2 months ago
Admissions Advice

Not doing well in 1 subject, should my son drop to a lower class?

My son is in 9th grade and is not doing well in honors biology. It’s around a 75 average. He has 2 other honor classes and everything else he’s at 95 is. Should he drop to regular biology? The teacher is a bit of a something. He gives the kids 20 multiple choice questions to answer in 10 minutes on the quiz. They are not one word answers. His tests are multiple choice and a few open ended. Will will get a 85 on the multiple choice then the final grade will be 68. The teacher brags about how poor the kids are doing. He says this will be the hardest class in high school. I spoke with him and he told me he likes to put kids in a pressure cooker. I’m trying to be politically correct. Not easy for me. He has that type of personality where he enjoys it. I tell my son I’m proud of him as long as he does his best. He gets a little down. There is no reason to be down if you do your best. Keep your head high. I love him, he’s a good kid. Part of me don’t want him to quit and go lower. This might be me being old, once you quit the first time, it’s easier the second time. Also you will get teachers you don’t like. It’s a roll of the dice. Maybe it will be a good learning experience on how to deal with difficult people. Then again what do I know. There is no handbook for being a dad. I also don’t want to over protective. The other side is go down, enjoy life and do well. Or am I thinking too much? I was not a good student, I took him to the library 2-3 times a week from 2-11 years old. Now he’s smarter than me. The best I could be is positive and keep his spirits up. Just seeing if anyone had similar experience.


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Accepted Answer
2 months ago

Hi @JerseyJeff!

I am sorry your son is in a situation like that. That teacher does not sound kind. I myself am dealing with a difficult English professor. You are doing the right thing by encouraging him- it is good to hear of how supportive you are. Keep cheering him on! So true, if your son is doing his best, no one should expect more of him, not even himself. And yes, quitting once does make it easier to quit again. There is a lot of wisdom in what you think. It is very discouraging for your son, I’m sure. I recently wrote a post just for discouraged students here: To the embarrassed or guilt-worn student | CollegeVine Your son may be encouraged by it.

There are a few options. Option #1 is ending the class. This does not look great on the transcript, unfortunately, so if it is at all possible for him to pull through, encourage your son to keep at it.

Option #2 is if he continues and gets a low grade OR if he leaves the class, either way he can take a different biology class in the future to make up for it. I am sure he is very smart and could get a great biology grade if he had a better teacher. Also, most community colleges have lower pricing for high school kids (called dual enrollment student), and he could take biology class at or online with your local community college. Then you can use Rate My Professor to find a nice teacher you know he will do well with. I recommend talking with the high school counselor to see what the options are.

Option #3 is to get help. I do not know if you can afford tutoring but sometimes an official tutor is not necessary. Some high schools have peer tutoring systems where students volunteer to tutor. Once again, reach out to the high school counselor. Their job is to help you and your son on the high school journey.

Keep encouraging him. Let him know how much you love him and believe in him. Everyone gets a bad teacher at some point, and it is not easy. If there is anything else I can help you with or if you have any more questions, please let me know!

I hope this helps you.

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