Most of us have stared out the classroom window dreaming of a time when we will be free. Free of the many burdens and criticism given right alongside the lesson for the day. Free from the staring of the weirdos and comments from the insecure masses that love to tear down what they don’t understand. Sometimes we just stare out the window because it is more exciting than what is going on inside the classroom.
So much time is wasted on information being crammed into our brains. What is valuable becomes hard to distinguish from what is not. Endless recitation of dates, mathematical formulas and acronyms become a melee in our short-term memory. Test day comes and it is dumped out as if it were never there at all. Some still wonder why our schools fail our children and why “smart” kids fail our schools.
Here is a secret: most all kids hate school. Surprised? Well, perhaps millions of kids aren’t wrong when they say school sucks. Now, I think there are definitely some hormones and social grouping that causes a lot of this irritation. Perhaps there are design flaws in a system meant to deliver schooling to unique children across the country. Is it a possibility we’ve been doling out disservice to students for a great many years? I believe it is a distinct one.
The problem is not simply bad teachers or poor schools. There are real design flaws in the way curriculum is presented and limited choices are given. The whole system needs fixed because setting a common theme, standard or curriculum is a betrayal of the values and needs for different communities and regions within the country. No kid is exactly like another and no place is either.
Aside from a drastic overhaul and individualized curriculum tailored to each students desires, what can we do? I believe a good start involves adding classes that include life skills. Many former students I have interviewed say that they were unprepared for paying rent or a mortgage. What happens when bills are unpaid? What are income taxes and how does one fill out the forms you are given upon employment? Do I claim myself as a dependent? Many other questions about simply living in the world without your parents are not addressed either.
This causes a tense feeling about ones future when there are more questions than answers. Many students are left to fend for themselves and suffer multiple failures before understanding how to function and succeed in society on their own. This is not to say young adults cannot live without help but couldn’t we improve the lives of many by offering some kind of prep for life besides college? Not all people have a parental safety net when they fail or trustworthy friends to answer these important questions.
By no means is this a fix for the educational system. It is a start. While I can still give you the Pythagorean Theorem, it may have not come up enough in my life to justify the stress involved with memorizing it. Perhaps allowing students more control over what they want to learn and offering internships in areas that interest students would help. College is not for everyone. Allowing young students to participate in the community and gain job experience will offer real world participation. That is education. There needs to be ways to allow youth to prepare for their future through being a part of the real world instead of an artificial creation of one.
Image credit: https://eva.ru/kids/read-kak-uchat-matematike-v-anglii.htm