WHS Siblings Policy to be Enforced

Xochi Hopwood and Vanessa Gebhard

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As the 2017-2018 school year approaches, it will mark the start of Wakefield High’s new sibling-teacher policy. Due to this new guideline, every WHS teacher will only be able to have one family member per year. Previously, teachers were able to have a set of siblings as their students, whether in the same classes or not. Typically this would create some “family rivalry”, which was a point brought up when WMHS decided to create this new policy that will be in effect for the upcoming school year. Students reported feeling pressure in the classroom trying to do better than their sibling or be more liked. “Every teacher has their favorites, so when having a pair of siblings it can be difficult to not let that favoritism show for one and not the other.” admitted an anonymous faculty member at Wakefield. Obviously, pressure and rivalry is not something that should be taking place in a healthy class environment, which is another positive aspect of this change.

The new guideline has been designed to help teachers, who will also benefit from never having family members in the same school year. Now, there won’t have to be any worries about mixing up the names of the two when talking to them. The siblings will no longer have to feel offended or less important if they are called the name of their brother/sister. “Laura… Elena. They’re not even similar names and it’s bad enough when our mom mixes us up, I don’t need our teachers doing it too!” shared a very offended sophomore.  Along with not confusing the names, teachers won’t have to stress over allowing the same last name to fool them, causing them to give the wrong child the grade of their brother or sister in their gradebook. Imagine if the wrong kid got into college with their sibling’s GPA! All of these factors were taken into consideration when passing this policy, in hopes of improving school life for both teachers and students.

With the positives that come with this new policy, there were other arguments for allowing siblings to have the same teachers for some had pointed out that siblings enjoy having the same classes as each other as it made them more comfortable. However, while they may enjoy each other’s company, this same company may act as a distraction in the classroom environment. Patrick Tannian, a junior at Wakefield High, shared with us, “My twin Mary and I asked the school if we could have separate classes because we see each other 24/7 at home and we’re siblings so obviously we fight, so it’s simply just too distracting.” After hearing Pat’s statement the school board was convinced the new rule is a good idea. In addition to this, some brothers and sisters also enjoyed the rivalry between themselves as they worked better when there is a sense of competition. So, while competition was found to sometimes be helpful, it was generally found to be more stressful than beneficial.

As WHS administration viewed all of these thoughtful points, they gladly came upon the easy decision to enforce this new “one sibling per teacher” rule. Even if it calls for an increase in the amount of teachers within the staff, the classroom environment would run a lot smoother with no siblings or rivalries and mixups to disturb it.

 

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WHS Siblings Policy to be Enforced