Editorial: Learning to Deal With Personality Conflicts a Lifelong Skill

The relationship a student has with their teacher can easily become the factor which makes or breaks their interest in the class. An energetic and open educator can take hold of a student’s interest and retain it throughout the trimester, while one more closed off and standoff-ish can become a struggling student’s worst enemy. Personality clashes between student and teacher can become a crucial component regarding how students react in a class.

 At Seaholm, students are lucky to have teachers who recognize this. Whether it’s an engaging and entertaining lecture by social studies teacher Chuck Passarelli, the early morning attention by multiple math teachers, or the flexibility and encouragement offered by physics teacher Doug Baltz. These are just a few of the many examples of things Seaholm teachers do well.

 However, a new survey by the Highlander reveals there’s still work to be done.

 Fifty-six percent of Seaholm males have reported having a personality conflict with a teacher. Of this number, 20 percent would respond to this conflict by acting out in class, while 16 percent said they would confront the teacher. Seventy-six percent of Seaholm girls reported having a personality conflict with teachers, and 28 percent of these girls said they would do nothing in response to this conflict.

 Some may argue that by cutting class, one can avoid the stressful situations found in the classroom. However, avoiding problems is not an effective way of dealing with them and personality conflicts with adults won’t end after high school. Learning how to deal with the root of the problem instead of skirting around it can lead to better understanding between both student and teacher.

 Teachers should be as open as possible to students, encouraging questions and making themselves available to help as often as possible. They can also increase student interest by imbedding interesting factors in their classes, such as making discussions more interesting and interactive.

 Conversely, students have a role in this. While engaging lessons and entertaining stories can enhance a classroom, students must understand they have a responsibility to control their own learning. School is not a one-sided effort. In order to take something out of a class, effort must be put into it to learn.

 Scheduling favorable electives, science courses, and languages for the following year can help hold onto motivation for students more likely to cut class or act out.  If a person genuinely enjoys a class, there’s a much lower chance that they will feel the urge to skip said class or create a conflict with a teacher.

 Personality conflicts don’t stop after high school. Becoming understanding of others and learning how to effectively work with people is a skill that is essential in education and in life.

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