“____ the Demon.”

Throughout his academic journey, my son consistently achieved straight A’s and maintained positive relationships with his teachers. I often jokingly referred to him as a “teacher’s pet” due to the many stories he shares. However, there was a single class where this dynamic did not hold true, and he faced challenges, managing to only earn a B.

For three consecutive years, my son had the same teacher, and by the third year, he wasn’t certain if the teacher even knew his name. At parent teacher conferences we also questioned if she knew which student our son was. When he sought extra help it proved unproductive, as she often directed him to use the rubric for guidance without offering substantial assistance. This teacher maintained a strictly detached relationship, refusing to forge a personal connection, a sentiment echoed by other students who referred to her as “_________ the Demon.”

This experience serves as a poignant reminder that establishing a connection with students is invaluable at any educational level, whether it’s in preschool or high school. When students are seen solely as learners and they see teachers as mere instructors without any personal connection, the intrinsic motivation to strive for excellence diminishes.

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