The David Henry Agency
posted on January 16, 2011 14:31
Energize Students has received thousands of compelling essays from the "Your Point of View" contest and below are some of the interesting and intriguing quotes that students have to say about the current state of their education system. Please read and learn what the students have to say.
"Perhaps it is more than a change in the school that is necessary; perhaps we need a change in the community. It can start, though, with students. Students, when they see something that isn’t right, should speak up. If they aren’t heard the first time, they should speak again."
"Instead of teaching to the students, the teachers are now ‘teaching to the test."
"...(A)ll who care about their future need to stand together to ensure that the school funding is well taken care of, because it is indeed our future which is at stake here."
"Many students loose interest in school because they are unable to find a motivation for going. Classes such as art, creative writing, shop, and welding are just a few examples of classes that should be available at all schools not just the big ones."
"What he does not see however is that there is a constant cycle. The teachers were laid off because of a crippled economy. Teachers being laid off leads to a poorly educated future generation. A poorly educated future generation leads to a crippled economy, which in turn leads to another budget crisis for the school systems of America."
"Just be kind to the other kids. It’s not that difficult and who knows it could change their whole life, it did for me."
"The distribution of wealth, with the appalling conditions within the inner city...compared to the fabulous wealth of the suburbs...creates a chasm of performance that skews the averages, and while the rich get better treatment, the poor are forgotten...(R)ebalancing how the funds already present are distributed could have a significant impact."
"We have stalls that lack locks, are door-less, and even one notorious cubicle is simply void of a toilet altogether. Students over the years have debated if this is a health violation or not, but, surely the shocking amount of soap (zero percent) present in the school is."
"High school is said to be the best days of one’s life, but the majority of the students that attend my high school think of it as a bloody massacre of their entire being.... our school is a breeding ground for harassment and bullying."
"School should not be a place in which young minds are trained to later regurgitate the subject material. Such end results could not properly be called “learning”. True learning involves evaluating and synthesizing data. It is not a mere memorization of facts and textbook readings. What my high school, and the good majority of high schools need, is to incorporate into their program, guidance for creative and critical thinking."
"So I suggest that teachers partner the students up in the begging of the year for each class. Not only does this give you someone to call for homework when you've been sick but when the class doesn't make sense to you there's someone who can explain it from a students point of view…. They say you should watch one, do one and then teach one to fully understand a new method and for students this is equally important."
"The whole point to disciplining students or even kids in general is not to get them in trouble, but to teach a lesson and help them learn from the mistakes that have occurred. .... Detention is a popular form of discipline for high school students, but the problem is that it is ineffective in teaching the teens lessons about their wrongdoings, therefore setting them up for possible failure in the future."
"Teachers play a main roll in teenager’s lives, it is up to them to report bullying as soon as it is found. The longer the bully continues to bully without being caught the harder the problem will be to fix. Also, Students have to be educated on the subject; they have to see what happens to teens that get bullied."
"I propose my school district introduces Foreign Days. Once a month the cafeteria will serve a wide variety of ethnic foods and teachers will show movies of foreign countries, hold discussions on topics such as foreign relations and issues in developing countries. Also, principles and student senators can plan assemblies where speakers can visit and foreign music can be shared. The over all goal is to let the students experience these other countries without actually having to go to the countries."
"In my opinion, one of the biggest issues that exist with high schools these days are not concerned so much with the type of education that is being provided; the issues concern more the environment that the students are in. If a student does not feel comfortable in a certain environment, they will not be motivated to go to school and get good grades and eventually a diploma. Bullying is a huge problem that exists in our high-schools these days and it is one of the things that need to be worked on and talked about instead of being ignored…"
"… If a child is being bullied, called names, made feel like he or she does not belong at the school with the other children, then that child is being rejected the opportunity of being able to get an education."
