By Itxel Rivas Avina & Malinda Roland
With a 75.3% graduation rate in 2021, and an average ACT score of 15.2, it is clear that there are several obstacles for some West High students that make it hard to experience success in the school setting. One of the issues that is persistent at West High is the disruptive and disrespectful behavior of some students, and the repercussions that they have on their peers, such as more strict passing period rules, closed restrooms during the day, teachers and security guards having less patience with behavioral issues.
Veteran teachers have seen this behavior many times over their years of teaching and have many stories of instances where they’ve experienced these things. All teachers have experienced this behavior inside and out of the classroom.
“I had a student, a student I didn’t have personally in class but in the hallway, call me an inappropriate name, very inappropriate name, because I asked them to show me their hall pass and they told me I was infringing on their freedom,” said math teacher, Talelia Schroeder, “I was like, that’s my job…”
Teachers have the challenge to set up expectations in their classrooms and the halls, but students have a hard time following those rules and expectations. As some students have a difficult time keeping up those expectations, teachers try to find a solution for this issue within their own classroom and an understanding of where this behavior comes from.
“If we’re approaching it very hardcore without any kind of understanding about where they’re coming from they’re gonna push back even harder but if we’re like ‘okay I understand where you’re coming from,’ give them a brain break, give them that time for movement, give them that time to talk with their friends, or check their phones. Those brain breaks that they need and are really desiring I think we’ll have a lot less behavior issues,” said Schroeder.
Students also can help out their peers and teachers by setting examples for their fellow students who might have difficulty focusing and succeeding in class.
“This is a really great opportunity for the students who are behaving. …just say something along the lines of ‘Hey man I can’t hear this’ or ‘hey man do you know what’s going on’ or like ‘can I help you get on task?’. So I think that’s a really good way for students to take a kind of leadership role and help themselves out and help their teachers out and help the rest of their peers out,” said AVID and History teacher, Renee Norris, AVID and History teacher.