Teacher’s pet: does an apple a day buy a grade? Taking a look at favoritism in the classroom

By Eman Sahloul


Ever felt ignored in class? Ever raised your hand so high to answer a question and were completely walked past? Ever received a legitimately unjust grade? In at least one point in our lives, we’ve all experienced some sort of student favoritism, either as the favored student or as, well, the not-so-lucky student.

Favoritism is sometimes believed to be somewhat acceptable when the students favored are still regarded under the same rules as any other student. However, it is generally considered an intolerable act of injustice and irresponsibility on the part of the teacher. When a professor has a certain inclination towards one student over another, not only does it harm the performance and attitudes of other students, but it actually harms the favored student as well.

For example, with regards to favored students, excessive praise and a lack of real encouragement, may lead a student to seek mediocrity, even failure in extreme cases. Students may also become extremely isolated from other students who may feel somewhat hostile towards that student because of his/her relationship with the teacher.

On the other hand, if a student feels that their efforts are not being rightfully acknowledged, he/she may simply stop trying to do well in school.

Humans naturally like to feel that their work is well-done, like to feel recognized and accomplished. When others, whether it be professors, parents, or even friends fail in crediting another’s efforts, that person’s attitude and self-confidence may dwindle to almost nothing.

The Candor strongly believes that each student in class should be treated equally. Yes, there are some students that may appeal to specific teachers because of their opinions and/or talents, but that gives no right for a professor to not acknowledge, encourage, and/or compliment another student.

We all work hard for our grades and no one should ever feel slighted because of a professor’s favoritism. Regardless of race, gender, or even amount of interaction a student has had with one professor, we should all be on even ground. Even if you have benefited from such treatment, try remembering others who have suffered.  Stand with The Candor in working to end favoritism in the classroom. By working together, we can begin making strides in equality for all. We can change this, but only if we accept that there is a problem.

Contact us on facebook, The Candor, or twitter @TheCandor to let us know about your experiences, or lack of exposure to, favoritism in the classroom.