Personal Blog

RATING My High School Teachers On A Scale Of IB 1-7 - Shreya Sachdev

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all having a nice day. For today’s blog post, I wanted to rate my high school teachers on a scale of 1-7. I will be judging my teachers based on the quality of their teaching as well as the way they treated their students (my class and I). Originally, I was planning on just writing a blog post speaking about the worst teachers I’ve ever had throughout my time in high school, but I thought it would be a little bit too cruel and I didn’t want this post to come off as negative. I decided that along with the “bad” teachers I’ve had, I should also mention the good ones. I’m not writing this post to offend or insult any of my teachers, but instead I genuinely just want to speak about my personal experience with them and discuss why I found certain teachers to be better suited for me than others. I’m also not going to mention the name of the high school that I went to or the names of any of my teachers because I don’t think it’s necessary and I don’t want to potentially get sued or get in trouble with my school. However, I will state that I went to a small private high school if any of you were wondering. If you go to my school and are reading this post, then let me know whether or not you agree or disagree with my opinions. I know a lot of people who dislike the teachers that I like, as well as people who like the teachers that I dislike. That’s why I want to make it absolutely clear that what I’m going to be writing is solely based on my experience with them. Before I get started, I want to mention that in the IB, I took Higher Level History, Higher Level English, and Higher Level Geography. I then took Standard Level Biology, Standard Level Mathematical Studies, and Standard Level French B. Since I did the Diploma Program, I also had to take a course in Theory of Knowledge. Without further ado, let’s get started!

  1. TEACHER ONE: IB HL HISTORY: I loved my History teacher. Without a doubt, I can safely say that he is the best teacher I’ve ever had. I think the reason as to why students have issues with teachers these days is because most teachers become extremely lazy with their teaching. Due to the rise of modern day technology, pretty much all the information that students need to know is online. Therefore, instead of teaching the content themselves, teachers tend to rely on videos and articles to teach students. As a result, teachers don’t put in any effort themselves. My History teacher, on the other hand, was constantly making his own powerpoint presentations and writing his own articles with the knowledge he had. Whenever he taught us, it was with passion in his eyes and it was with genuine interest. If a teacher really cares about his or her subject, then he or she would want to teach the content themselves rather than rely on some video that another person made. When it comes to the quality of teaching, I would have to give him a 7/7. I seriously can’t stress how amazing he was as a teacher. When it comes to the way that my History teacher treated my class and I, I would say that he was very kind and caring towards his students. I remember one time a boy from the year below walked into our class and asked my teacher if he had seen his lunchbox. My teacher replied by saying that he hadn’t seen it, but that he would offer him some money for lunch because he didn’t want the boy to be hungry. It was really sweet of him and there were many times when my teacher showed his kindness. He was always very encouraging and would fix appointments with students to help them understand certain concepts if they were having trouble with the content. However, I have to say that I have unfortunately witnessed him saying certain things to students that I don’t particularly agree with. After our mock examinations, for example, I heard that my teacher told one of my classmates that she needed to get a brain transplant. He also told one of my classmates that my teacher had a physically painful reaction when reading his work. Even though he never insulted me personally, I still felt very uncomfortable around him and was also kind of afraid of him. For those reasons, I can only award him a 5/7 for the way he treated his students.


  2. TEACHER TWO: IB HL ENGLISH: As I’m sure most of you know, English was my favorite subject in high school and it’s what I plan on studying in university. In high school, I had a great English teacher. I would love going to class everyday because I knew that my teacher would be there encouraging me and really making our class as passionate about literature as he was. I can definitely say that if it wasn’t for his amazing teaching, I wouldn’t be as interested in English as I now am. Just like my History teacher, my English teacher would never rely on other people’s work to teach his students. Despite there being great sources such as SparkNotes and LitCharts online to teach the content, my teacher would always offer his own opinions on the text we were studying and would always encourage us to think about what the author’s intention is rather than having us just look it up. Every single lesson consisted of close analysis and deep class discussions with lots of interesting debates and contrasting opinions. As a result, I would give my English teacher a 7/7 when it came to the quality of teaching. When it comes to the way that he treated my classmates and I, I think that he was extremely kind and caring. What I really liked about him is that I don’t think he ever considered himself to be an “authoritative figure” compared to his students. Rather, he would talk to us like we were his friends and as a result, I felt very comfortable approaching him if I ever needed help. I would rate his treatment towards students a 7/7 as well.


