breath and enjoy the final moments of high school.

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The student news site of Susquehannock High School in Glen Rock, Pennsylvania.
Senior Advice: Just Be Kind