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Do You Go to Your Teachers for Help?

Do You Go to Your Teachers for Help?

By Miss Marm

Here's an interesting email from a teacher:

I'm a high school English teacher who tries to keep up on what is going on in the world of SparkNotes, since many of my students turn there before they turn to me. I'm glad to see that there's someone out there letting them know that they should edit/proofread their papers...but a simple suggestion that these desperate students seek help from their English teachers or writing tutor types (most of whom are more than happy to help) might go a long way.

This teacher is right. You'll surely get the most meaningful feedback from the person who knows your work, just finished reading the assigned novel, and tailored the assignment to your class. I'm hereby officially suggesting that you go to your profs before you come to me.

I'm curious, though; is my correspondent right that most teachers and tutors "are more than happy to help"? Those of you who write to me: why don't you turn to your teachers or tutors first? I've thought of a few possibilities:

  1. It's never occurred to you to ask your teacher for help; s/he seems kind and smart, but you didn't realize s/he would be "happy to help."
  2. It's never occurred to you to ask your teacher for help; you assume s/he is too stressed, mean, or clueless to look at your work and make useful remarks.
  3. You do ask your teacher for help, but s/he doesn't have time, or does have time but gives you confusing answers.
  4. Your teacher wants you to use peer edits, which you find frustrating, dumb, or too time-consuming.
  5. You write to me at 11 p.m. on the night before your paper's due, a time when even the saintliest teacher would scoff at your requests for feedback.

Am I leaving anything out? What do you think?

advice@sparknotes.com

twitter.com/missmarm

Topics: teachers
 

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