By: Danielle Spitz, Guest Blogger
This week was one of those weeks where everything just went wrong. I got into a fight with my sister, my school newspaper advisor got mad at me for a reason I am still unsure of, I got in trouble with my dean for breaking a school rule I didn’t even know existed, and to top it all off, I had three tests lined up back to back on Friday.
This might just sound like I’m venting, but I assure you there is a point to my madness.
Getting scolded by my newspaper advisor was the lowest point of my week. This year, I was appointed one of the Editors-in-Chief for my school newspaper, which I could not be more excited about. I worked really hard to earn the position and it felt really great to be acknowledged for all of my effort.
This week things started to go downhill. I was making all of my deadlines, laying out several pages, helping my peers, and basically fulfilling all of the duties that my job description entails. But what I didn’t know is that all of my blood, sweat, and yes, tears, would go unnoticed and I would instead be reprimanded for things I was not aware that I was doing wrong.
My advisor is my superior, so of course I give him the respect he deserves, but sometimes it’s difficult for me to reason with him when all he does is strip apart my hard work. Teachers are supposed to build you up and give you the motivation to improve, but this situation felt very different and unfamiliar to me. I found myself afraid to ask my teacher questions and always felt I was walking on eggshells because I wasn’t completely sure what I was doing well and what I needed to adjust.
Having this experience with someone who is supposed to create a safe and comfortable learning environment in which you can make mistakes and learn from them afterwards really made me question whether or not I should even continue working on the newspaper. I felt so defeated and didn’t see the point in carrying on with my involvement.
I sensed a common miscommunication between my teacher and me, so I decided to initiate a conversation with him about it. This gave me the opportunity to explain myself and ask him what I can do to improve, because I, along with every other person on this planet, have endless room for improvement. Although I don’t feel that I got as much out of the conversation as I was hoping to, I am relieved that I got to speak my mind in a respectful way and still get my points across.
Not everything in life is always going to go the way you expect it to, and there will be many people along the way who are not the best at being supportive. What I have taken away from this situation is that all you can do is try your best. If I maintain my strong work ethic and do my best to show that I deserve my position, all I can do is hope that my teacher recognizes it. If he can’t and continues to make me feel defeated, at least I can be pleased with myself and feel confidant that I did everything in my power to show what I am capable of.
In the grand scheme of life, this is one circumstance that was distressing in the moment, but overall I am gaining more than I ever lost.
When have you stepped up to the plate to make a difficult conversation happen? How did it make you feel? Tell us what you learned here!
Danielle Spitz is a fashion obsessed 14-year-old student. Her hobbies include reading, writing, running track, and of course, shopping!