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What Really Counts to a Teacher

Here's the secret: Everything Counts. Your teacher may not count off any points on a given paper for neatness, but sometime, somewhere, neatness will definitely count, and the fact that you didn't practice being neat might make you just a little more sloppy when it finally does count.

Sound confusing?

The short answer is that a teacher just wants to know that you're really trying hard, all the time, on everything. You might not have the best handwriting. You might need a little more time to get your math right. Teachers are pretty good at seeing those things. They are also very good at seeing when kids are trying to get away without honestly doing everything they can.

Honesty really is the best policy. If you really are trying your best, and you're honest to your teacher, you may or may not get perfect grades, but your teacher will almost certainly be really fair with you. And if you always do your best, sometimes that might be more than you need to get an "A," but it's still worth the extra effort.

If you try to "slide" and get by without working as hard as you can, doing just enough to get by or just enough to get an "A," your teacher might count that against you. Also, trying to "slide," is a bad habit that will come back to hurt you, because your ability to work hard is like a muscle - if you don't exercise it, it will get weaker!

(Check it out: Print this out and share it with your teacher. See if he or she agrees!)

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