Letter from a Struggling Student

Dear Teacher,

I know you might not think that I care about my grades, but I do. I’m the one about whom everybody always says, “If you just try harder and apply yourself, you would get such high grades,” and “You’re so smart and not living up to your full potential.”

It’s so frustrating for me that I am trying but nobody sees it.

student disability strugglingI want you to know that it is so hard for me to concentrate when I’m supposed to listen to you at school. It’s hard to concentrate when my senses take in everything else that is going on as well: pencils writing, papers moving, feet tapping, people breathing… The list can go on forever. But even though these obstacles are in my way, I still try to concentrate. Sometimes, I even try to move something around in my hands or draw while you’re talking, so that my brain can be busy enough to not notice the distractions and I can stay on task.

Often times though, you don’t like that very much and remind me to pay attention.

What you don’t understand is that I’m trying sooooo hard already and there’s not much else I can do about it.

Something else I want you to know is that I, along with almost everyone else in our school, do not like homework, not even one little bit. But I do care about doing well. What I need you to understand it that homework is almost painful for me to do. It always causes a fight with my mom. I never wake up and think, “I want to get bad grades so I won’t do my homework or study today.” Instead, I always wake up and tell myself that I’m going to do my homework and study and be good today, but for some reason it never works out that way.

MathProblem_3Teacher, I want you to know that even though I memorized all the information that you assigned for our history test today, I still failed it. I can literally recite it to you right now if you want. The problem is that a lot of the questions on the test required critical thinking, where I needed to use the information that I memorized and apply it.

Unfortunately, when I start trying to take this information and use it out of order, I get completely lost, begin to panic, and then forget everything.

Lastly, Teacher, I want you to know that it makes me feel like a failure when I can’t do anything right at school. School work is hard, homework is hard, tests are hard… And sometimes when I have a good day, and they’re not so hard, and I actually get a good grade and “live up to my potential”, all I wonder is if this will continue or if I’ll just go back to being the same old me again.

So when you’re filling in my report in the next few weeks, can you please take some of this into account?

Can you please provide me with some positive feedback, and some constructive feedback? Having to face that I am struggling is difficult.


Struggling Student

The first report cards are coming out this month. If your child is struggling at school, make sure to open the door of communication with his/her teacher, and feel free to contact me at robin@brightsidelearning.com if you require guidance and/or support. 

  • Cheryl
    Posted at 19:55h, 10 November Reply

    Great bog Robin, I never thought of it through my son’s eyes. Really makes me take a step back and think about what he’s feeling inside Thank you for that!

  • Robin
    Posted at 10:27h, 11 November Reply

    Hi Cheryl, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I hope that the blog was able to reach some teachers and that people will become more aware of how difficult things can be for some kids.

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