The way a teacher perceives students may affect how they treat them. This may stem from biases that teachers may or may not be aware of. Every human has biases against certain people (Johnson, 2013). These biased perceptions might stem from past experiences, uncertainty, physical appearance, or other reasons. Because perception influences teachers’ responses to students, it is necessary to discuss how impactful teacher perceptions are on students in the educational system. Because teachers have a powerful position in students’ daily lives, they likely have an effect on student learning as well as their self-efficacy. Students from minority cultures are underrepresented in advanced academic programs such as, Advanced Placement courses, college readiness courses, and gifted and talented programs (Kenyatta, 2012). These programs are largely based on teacher referral and when fewer educational opportunities are given to students of color, the achievement gap increases. Additionally, there are gender discrepancies in the educational system (Dell’Angelo, 2016). Teachers may challenge male students more frequently based on beliefs they have about both sexes. Moorman and Wicks-Smith (2012) found that students of lower socio-economic status were perceived more poorly than their middle-class and upper-class peers and that this is in direct correlation of academic achievement for students from a lower socio-economic family. Furthermore, teacher perceptions affect student’s socially. Hughes, Zhang, and Hill (2006) found that students who are perceived as ‘good kids’ by their teachers and have positive relationships with them are also received positively by their peers. The opposite is true as well, SUCCESS FOR EVERY CHILD 4 where students who are perceived as ‘bad kids’ by their teachers are not received well by their peers, and thus, struggle more socially. School counselors, who are change agents in the school system, can encourage schoolwide interventions to help teachers become aware of their own biases and give them tools in order to treat all students equally. These interventions may change school culture and lessen achievement gaps.

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Counselor Education

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