I sometimes hear from students about how they have a bad math teacher. What makes him or her a bad teacher? Sometimes students don't like how much homework they are assigned, or how strictly the teacher runs the classroom, or that the tests are too difficult. Oftentimes, a student might not care for the personality of the teacher and there exists a personality conflict. Now if for some reason the teacher does not know the material that they are supposed to be teaching that is another story and I would see if it is possible to switch to another teacher. However, many times what is required is a shift in how you perceive the teacher. Try changing your perception from a me vs. them mentality to one of thinking that the teacher is truly on your side and looking out for your best interests. They are assigning lots of homework because they want you to really learn the material and get lots of practice. They are giving you difficult tests because they want you to challenge yourself to take it to the next level and be prepared for the next math class. They are running a "boot camp level" discipline in class because they want to make best use of the class time and they want it quiet so everyone can hear and get the most out of it. Occasionally, a student may have gotten off on the wrong foot with a teacher and the teacher may actually perceive a given student as a "trouble-maker" or "lazy", etc. If you feel your teacher has a poor image of you try going to the teacher and saying something simple like, "I wanted to let you know that I'm turning over a new leaf and I'm going to be putting more effort into this class and I really want to do well." Then follow up that statement with action by participating in class, giving the teacher your full attention instead of socializing with classmates, and by putting in more effort. All of these suggestions can turn what would be a disaster into a learning opportunity for you.
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