"I believe that a way in which every school can improve, is to better prepare students for the real world and not just for tests and college. Consumer Education was one of the most valuable, if not the most valuable class I took in all of high school. It taught me about things that I’m glad I didn’t have to learn the hard way, which would have cost me considerable time and money. Also it sparked conversations with my parents and other people about the realities of life, like paying rent versus buying a home, owning a car, the different types of health insurance and managing a bank account. It was so interesting to me and to a lot of people because we finally had a class about something we were going to be dealing with in a couple years; something that mattered."
"I had a teacher last year that taught pre calculus and trigonometry, we just did not get along. We were never rude to each other but she got irritated when I asked questions—even though I waited until after she finished teaching the lesson like she told us to do—and I got irritated because I felt like she would never answer my question, I felt like she talked about everything else but the problem. I also had not learned everything in Algebra I and II that I should have known before taking this class and when I did not already know the basic part she would tell me that I had to “figure it out on my own.” When study time for finals came around, I knew I had to find help and I knew I was not going to get it from her so I went to other teachers but they were always busy with their own students. They did try to help but I still did not feel like I was getting what I needed. Finally, I went to a one of my peers that was a year ahead of me in math and I got help. She broke down the larger terminology to help me remember it, she sat with me and helped me figure out how to use my calculator, and if there was something that I should have known that I had not been taught she would explain that to me so that I had a clear understanding of my work. I feel like my peer is the reason that I got a B on my final."
"I, myself, have been through a break in confidentiality during my sophomore year in high school. I was placed in a psychiatric hospital for adolescents not long after school had started. After being in a hospital for over four weeks it was said I was able to return back home and back to school. More excited and eager than ever to go to school, I made it there early my first day back. Students kept asking me where my jacket was and if I had to break out to come back home. As young as I was I couldn’t understand exactly what they were talking about or how they knew. Throughout that whole day I was teased and taunted about being a “psycho”. My friend Dusty and I were talking about how everyone found out during lunch period. She had recorded the voice of my choir teacher, after being asked where I was, telling the entire class that I was in a nut house where I belonged. My self esteem had vanished. Shortly after, I had to be taken out of the school due to the mental stress that was caused and was placed in a homeschooling program online. As a result of one teachers break in confidentiality I was unable to go through high school like a normal student would."
"The teachers at any school should not be able to get away with breaking the confidentiality rules. When they do this confidentiality is not the only thing broken. In some cases the student’s spirit gets broken as well. There should be a stop put to this. My voice may be small and this may not seem like an issue, but a students’ foundation for a future/outlook on life mostly starts in high school. I cannot fix what happened to me. The most I can do is bring it to someone’s attention with hope that they can stop this from happening to another young student."
"A Physics class could go to a theme park to see how the laws of physics are taken into account by engineers in order to create a new ride. This is one of the ways my science teacher helps his students become more interested in the subject he is teaching."
"Having speakers come in to classes that deal with their particular expertise would be another valuable way for the student s to understand how a class deals with real life. An example would be if a local government official came into a Government course and explained the particular steps in government and how each one interacts with the others. This could create more enthusiasm within a class instead of watching a video that was compiled a decade ago like some educational videos are."
Lack of class options:
“I would solve this problem with a sort of exchange program, if you will. Students would be able to leave campus for certain parts of the day to take classes at other schools in the area that are not offered at Nampa Christian. Not only would this give students the opportunity to explore more career options in a hands-on way, but it would also allow students who have already decided on a career path to pursue classes that would be beneficial their particular interests. This way, less money would be spent in college experimenting with expensive credits, trying to figure out what kind of a career you want to pursue. This system would provide amazing new opportunities for students at Nampa Christian High School."
"Merely increasing the funding to schools will not solve every problem they face, but rebalancing how the funds already present are distributed could have a significant impact. Our government must ensure that money is wasted neither on pointless programs and developments nor on incompetent teachers. We must be more stringent in our search for and maintenance of qualified teachers, perhaps increasing their salaries based on competency to attract more skilled applicants. Science must not be cut, but neither should the enriching experience of artistic creation, for without art there is no beauty or joy in the world."
