LISTEN LIVE: All Things Considered
LISTEN LIVE: All Things Considered



Teacher: Problem Students Can Hold The Class Back05:28

This article is more than 11 years old.

As we continue to talk about good teachers and how they should be evaluated in our series, "Making an A+ Teacher," it seems impossible to ignore the fact that the students a teacher has in his or her class are likely to make a huge difference in that teacher's ability to teach — no matter how good the teacher is.

"Oh, it can be very difficult if a student just shuts down and does not want to learn for the day," says Catherine Wolf, who has been teaching biology at Brookline High School for six years.

Wolf has seen plenty of students who come in either uninterested in science or unsure of their capabilities, and they just decide not to engage.

The result doesn't just mean a failing grade for that student. Wolf says there are any number of ways a disruptive or disengaged student can hold back the rest of the class, too.


This program aired on May 25, 2011.

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Bob Oakes is a senior correspondent in the WBUR newsroom, a role he took on in 2021 after nearly three decades hosting WBUR's Morning Edition.