  3. TEACHER THREE: IB HL GEOGRAPHY: HL Geography was a very interesting course. What I like about Geography is that everything we learn is relevant to our world today. I really like how the course was focused on climate change, since that’s arguably one of the biggest challenges my generation will face during our lifetimes. I genuinely found it to be very eye-opening and I think having knowledge of the world around us is something everyone should have. Therefore, I’m grateful that Geography gave me that opportunity. Unfortunately, when it came to my teacher, even though I really liked her as a person and felt close to her, I don’t think she actually taught me anything. My teacher would use her own website to teach the content to us, but her website consisted of nothing but videos and articles that other people had written. Every lesson, she would usually introduce the topic for that specific day, but then would go on to tell us to watch a Youtube video on her website or read a few articles she had found online. Whilst we made our notes, she would usually just sit on her desk and be on her computer. Don’t get me wrong, she would always be there if I was having difficulty understanding something and would always be available to fix an appointment with me if I wanted to meet her personally to go over something. She would also always reply to emails on time if I ever had a question, but I still felt as if there was barely any interaction between her and my class when it came to actually teaching the content. This is exactly what I was mentioning earlier on: Some teachers, who are quite lazy, decide to rely on Youtube videos and online articles to teach the content rather than putting in any work themselves. In other words, there was absolutely no need for my class to even be physically present in the classroom since we could have read those articles and watched those videos at home on our own time.I remember one time my teacher stood up in front of the board to list the pros and cons of megacity growth, and that was the one lesson when I was really interested in what she was saying and was genuinely enjoying the class. After that, however, it stopped once again. I just wish my teacher could stand up in front of the whiteboard more often and teach the content herself because she’s obviously more than capable of doing it and knows everything about Geography. Due to reasons mentioned above, I would give her a 4/7 for her quality of teaching but a 6/7 for the way she treats her students. She’s very kind to her students but often times gets strict over things that don’t require getting so angry about.


  4. TEACHER FOUR: IB SL BIOLOGY: Yikes, I’m going to try my hardest to be nice with this one. I think out of all my teachers, I had the biggest issue with my Biology teacher. I want to start off by saying that whilst every subject in the IB is hard, certain students will find some subjects harder than others. For me, that subject was Biology. Therefore, I was already very weak at it, and the fact that I had a teacher whom I didn’t understand made me even worse at it. In my opinion, Biology is not a “self-teach” subject. You really need someone to explain to you the steps of DNA replication or how digestion happens in the human body. Most importantly, the IB has a very strict mark scheme which means that you need to have a teacher telling you whether or not what you’re writing in an exam is acceptable. For example, I used to think that writing “active transport requires kinetic energy” in an exam was acceptable, when in reality you’re supposed to write “active transport requires protein pumps and ATP” despite the fact that both statements mean the same thing (at least to the common man). My Biology teacher, like my Geography teacher, was a big fan of showing my class different Youtube videos rather than explaining the content himself. However, my biggest issue with him was that he would act more as a tutor than a teacher. He would basically set us a reading assignment on the heart or the liver for example, and then he would tell us to come back to him for questions. A teacher is usually supposed to teach the content, and then students are supposed to go to their tutor for questions or clarification. In my case, the reading assignments were the ones teaching me the content, and my teacher was the one who acted as the tutor. I don’t want to sound harsh, but he was definitely a lazy teacher. In fact, my friend emailed him a week before her exam to ask if he could set her an online quiz and he responded with telling her that he was too tired to set her an online quiz. As a result, I would have to give my teacher a generous 4/7 for the quality of his teaching. When it came to the way he treated his students, I think he was a really sweet person and I genuinely mean that. He would never get mad at anyone for not knowing the answer to a specific question, and he would always care for our class. On our last lesson, he brought in food for our entire class and we played some fun games and that really goes to show you that he wanted us to enjoy his last lesson. He has a very big heart and I would give his treatment towards students a solid 6/7.


  5. TEACHER FIVE: IB SL MATHS STUDIES: Despite me not doing well in Math or having any interest in it, I still found that my teacher taught very well. He would always teach the content himself and he made many powerpoint presentations explaining a list of rules that we had to remember. He would then give us problems to do and one by one, he would help us work them out with him on the board. When it got closer to exams, he would give us one past paper to do each lesson and then the following day we would go over it in depth. I never hesitated to ask him any questions and I felt very confident walking into the exams thanks to his teaching. He was also a very kind and generous person who was very nice to his students, regardless of their performance in maths. I would award his quality of teaching a 6/7 and his treatment towards students a 7/7.


