It's been a while since I've been in school, but there are things about my experiences I would like to get off my chest. It's about my educational experiences and how we should improve the American school system. This might get me a lot of negative press, but here goes nothing:
1) Excessive—and excessively pointless—homework. Or homework in general: Yes, I get the idea that learning isn't always easy and that homework helps us learn better when we're not in school. But during my time in my middle school years, this new teacher came on board and would assign loads and loads of homework without actually teaching. Hearing that woman talk, you'd think this was college. We're not even in high school, for Christ's sake. If you ask me, I'll bet she never even went to college and has no idea what it's like. We even had to color maps for geography homework. This is geography, not cartography school. And how is coloring maps supposed to prepare us for what's out there? Since that time, I haven't had geography as a class, thank God. If you ask me, homework is overrated and I've heard that some schools have abolished homework altogether. Now if it could come to my home state, I think I'll be happy. Besides, there are more important things in life than homework. You only get to be a kid for seventeen years so being young means having fun while you still can. And didn't Albert Einstein say that imagination is more important than knowledge? All the more reason to hone our imaginations! So why aimlessly and excessively chug away with stuff I'm not going to remember in a few years?
2) Tests: I can understand that tests help the teacher know how much we've learned but they're not the answer to everything in my opinion. There should be alternatives to tests such as papers and projects. Besides, what good is knowledge if you're locked in a room for an hour? Shouldn't we be able to apply that knowledge to a big paper or project? And if you do have to give a test, don't put like four or five essay questions on it. Don't make them so frequent either. When I had to do several essays, I'd run out of things to say by the second or third, and I can never remember everything on the day of a test. And try not to cram too much into one test either. Make it simple and go over things that we really need to know before the test. And even if the test-takers do give you an answer, try not to be too hard on them if they come up with an answer that is different but basically the same thing. I had a teacher who would give partial or no credit to those who didn't do things his way. Listening to him, you'd think there weren't and shouldn't be any exceptions.
3) The so-called traditional educations of the United States: I get that the basics are important, such as science, math, English, history, and the like, but aren't there other things we should be concerned about in school? Like how to do our taxes and starting a new business? Maybe the first five years of school could do those basics but I don't think we should be force-fed our education by the time middle school and high school enter the picture. Besides, I learn better when it's not all thrust into my face. Shouldn't we be able to learn on our own? And for those of you who grew up in a religious institution, I don't think that those particular schools should teach religion like history class. Making certain books sound like they actually happened. Wouldn't it be better to teach the facts behind those very beliefs? Like the history of the Middle East instead of the events of those certain books? And shouldn't it be our decision if we want to be religious or not? I get the idea that children need rules and boundaries, but without some freedoms we are no better than machines.
4) Bullying: Maybe my old schools wouldn't have been so bad if they didn't tell the bully victims to ignore their antagonists. What do they think this is, the Amish country? If they put more anti-bullying policies in place, maybe kids wouldn't have had to fear while in school. Some parents have actually pulled their kids out of school due to the bullying and have homeschooled them. And what really makes me mad about the schools today is that you still get in trouble even if you're defending yourself. What good does that do? I mean, I get the idea that the school wants to prevent trouble, but it's like blaming the victim. You wouldn't send a rape victim to jail with the rapist. You wouldn't send a burglary victim to jail with the burglar. So why would you punish the victim for fighting back? And wouldn't the parents of the victim sue the school anyway for the school not taking care of their child? I understand that fighting is not the only solution to a problem, nor is it the first thing I would have done, but not fighting back has cost us our freedom to defend ourselves. And why do bully victims get a warning in the aftermath of being assaulted? They did nothing wrong. It's not like they started it. Of course it matters who started a fight even though the teachers and principal say they don't care. Besides, the fight would not have happened in the first place if no one started it. And another thing, if adults actually did something about bullying instead of telling kids to brush it off, you wouldn't have so many shootings or suicides.
5) Going to school in general: I get the idea that learning shouldn't be optional, but what's the big deal about going to some building every day? I mean, isn't learning everywhere? And don't you think that there could be better options for students instead of just one school to attend? And what if the teachers and/or principal are idiots? Every day, they're just wasting valuable time that could be used to learn something important besides the basics.
6) Physical education, or PE: I get the idea that exercise is important, but I don't think that there should be one single type of PE. Shouldn't we be learning various types of exercise while in school? I remember one time when I told the teacher I was sick and he thought I was lying. The principal wasn't much help either, and she accused me of trying to shirk PE and claimed I made up the whole thing. Idiots. And they even made us run to the nearby playground some blocks away from school. Are they trying to get us kidnapped by some child snatchers or something? What do they think this is, boot camp?
7) Bathroom breaks: Sometimes we need to answer the call of nature, and the teacher says no. Is it really such a bad thing to go to the bathroom? Though I never had this one teacher, he used to give detentions just for going to the bathroom. What good does that do? What if they really have to go? If the kids wet themselves, wouldn't that make the parents mad and possibly sue the school? We don't control our body functions, for Christ's sake. Some kids will want to leave the room, but kids are not all alike. I get the idea that it's like the boy who cried wolf, but regarding kids who really have to go and the consequences of them NOT crying wolf involve going to the bathroom in their pants, they can go when and if they really need to do so. I mean, shouldn't kids who may or may not be diabetic (which means they make frequent bathroom trips) get special treatment? I know teachers shouldn't play favorites, but I don't think most schools realize that some students have special needs.
There's probably more, but I'll leave this for you all to look at it. Please share some ideas.
Listening to: Nothing
Reading: Origin by Dan Brown
Watching: Computer Screen