Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ugh. High School. Post #5

OMG IT'S BEEN LIKE A MONTH SINCE I'VE DONE A HIGH SCHOOL POST. Needless to say, I'm sorry for my procrastination and it'll probably happen again.

Ugh. High School. Post #1
Ugh. High School. Post #2
Ugh. High School. Post #3
Ugh. High School. Post #4

This is the fifth and final post of my fabulous series. I hope I've provided insight and clarity to the jumbled up mess of high school and high schoolers and teenagers in general.

This last post is a letter. A letter to principals, teachers, superintendents, governors, the president himself, all those who take part in piecing together our schools and education system. It's not like any of them are probably going to read this, but it's sort of nice to actually get these things off my chest and who knows? Maybe someday they will see this or maybe they won't, it's just nice to put this out there.

***A forewarning, this letter is probably going to be lengthy and there are no pictures. Don't say I didn't warn you.***

Dear Whomever It May Concern,

I'm a young girl, living my life in what you've created or in some way helped create. I'd like to give you some feedback, if you may, on what you've made. All I ask for is an open mind, open ears, and that you perhaps put some thought into what I have to say.

First of all, I'd like to throw out there that I truly do love school. I'm not some crazed student who loathes learning and would like to bash out on our system, I truly care.

On that note, I'd like to address something, in our country we have this, "one size fits all" mentality. We're constantly being shoved down our throats that we are college bound when some of us aren't. All kids are taught the same thing when truly not all students are ready/able to grasp the concept being taught. When I entered high school, I, like others, was given the opportunity to take honors classes. I took the challenge willingly, no forcing needed. Upon entering though, I encountered numerous students who honestly shouldn't have been there. They struggled, made failing grades, and cursed themselves as to why they were having such a hard time. Some, but not all, were encouraged, forced, shoved, however you want to put it into take these classes. Most of the time, they weren't even recommended for an honors class by their teacher, but the parent felt so strongly that their kid was smart enough to go ahead with it. You can't change parent's minds, but I almost feel as if parent's shouldn't be allowed to "re-recommend" their child.

Our education system should be thought of as an investment and in my opinion, an investment that can't go wrong. If you knew that you were putting money into something that would most likely produce a good outcome, wouldn't you put more money into it? Makes sense and yet the budget for our education system has been cut and refigured and cut some more. We're putting less and less of our tax dollars into what is practically an investment for the future of our country. Granted, money can't fix everything and there are truly some things in our system that can't be fixed no matter the billions of dollars we put in, but some things can. As a child of a teacher, I know that they do no get paid enough. As a child who's spent way more than half her life in the education system, I know that we need new textbooks (or at least enough so every child is allowed their own during that class period and not having to share). Our teachers need to have more access to school supplies instead of dipping into their own personal savings for something as simple as construction paper. We need new library books, more access to technology, better lab equipment in our science classrooms, and overall a better education. So invest in the lives that will someday be leading your country.

We also must learn from other countries. There's a reason why we're so low in the rankings for math and science, we just have to learn this reasoning. We should travel to other countries and see what's working for them, see how they're encouraging their students, see how they're running their education system. I feel as an American, we have this preconceived thought that we're the best. That we are doing everything the right way and that we're the almighty of countries. But we're not. We have to get over ourselves and take interest into what other countries are doing.

As a high schooler I feel like my teachers and superiors are treating me like a child at times. Now, there's a time and place for the treatment that we sometimes receive (like elementary school or when we act like a child), but I feel that I shouldn't receive it 24/7 (or maybe that should be 7/5 since it's seven hours a day five days a week haha). Some high schoolers are as old as 18, where they are legally considered an adult, but yet they go to a school where they are consistently being treated as a 10 year old. Granted, we are given more freedom as we progress through are schooling years, but I still feel like I'm not treated the way I should be. One of my biggest pet peeves of this year is how they're controlling me in the lunch line. Yes. The lunch line. They're changing all the food into some healthy shit that makes me not even want to eat lunch. I know we're fighting an "obesity epidemic" (insert sarcasm here), but if you're trying to fix it by changing all the good food that I've known since kindergarten and changing it into some nasty shit that makes me not want to eat lunch therefore lose weight, congrats. You've succeeded. Also I'm being told that I have to get one entree and two side items either two fruits, two vegetables, or one fruit one vegetable, but in reality the fruit isn't fresh and the vegetables are either frozen or over cooked making them not very edible. So it's either pay extra money to get just an entree (yes, it's more money to get a milk and an entree than a milk, entree, and two fruits/vegetables) or pay less money and just throw all that food away. I mean I'm in high school for God's sake, I'm pretty sure I'm capable of choosing my own lunch. (Granted that last one was more of a gripe than something that is really wrong with our education system, but I've been holding that one in for a while.)

Also when I say we're treated like kids, I don't always mean they don't give us enough freedom. For example, if a student doesn't turn in their school work on time, they often get the "Oh, it's alright. Turn it in tomorrow." treatment, but what is that really teaching them? This response is adequate for children who are much younger and don't know any better. If we continually are not held responsible for our actions, then what kind of adults are being created? Our education needs to have more a of a solid foundation, something that starts with our teachers. And don't get me wrong. I've had teachers who laid down the law and had a no nonsense way of teaching, but I've also had teachers who were as lenient as a rubber band and allowed us to do as we please.

One final statement to all those who work in the higher positions in our government and education system. It astounds me that people in our government make so many important decisions for our education system yet MANY MANY MANY of them, were never teachers and haven't set foot in a public school essentially since high school. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure they are able to make many good decisions in regards to education but because of their lack of experience and knowledge in that department, many of their decisions are not the right fit. Even those who work for the Department of Education for North Carolina (my home state) who were actually once teachers and principals have made decisions that are totally bogus. Isn't it time that we consult the teachers? Ask them what they would like to see. Ask them what isn't working for their students. Ask them what ideas they have. By God, they work in the system every day, so why do we make so many important and monumental decisions without at least consulting a few teachers about it first? I'm not saying we have to run every decision about education by every teacher in the country, but at least utilize them in some way in the bigger decisions that would most certainly affect our schools.

So thank you to those who have listened to what I have to say and a second thanks for your time and consideration.

A young girl in your education system

I'd also like to send a big thank you to the readers who actually took the time to read this and the entire series itself. As it was my first series, the post were few and far between (sometimes REALLY far between), but as most things that you try for the first time it doesn't exactly go as you plan. I hope to start a new series very soon and thank you once again.

Have a fabulous day.

No comments:

Post a Comment