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FROM THE beginning of their schooling at a young age, students look to impress the teacher by being the “ideal student.” Sometimes these students are teased, being called “teacher’s pet” and made fun of for “sucking up to the teacher.” Other times, they are admired by their fellow classmates for their hard working and determined character.
Junior Samantha Jaloza believes that although it is near impossible to attain the status of an “ideal student,” it is possible for someone to have all of the characteristics to be considered an exemplary. The student “needs to have a good work ethic, desire to help their community, interest in extracurricular and involving themselves in school, all while making time for spending times with friends and doing the things that they care about.”
While this list of qualifications would seem to make up the perfect scholar, junior Marina Aweeda does not think there is a such thing as an ideal student. She says, “Every student is different and learns differently and it is hard to put all students on an equal playing field.”
It is no secret that the public schools of New York City range the gamut, and so, the notion of an ideal student may vary from school to school. Senior Billal Alamarie thinks, “At a school like Townsend, a vocal, intelligent and athletic person is considered the ideal student because he or she stands out from the quiet students who only care about grades. [However,] at a school like John Adams High School, the ideal student is someone who is intelligent and well behaved.”
Marina agrees, saying, “There’s definitely a much more competitive atmosphere at Townsend Harris High Schhol that makes another school’s’ top students seem simply mediocre by THHS standards.”
Spanish teacher Christian Castillo claims, “the best type of students are the ones that actually enjoy learning.”
English teacher Jessica Stillman agrees with her colleague and holds that an ideal student “is kind and is willing to help others succeed as well as themselves.” The teachers realize that with the added stresses of team sports, after school clubs and family issues, a student who mocks their desirable traits may not always receive the top scores in the class. “The effort to attain a grade plays more into it than the actual grade themselves,” says Mrs. Stillman. When asked if a student with an 85 can be more of the ideal student than a student with a 99 average, Mr. Castillo exclaimed, “absolutely, one hundred percent yes.”