"Resources like Blackboard can aid large classes where there is limited time to teach. These online materials give students a “message board” outside of school, where teachers can assign posts about information read or gained in class, and encourage students to comment on each other’s ideas. They also work well for students too shy to express their thoughts in the classroom, who can speak up in writing. Not only will the kids get to know each other better, teachers can expand their understanding of quieter students."
"The problem, so to speak, is that the modern system of associating GPA points with class status, be it Regular, Honors, or AP, changes a student’s judgment of what is important when choosing electives. The acquisition of pertinent knowledge takes a backseat to the acquisition of an inflated 6 or 12-point-scale GPA as more and more students choose to take electives with AP ratings, regardless of whether their selection has any relevance to what they plan on doing later in life."
"My own chemistry and algebra teachers have admitted to me that unless I plan to get a job in such matters, everything I am doing will prove absolutely useless for the future. It would make far more sense if I had one or two more classes a year that I could use on one of my talents that will actually contribute to the world in my later life."
"Perhaps it is more than a change in the school that is necessary; perhaps we need a change in the community. It can start, though, with students. Students, when they see something that isn’t right, should speak up. If they aren’t heard the first time, they should speak again. If I could go back, I would talk, and talk, and talk about the need for student media, and I would not shut up until we got it or until it was properly addressed."
"Someone needs to begin to hold our school responsible. A free press is necessary in any community, no matter how small. It could begin with a watchdog in the form of a student newspaper."
"Only the advanced placement and duel credit students are allowed to take text books home. I honestly feel like there is no reason why each student cant have a book to take home and study if its needed."
"At my school we wear uniforms and the teachers take things over board when it comes to dress code. Everyday there is a teacher wasting time out of his or her lesson to correct dress code and write people up. I feel it is so pointless to write the person up because the next day they are going to go back to doing it. When my teachers waste their time writing people up, they also waste my education time. It takes them about five minutes to write the person up and another five minutes to get the person out of their class."
"High school is a building block in one’s career. It is a place of discovery and expression. Friends made in high school are friends made for life. A school should be a home away from home; a place of creativity and expression."
"My school needs a desperate make over to achieve this. The lockers are patched with off colors, paint peels off the walls, and climate control is a serious issue."
"The most important issue is that the staff has lost touch with the students. There is no trust. There is no bond. Students have nowhere to go when they have an issue. Teachers and counselors, especially, should engage in conversation with their students. Make them feel safe and welcomed."
"Students need people to talk to, cry to, and relate to. Not just a grade coach. School would be an amazing place if you could talk to the staff about personal problems, whether it is as serious as a death or as minor as a fight with a best friend."
"I am in my senior year of High School and for the last four years my High School has been under construction. The construction was to be complete by my freshman year. Last four years were the worst. We never had a library at my school. Some of my classes were taught without the resources needed by the teachers. My school consisted of several different buildings. Transportation between buildings is underground tunnels. These tunnels were disgusting, wet, smelly, scary and hot and crowded. Last year they dug up the cafeteria floor and we ate lunch of rough concrete for the rest of the year. But no worries the football field was resurfaced. My high school was closed this year for the renovations to be completed. I am currently spending my senior year at my Middle School."
"Douglass High School had three principals in the last two years. The two former principals did not handle discipline issues like they should have. Students had fights, food fights, popping fireworks inside the school, spraying “fart” spray on teachers and administrators, throwing water balloons, and more. Whatever you can think of, the students at Douglass High School have done it. There are student, like myself, that go to school to learn but our teachers are not able to teach because they have to entertain discipline issues."