  6. TEACHER SIX: IB SL FRENCH B: I had such mixed feelings towards my French teacher throughout the year. I’ve come to the conclusion that she is a very good teacher and that she really prepared my class for exams. In lessons, we were constantly doing past papers and my teacher made sure that each one of us knew the format of texts and knew the conjugation that could come in useful during the exams. She also put a big emphasis on vocabulary. However, she still stressed me out when it came to my interactive oral because I don’t think she covered all the topics in as much depth as we could’ve gone into, and for that result I’ll have to give her a 6/7 when it comes to the quality of her teaching. When it comes to the way she treated her students, I would say that often she had some mood swings and would be kind one second and slightly mean the next. One time, my friend was offering to help my French teacher with something online, and my French teacher got very defensive and stared accusing my friend of treating her as if she was dumb when that definitely was not my friend’s intention. As a result, I would have to give my French teacher a 5/7 for the way she treated her students.


  7. TEACHER SEVEN: IB THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE: Along with English, History, and Geography, I really enjoyed studying for Theory of Knowledge as well. I think my teacher really encouraged us to think outside of the box and we covered some interesting topics in class. I remember one time he was trying to convey to us the importance of speech and he made our class understand the importance by basically playing charades. We found the game very hard and it was difficult for us to understand what the other person was acting out, and it was a very clever way for him to convince us that speech is crucial when it comes to communication. I liked how he encouraged us to have deep class discussions and I remember that the conversations we had would be very abstract which is something I really enjoyed. I will say, however, that I was slightly confused when it came to the actual Theory of Knowledge essay I had to write and the presentation I had to make with my partner because he did not really prepare us for that. However, I would still say that he was a great teacher and that I really enjoyed my TOK lessons with him. I would give his quality of teaching a 6/7 and his treatment towards students a 7/7 because he was very kind and respectful to our class.


  8. BONUS: MY GUIDANCE COUNSELOR: Lastly, I want to talk about my college guidance counselor. Most high schools have one or two college guidance counselors that are there to help students find colleges well suited for them and to read over their essays. Unfortunately for me, my guidance counsellor failed at both those things. I mean, I think he was a nice person and one thing I really liked about him was that he would always reply to emails very fast and give me good responses, but he didn’t put in much effort. I remember that I had written my personal statement essay for the UK, and I had written a quick draft of it without really proof reading it, but I still thought I should send it to him. He literally replied in two seconds and told me that my essay “read well” and that I should just send it off. This really bothered me because when I looked over my essay, there were so many grammar mistakes and spelling mistakes. The only thing my guidance counsellor had to do was spend ten minutes proof reading my essay, but he couldn’t even do that. Along with that, whenever I would ask him for advice on colleges to apply to which had good film and screenwriting programs, my guidance counsellor would send me various website links rather than telling me anything himself. This again bothered me so much because obviously I can find those links myself, and the purpose of him being there is to express his own thoughts and to have good colleges in mind right when the student asks for them. And finally, my guidance counsellor didn’t understand that doing Early Action and Restrictive Early Action at the same time was not permitted. Originally, I was planning on doing Early Action to a bunch of colleges, and then Restrictive Early Action to Princeton or Stanford, and my guidance counsellor responded with telling me that this was allowed, but then I spoke to my private college counselor (which my parents had hired) and she clearly stated that my guidance counsellor was wrong and that this was not allowed. It shocks me to think that my guidance counsellor was going around and telling everyone that this was okay, especially since students could get in trouble if the college were to find out what these students were doing. It’s completely illegal to do both Early Action and Restrictive Early Action. Lastly, my guidance counsellor never showed any empathy towards me. When I emailed him during the holidays to tell him that I was accepted into three universities at Early Action, he simply replied with “Keep Naviance updated” rather than any “Congratulations.” He also knew that University of Southern California was my dream school, and when I got rejected he acted as if he just didn’t care. I’m not asking my guidance counsellor to take me out clubbing to make me feel better, but a little compassion would be nice.


    There we go! Those are the ratings I would give to my high school teachers and my guidance counsellor on a scale of IB 1-7. Like I said above, I’m not trying to insult my teachers or make them feel bad. I don’t think there’s even anything to be insulted by because I only stated positive things about each teacher and their subject. I’m sure my teachers know that students have different opinions and that they shouldn’t take my opinion too seriously if they don’t want to. I’ve built some incredible relationships with my teachers over the past two years and I wish them all the best for the future. If any of them ever come across this blog post, then hopefully they understand that I didn’t mean any harm by what I said and that they should just interpret this as feedback. After all, the IB Learner Profile states that students should be risk-takers and reflective, and that’s exactly what I’m doing with this blog post. Again, if any of you go to my school then let me know whether or not you share the same experience with me regarding the teachers that I talked about on this post.

Shreya Sachdev