It is not an uncommon story. Sometimes unknowingly a person of authority may show favor to a an individual over others. It can be because they feel a special connection, see potential, or it can be totally random! No matter how hard the kids around this individual try, they never seem to quite measure up. For teen girls when a teacher or coach shows favor to another student, instead of asking why, the girl might think “I must have done something wrong” or “I guess I am just not good at this” and they may give up.
Not so for this teen girl. After months of feeling like her work wasn’t viewed equally by a teacher, she finally decided it was time to speak out. The result? She felt overwhelmingly supported by other students and, as difficult as, it was in the moment she also realized she does have a voice.
Here is her story:
What made you decide to speak up to your teacher?
As long as I can remember, I have always been a different “type” of girl. I always had more guy friends than girls and wore camouflage for a solid five years. Through different environments while growing up (my parents were divorced) and activities that taught me independence and self confidence like Tae Kwan Do, I have learned that if you don’t say something, nothing is going to happen.
In school, we have a teacher who is sometimes oblivious to issues that arise. In this case, I saw a problem that wouldn’t be solved unless someone spoke up, and it just happened to be me.
Were you worried or did you have any hesitation before you started to share your opinion?
I was less concerned about my teacher’s response and more worried about how I was going to word telling him about his favoritism. By speaking up, I ideally imagined that he would respect me more for standing up for myself and my fellow students, but if he didn’t, I knew I could always go talk to administration since this has been a conflict in the past.
Was it easier or harder to voice your opinion in front of other students?
Honestly, it sounds kind of weird, but listening to two other students before me trying to explain their opinions and having them not come across to our teacher just gave me more adrenaline and anger towards him for not comprehending. Saying something that was and has been on everyone’s mind in the department for a while made me feel good in the possibility that we could discuss this issue and change, but at the same time I was sad that this was an issue in the first place.
What was the teacher’s response?
It really happened so fast. I think I may have blacked out. All I remember was me talking and him nodding his head in a way that showed he was “listening”. Because of his lack of response, I then said, “Do you understand what I am saying?” because I didn’t think he did. The “favorite” student then proceeded to change the subject and turn against me for even bringing it up.
After this happened, multiple events occurred, including our teacher telling my parents in a private conference he wished I would talk to him about what was bugging me in the department. I met with him later that week and frankly told him he had a favorite student and it was affecting the dynamic of the whole department. Since we talked, I don’t know what will happen. Hopefully something will change, and if not, I guess we’ll just go from there.
How did your fellow students react to what you said?
After I said what I did, some students tried to change the subject. What surprised me was the fact that the “favorite” student jumped into the conversation and turned everything against me.
After we took a break from the conversation, I was bombarded by a group of students who expressed their gratitude towards me for speaking up. Although it did feel good having them say how proud they were of me, I just wish people were progressive enough to not have this problem.
What is your biggest take away after expressing your feelings?
I’ve mentioned this a few times, but without saying what you are feeling, nothing is going to happen and your anger and other feelings will just build and build until you combust. The sooner you stand up for yourself, the more you will accomplish and the more people will respect you.
We want to congratulate Jaime for finding her voice and we hope she inspires your daughter to do the same. It is an important life lesson that will help not just in school but in life. Have a story? Send us an email we love to hear from you!