"The teacher that truly made an impact of my life taught psychology, she took the time to teach all her students based on how they learn whether it was visual, auditory or hands on. She uses this method in every lesson she taught and also showed us how everything she taught us can be applied to everyday life so we will never forget. She took the time to get to know her students personally; she told us she felt that was important in order for her to teach us correctly. She did this even though her classes had about forty students. As wonderful as she was to her students she was very strict when it came to our work, she did not tolerate nonsense from anyone and there were no excuses for not turning in anything. If she felt that we weren’t giving our best she would pull us aside and make us try again until we got it right. She listened to our opinions and what would make us learn the material better. I truly believe all teachers need to be like that, things I noticed with all the teachers I’ve had was that none of them really seemed like they wanted to teach. I felt like they gave up on us. It is not a good feeling."
"Bullying is one of the most popular issues in high schools today, some parents do not comprehend how dangerous bullying can be so they do not take it seriously but bullying can be very hurtful and can cause some kids to commit suicide, also it leads to depression. It breaks my heart to know that kids get bully so much they feel they cannot be themselves anymore to fit in, today kids our age have to look a certain way or even act a certain way to fit in."
"I remember when I came to America people made fun of the way I use to dress, they’ll say Elaine did you come to America on a donkey? Or when i walked in the hallway they use to make clicking sounds and tell me to respond to them, after all that’s how we spoke in Africa they’ll say."
"My school is having major budge cuts. They’ve stopped lettings us have bottled water in our classes because we’ve had to cut janitors. We now have to have the same textbooks for eight years instead of six. We’ve had to cut our first year teachers even if they have been a couch in a school system before. With the cuts on our teachers taken place our class sizes have increased instead of having fifteen to twenty students per class we now have thirty to fifty. Our school has also cut classes like our Scholars program which encourages students to stay in advanced classes and go to college. We are now starting school later and our elementary students are starting earlier to save money on the buses this causes problems with the younger kids depend on an older sibling to help them get home in the afternoon since they are also getting out earlier."
"Students have the pressure of studies, activities, and planning their future at a good University. In a perfect world all students would feel safe and stress free at high school and studies would be easy, but unfortunately that is not the case. Bullying has played a huge role in high school for every student, and that is why high school teachers need to make it their priority to create and make sure students feel safe in their learning environment."
"We have the lowest attendance rate from all Chicago and that is a very bad reputation from our school. I think if we can create something like busses to pick up every students at home so the can be on time and ready to learn. Another big problem that our school have is violence (gangs, drugs and much more) . People are scare to coming to our school because of that, each year more and more students are leaving Senn. People are afraid to walk by our school because the think that they are going to be rape or steel or maybe guns shot. I think that the best way to solve this problem is to create more after school matter so that they can be out of street."
"Nowadays it seems that colleges are only interested in students who partake in Advanced Placement courses as opposed to the now considered normal honors course. Before students had the option of taking AP courses, now it seems as if guidance counselors are shoving students left and right into classes they either aren’t interested in or cannot complete. Certain state guidelines have included students taking AP courses as a part of their high school grading system. This need for high schools to be recorded as the best has placed a lot more pressure on students. AP means ADVANCED Placement, because that’s what it is, advanced. AP is not something for the average or below average students who are struggling in basic courses."
"…my proposition consists of a partnership with the special needs program and every sports team in our school."
"…the earnings that the schools get have just made the FCAT a test for profit and economic gain for the school. Every public school, at least here in the county of Miami- Dade, is battling with those FCAT scores in order to get money that year."
"A certain teacher of mine spent more time teaching us tricks to get partial credit on test answers than he did on actual material."
"As a student athlete, I do not feel that academics in my school gets the same attention as athletics."
"From my point of view I believe that our school should be funded a lot more then what we are being funded now. A majority of students aren’t able to buy a bus fare to school so what makes you think they can afford school lunch or field trips?"
"A class teaching how to write a check, how to have a successful interview, how to write a resume, how to find a house or an apartment, how to take out student loans, and how to manage your money should be a requirement for all graduating seniors."
"Mountain Empire, along with other country schools, has a hard time properly funding the education that should be offered. When schools lose out because of money issues, the students are the victims because they lost their right to learn."