Haley Cooper via Ms. Poirier
What makes me angry? To put it in simple words, the absolute unjust and unfathomable stress and pressure that the many aspects of school put on students each and every day. They should be eradicated soon before entire generations are left in a depression and with loss of individuality.
In my three years in Abington High School, I’ve come to see a massive lack of understanding, compassion, fairness, equality, and support within this building. Rather than try to fix these issues or help these students, often the school simply casts our problems out of their responsibilities and leaves us to fend for ourselves in an overly demanding and structurally unsupportive system. We are struggling.
One of the worst things a teacher can do to a student is tell them that only perfection is to be expected, and that is exactly what I’ve seen lately in classes.
A teacher’s job is to educate and inspire; however, it appears the inspire part has become irrelevant to modern day school. Countless times, I have been indirectly discouraged from pursuing things that I enjoy in life that would make for good career choices and educate me further on a topic within the classroom.
Often during group assignments our teacher will separate group members at the last minute without any former consultation to said group who work well together without giving any just reasoning and jeopardize their grades. Plenty of times I have had to start from scratch after completing days’ worth of work alongside my partners, simply because the teacher doesn’t want the same people working together, even though we complete the assignments the same.
On terms of inspiration and motivation, Abington has some of the most inspiring teachers that I’ve ever had. But, occasionally, there are teachers in this school and many others that only point out your flaws quite literally destroy your self confidence by telling you your work isn’t good enough unless it suits their exact preference, no matter how on topic you were.
They put their personal belief of how things should be and tell students they cannot follow their own method, even when it sometimes works better than the teacher’s and benefits the lesson as a whole.
The grading systems feel artificial as if it’s all just an algorithm, a machine that only benefits the conformists who lack an individual perspective. The world is not black and white: we have responsibilities outside of school, conditions beyond our control, and complex emotional values that we need to constantly juggle along with our schoolwork.
To expect perfection while ruining any confidence in our work, simply put, does not benefit nearly anyone as we lose the motivation and desire to work only to be rejected by a system that has long forgotten the meaning of education.
School is no longer a place to learn, but a cell in which we are forced to labor our days away. Much of the lessons we receive are not necessary or beneficial to everyday life as a teen or even adult. When we ask for change we get told, “You’re going to need this for college,” but what about the students who aren’t going to college? The one’s who have their aspirations planned out, but lack the time to learn about them as school does not offer that opportunity?
I remember a time when I used information from school in life more regularly, but in high school I have learned next to nothing about the real world and how to genuinely pursue my personal aspirations for life. Many times my dreams have been killed off by a lack of opportunity, and school is what has taken so many of those opportunities away from me.
School has only held me and many others back from achieving our dreams as it sets a strict set of what we can and cannot be experienced at and forces us to practice in classes that have absolutely no benefit to our personal life. We should be learning how to file taxes, how to properly finance and invest, housing, insurance, economics, and governmental constructs, as these are going to occupy our life every day and we lack the time to strongly educate ourselves on these matters in the short time before graduation, as school takes up so much of our lives in school and at home.
I personally feel as though school takes up more of my life than I can mentally tolerate any longer, and to my misfortune I just don’t have the self confidence in my aspirations anymore, as so many of my creative works have been negatively criticized and deemed bad simply because of teachers’ personal opinions of them, not the assignment’s requirements.
I have never been under such stress in my life before and trying to balance a job with school leaves me with three hours to myself on workdays, which are always loaded with too much schoolwork, leading to me either turning the assignments in late, or staying up past midnight and getting an unhealthy lack of sleep just to keep my grades up.
School is harming us, but it seems like nobody cares. We need change and until people can advocate for it and form an allegiance to this cause, we will continue to struggle.