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January 5, 2019

HELP! Kids Call Me The “Teacher’s Pet!”

Hey Brandon,

I need your help! I’m a good student. Like, not the super brainiest top of the class, but I get good grades. And I respect my teachers. It’s just how I was raised. So sometimes teachers will pick me for special privileges, like running things to the office or leaving first for lunch. I think it’s awesome, except for one thing: other kids call me the teacher’s pet!!! I want teachers to like me…but I don’t want to get teased for it. Help!

Teacher’s Pet Problems

Hello Teacher’s Pet Problems,

Oh man, this is so tricky. It’s such a weird insult when a teacher likes you. Then other people start to think you’re lame. I guess it’s not cool if a teacher likes you, because teachers are not cool. (Unless it happens to be a cool teacher. Rare, but they exist. In that case, I think you wouldn’t be a teacher’s pet.)

Mostly, I think it’s just jealousy. “Teacher’s pets” are usually smart. Think of Harry Potter – Hermione got mocked for always knowing the answers and being well-liked by most teachers (except Snape). But she’s the true heroine of the entire series—how many times would Harry have died without Hermione’s smarts?!

I understand not wanting to get teased. But you also don’t want to get on your teacher’s bad side just so kids stop calling you teacher’s pet. That doesn’t seem like it’d be a good trade-off for a few reasons. One is that these are probably kids who’ll find some reason to tease you no matter what.

Like, are the kids who call you teacher’s pet really kids you want to be friends with? Do they seem like nice, fun people? Probably not. Because the nice, fun people aren’t making fun of others for being respectful to adults.

Sure, disrespecting your teacher might temporarily stop the teasing. But in the long run, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to sabotage your relationships with teachers, who can have a big impact on your future, just for the favor of kids who aren’t going to be true friends anyway.

So, I think the best thing to do is ignore the haters. If someone says something directly to you like, “Why are you the teacher’s pet?,” just roll your eyes and confidently respond, “It’s called being helpful and smart.”

Have you ever been called a teacher’s pet? How do you handle it? Tell us in the comments.