SOPHOMORE ORIENTATION: Tips for dealing with teachers

Students in David Van Muyden’s 7th period Chemistry class wait to have their tests passed back in June of 2014.
Students in David Van Muyden’s 7th period Chemistry class wait to have their tests passed back in June of 2014.

By Kellen Browning, Editor–

The beginning of the school year means as many as seven new teachers for most sophomores, many of whom may be struggling to adjust to new course rigors and expectations.

Dealing with many different teachers who require students to be productive and exceed high standards can be a challenge, but thankfully, there are ways to meet teachers’ expectations.

James Johnson, a math teacher at Davis High, believes that students should turn to resources like the Academic Center if they need help with schoolwork.

“It’s free, and the tutors are largely UCD students […] some of them speak multiple languages, so if a student is struggling and they’re not a native English speaker, they can get help there as well,” Johnson said, adding that most math teachers are also available to help out students during lunch.

Chemistry teacher David Van Muyden also encourages sophomores to seek help from tutors.

Johnson agrees that students should look for assistance from MAST (math and science tutors), describing past tutors as “really good students, and very interested in helping people.”

For English teacher Daljeet Gill, managing one’s own time is key. “For many of the students, they seem to be juggling quite a few activities,” Gill said. “I imagine you do that in ninth grade, [but] I think it becomes even more so in 10th, and 11th and 12th grade, so managing time is very important.Getting enough rest is vital.”

Van Muyden echoed Gill’s statement and thinks that being organized is important in high school.

Johnson believes that knowing other students can also help give you a leg up in class.

“If they don’t know anybody–some of my sophomores this year have said ‘I don’t know anybody in this class’–trying to make some connections, meet some new people from other junior highs in their classes can be very valuable,” Johnson said.

As easy and ideal as it sounds, Johnson says that it can sometimes be difficult for new sophomores to get to know other students.

“[It’s] normally pretty good, I think. But it can be tough. For sophomores that move here from another community, I think it’s really difficult […] but we’ve had sophomores come here from other communities and do fine. [It] just depends,” Johnson said.

Overall, though, Johnson thinks that if a student wants to be successful, there are people at the high school to help them do well.

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