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My Physics Teacher Might Be Jealous

  1. Sep 24, 2014 #1

    So I'm currently a senior in high school and I want to major in physics. I was really excited to start Honors Physics this year and meet my teacher. When I met him, I told him how I wanted to be an experimental physicist; he replied saying, "That's cool".

    Since then, things have not been going so well. He's always laughing and talking with the other kids, however, he seems to have something against me. He always has a disappointed look when talking to me, and when I ask him for help, he tells me to figure it out or that I "should know it". He also knows that I was diagnosed with severe ADHD and OCD, yet he doesn't acknowledge my deficiencies and struggles. He's a total jerk. I've thought about it for weeks and I think I know why.

    Now, of course, this is just my speculating. I'm not saying this is the true reason.

    He told the class that he majored in physics and that he always loved it, however, why didn't he proceed to a Ph.D. and become a...well, physicist? Now obviously it could just be that he loves teaching, but it could also be that something prevented him from going on to graduate school (financial issues, rejected from schools, etc.). If that is the case then it's possible that he is jealous of me, right? He's jealous that I might achieve his failed dream.

    Am I just making a huge assumption? Of course this whole thing sounds kind of cliche and ridicolous, but the reason I ask is because it's affecting my grades. He won't help me or acknowledge my special needs.

    Let me know what you guys think. I would really appreciate it.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 24, 2014 #2


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    There's no way we can know what your teacher is thinking...but if you're still in High School, you are still a ways off from the PhD. You still have to complete your Bachelor's in Physics which I presume your teacher already has, so I don't see why he would be jealous of your right now. Maybe he's just a jerk lol.
  4. Sep 24, 2014 #3
    lol, maybe, but dude, he has probably seen a lot of kinds in his life that are like you, so maybe not. unless, you are somekind of genius and he is blown away, then he might be jealous. but otherwise, you have nothing that he could be jealous of. you just want to be a physist, (actually, no better than him, ) you just have a aim, thats it.

    on the otherhand, if you did become a physicist, then he could be jealous, but now, you are nothing(again, unleess you are some kind of genius with epic skills, then he might be)
  5. Sep 24, 2014 #4
    You seem very paranoid with your crazy speculation. Why would a high school teacher be jealous of a kid? You haven't even accomplished anything for him to envy. If I were a teacher I'd be proud to inspire someone to major in the same field I studied.

    Don't you think you might be shifting the anger and frustration you feel toward yourself for having trouble with the material onto your professor?
  6. Sep 24, 2014 #5
    Not at all. He should be helping me with material that I am having trouble with rather than just telling me to "figure it out".

    "If I were a teacher I'd be proud to inspire someone to major in the same field I studied."

    I would think so too, but apparently that's not the case here.

    I could indeed be paranoid. Well, thanks for your opinions, guys. I appreciate it.
  7. Sep 25, 2014 #6
    I can easily imagine a situation where your expression of the desire to be an experimental physicist might have sounded to him like you were saying, "I'm not going to end up as a mere teacher (like you), I'm going to be a real, working physicist!"

    I have no way of knowing if this is how you came off, I'm just saying I can imagine such a situation.

    Imagining further, if, on top of that, you then reveal you have special needs, that he must spoon-feed you a bit more than the other students, to help you in your quest to end up in a better position than he did, well...I think you can see where I'm going with this.

    Science, academics, everything really, has an important political side you have to master to get anywhere. A lot of Feynman's stories in his autobiographical books are about him learning little lessons in interpersonal politics, sometimes after having accidentally offended someone. He survived.
  8. Sep 25, 2014 #7
    It could simply be that he wants you to learn to pick it up on your own because he thinks it will make you a better Physicist.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2014
  9. Sep 25, 2014 #8
    Never met a pedagogue that is jealous of their student(s), because they have brains. If he's a jerk to you, you can be a jerk, too. When he says "figure it out on your own" or something, just tell him something like "hey man, I was just asking for help". You could also leave him a note that says:
    Don't be a [itex]\frac{d^3 s}{d t^3}[/itex]

    I think you overreacted and/or overthought about it.
  10. Sep 25, 2014 #9
    It's a waste of time to speculate and try to analyze how your teacher feels about you, and you may simply be projecting your own insecurities onto the situation. Just try to establish a good relationship with him, and do your best to learn the material. If you find the teacher isn't helpful, you can always try to form a study group or ask around here for help.
  11. Sep 25, 2014 #10
    I get it now, 3rd order time derivative is a jerk. Hehehe
  12. Sep 25, 2014 #11


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    I'd consider this situation a good opportunity to become familiar and comfortable with using other/outside resources to aid in learning the material. It'll be good practice for your future academic endeavors. :)
  13. Sep 25, 2014 #12
    Thanks a lot guys! I guess I am just overreacting.
  14. Sep 25, 2014 #13


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    As others have said, I also don't agree with your speculation. Since you've been diagnosed with OCD, could it be that you're obsessing over this situation and over analyzing things?
  15. Sep 25, 2014 #14


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    I think you're all missing the point. Amrator's teacher is this guy:

    But seriously; Amrator, as a scientist-to-be , try to collect more data to see if this guy's reactions are consistently
    unfriendly towards you, and if these reactions follow from the same type of stimulus. And like Zoobyshoe said, you
    do need to learn to negociate the politics, tho this is true in most aspects of life, and, to be fair, other people do
    put up with some of our b.s at times too.
  16. Mar 25, 2015 #15
    Honestly I think it is 100% positive that teachers can be jealous of students. It doesn't matter about age difference or how he's an adult and you're younger. Anyone can be jealous of anyone. It's human nature. So i disagree with the previous comments, however before you go throwing accusations everywhere, be positive if he is jealous of you. But yes, he could be, its not impossible. Hope this helps.
  17. Mar 25, 2015 #16
    Nah, it turns out I was just really hyper-vigilant. Anyway, this thread does not need any further replies. Thank you though.
  18. Mar 25, 2015 #17


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    It will help if you check the date of the last post to see if the thread is currently active before you reply, this thread was not as the last post was 6 months ago.
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