We all know what a teacher's pet is. It is that student who is always called on to do errands for the teacher, who never gets in trouble and is treated with kindness and respect by the teacher.
Then there is the anti-teacher's pet. The anti-teacher's pet is a student who does OK in school and doesn't do anything really wrong -- but is still picked on by the teacher.
For some students, it starts as early as kindergarten and can continue through their school years. For others, it may be in one grade or in one class. This is the student who if a disturbance occurs in the class, the teacher's eyes go directly to him or her, as if to insinuate it's the student's fault -- or at least that's how the child is made to feel.
Ashley (not her real name), a Chicago teen, said that she was picked on by a teacher.
"She said (to me) that you had to work harder," she said, even though she was doing well in that subject and others were failing.
Joe (not his real name), another Chicago teen, said, "I question a lot of the teachers, and that seems to annoy them."
The teachers we interviewed said there's usually a reason students are singled out for negative attention. Chicago teacher Patricia Blabas said it's something the person does repeatedly that makes the teacher angry.
Chicago middle school teacher Tricia Kane said sometimes a personality conflict between a student and a teacher can lead to a student becoming an anti-pet.
In some cases, a teacher has had a bad experience with an older sibling and thinks that because the younger sibling lives in the same house, he or she will act the same way.
The student also could be picking on a teacher. Blabas said, "If a kid is irritating me then I will lash back."
Chicago substitute teacher Marie Osborne said, "If they (the student) act in a negative way, the teacher will respond in a negative way."
So what do you do if you're in this position? Probably the best thing to do is to talk with the teacher. Clinton said most teachers can tell you what is bothering them.
Try to get on your teacher's best side and try to learn more about him or her. Also, try to get your teacher to learn more about you.
Ask your teacher if he or she wants someone to help out at the end of the day. It could be a small job like emptying the trash or watering the plants, whatever you think would make your teacher happy.
Pub Date: 01/14/99