I have noticed over the 13 years of being in school that teachers have opinions. Not surprising, I know, but when you are in elementary school, these opinions are quite irrelevant seeing as you are simply learning the difference between you're and your (though some still don't know the difference).
You can see a slight change in middle school as you are beginning the horrible struggle of becoming an adult. "Your body is changing," as all the sex education books state, and you are starting to figure out who you are, your true character.
If I am being honest, I cannot concretely remember anything that I learned in middle school academically. Of course, there was Algebra, but as I am a communications major that does not have any particular use in my life or earth science where I was supposed to learn what types of rocks reacted to salt... which I could not name if my life depended on it.
Instead, I remember submitting papers or assignments and getting them back a day or two later with "comments" on them. Teachers' comments are how they thought the assignment went. In middle school, the comments are still pretty standard and common knowledge as we are still learning basic things, but High School is where I noticed a change.
We were writing on topics that were not all about know academic facts. We started writing opinion papers, or analysis and reflection papers, which still came back to me with comments. A lot of the time teachers said they were looking at the technique of the writing and not necessarily the content, but I started noticing that if my opinion differed slightly from what the teacher spoke about in class my grade went down.
Like I said teachers have opinions, that is a given, but I think people are laboring under the illusion that teachers don't use that opinion in grading. Teachers themselves like to believe that they are unbiased, but I think they know deep down that if they agree with the points in the paper they are more inclined to give it a good grade.
This does not surprise me as I have come to this realization over the last five years, because no one can truly be objective; we are human. We are passionate and thoughtful beings that want to protect our way of life and in doing so we put our opinions first. But how does this affect school?
I have started turning in papers that I don't necessarily believe in 100%, but I always get a solid grade. Schooling has taught me that it is not about your intellectual or how you write the paper, it is the perspective of the reader that gets you an A.
Though I am presenting this in a slightly negative way, it has taught me many helpful things. I can read people much better now and I can infer what people want to hear quite accurately. Now that may seem a little fake, but succeeding in school is about getting good grades, learning something truly substantial and representing your own voice is secondary to that.