Q:

The second semester has just started, and the teacher of my daughter's 10th-grade social-studies class told them that she already knows what their grades will be and many will be failing the class because they are just sitting there doing nothing. My daughter then asked what kind of tests they'll be having, and the teacher informed her that she did not have to share that information with the class. -- Impossible Teacher

A:

Teachers can be blunt and outspoken. If this teacher knew these students and had not been able to get them to work in the first semester, she might have been trying to motivate them with her remarks. While what she said is not likely to improve the students' attitudes, it could have been just a sign of her frustration with this group. Unfortunately, not all high-school students are eager to work, and few teachers are able to motivate every student.

The teacher's answer to your daughter's question was unusual and difficult to understand. We trust that she will tell the class about tests before actual tests so the students can prepare for them.

If this teacher continues to make upsetting remarks like you described, a group of students from the class should talk to her or describe the situation to the department chair or a counselor so it can be improved.