Right Working Romantic Related Learning Friendly Healthy Legal Inspirational Unfiltered

Teacher Intelligence Exists On A Spectrum

, , , , , , | Learning | December 1, 2021

By the time I take psychology class in high school, I have already had a regular physics course and am now taking an advanced AP physics course. We have just gotten a test back that covered the senses and psychological effects on them. I go to my teacher at the end of the class.

Me: “[Teacher], you marked this question as wrong but I’m pretty sure it’s correct.”

Teacher: “No, violet light is a lower wavelength than red light.”

Me: “I’m pretty sure it isn’t. Radio waves have the longest wavelength; that’s why we use them for long-distance communication. Then, they get shorter, going up to infrared, followed by red light, up to violet, then ultraviolet and x-rays.”

Teacher: “That’s not what it said in the book.”

Me: “Regardless of what the book said, I’m pretty confident about wavelength; we’ve covered it numerous times in science classes. I could get [Physics Teacher] to check the question if you want.”

Teacher: “If you think the book was wrong, why didn’t you say something when you read it?”

Me: “I didn’t notice. I already knew plenty about wavelengths so I wasn’t paying as much attention to that section, and it always takes me half a second to remember which is shorter wavelength and which is shorter frequency. I probably wasn’t worrying enough about it to think through whether it was right or wrong while scanning over it.”

Teacher: “Well, we were testing if you learned by the book, so you need to give the answer in the book.”

Me: “But not if the book is wrong. I’m sure my answer is correct. I can get you proof if you want.”

Teacher: “It doesn’t matter. If you had a problem with the book, you should have brought it up before now.”

More than half a year later, it was the end of the year. During our last class, the teacher asked if anyone wanted to share their favorite and least favorite parts of the class. When it was my turn, I gave my favorites before moving on to my regrets.

Me: “My least favorite part is that you still don’t believe me that red light has a longer wavelength than blue light!”

Teacher: “Well, you’re in luck, then, because I believe you now.”

Me: *Hopeful voice* “Does that mean I get my point back?!”

Teacher: “No.”

Honestly, in the grand scheme of things, one point on a test hardly mattered. I still aced the class; it was quite easy compared to some of my other courses. But the sentiment of refuting the truth coming from a teacher has always bothered me.

What I found most confusing, though, was that supposedly, only one other person came to the teacher to refute the incorrect question, which implies most of the students gave the answer the teacher expected. We were all in our last two years of high school, so everyone should have had basic physics, not to mention chemistry and middle school science — courses where they learned about light. How could an entire classroom of students memorize the book’s incorrect answer without any of them realizing it conflicted with everything they had been taught previously?