Is School Really the Best Thing?

Take a minute and imagine our world without cell phones or technology. Crazy, right? Well, now imagine our world without school. For most students they’d think that would be pretty great. But if we truly take it into consideration, would less school, or even no school, really be all that bad?

According to an article called “Problems at School” as found on http://www.acmh-mi.org, over 50% of students with emotional and behavioral issues between the ages of 14 and older, are dropping out of high school. Mental health is something that is becoming more common and being found in more and more students each year. Mental health isn’t just a problem that can be fixed. It’s becoming a disease that is spreading like wildfire and is taking out students faster than we could try and stop it. 

Yes, it is super important for students to learn and receive the best education they can get for their futures. From young ages in kindergarten and elementary school, students are taught tiny life skills from the very beginning. Such as learning how to share, how to read and write, to making new friends. More and more students among these ages are being introduced to the life of testing and assessments, leading them to enter the world of stress and anxiety even at that young of an age. As students move into middle school, they start learning more advanced levels of education. In sixth grade, for some students, their minds are thrown onto an auction stage and see themselves as lower or higher depending on which level of math or English they’re placed in. For most students in public schools, math classes are split depending on where their teacher or parent chose to put them in fifth grade going into the sixth grade. The problem that this has created is a whole other universe where students compare themselves with other students, and those in a lower math level than their friends, associate themselves as being ‘dumb’ or not as smart.

This leads to the idea of school as a scary place and somewhere some students just don’t want to go to. Those years of middle school, students in those grades start to develop a mind set that they either can or cannot do something. This isn’t a trait that is consumed from another family member; it’s not a cold they catch from someone doubting their abilities. It’s a tiny chip, that the concept of failure and punishment is put into their heads at school. As some students reach the eighth grade, they have to prepare for high school and for most of them, go somewhere they’re not familiar with. The monster of fear and worry may come for students, and by the end of freshman or sophomore year, 50% have either dropped out or decided to go homeschooled. “Problems at School” writes. 

The generations of graduates with great degrees to become amazing people will make our world a better place. Yes, many people would agree with that. But our world, with sickened student bodies, who are suffering from cases of stress, fear, anxiety, and so much more. It’s hard to imagine what world we’ll be living in, when the next couple of years start creeping up.

“Not only is anxiety more common I’ve noticed, but all of my friends including myself have some type of anxiety and have gotten it over the past year or two.” This is a quote from a student in tenth grade, whom I had the chance to interview. During her interview, we discussed how school isn’t really her favorite thing, but the only thing bringing her back every day are her friends. She also explained how there are some classes she does see a point in and some that she just doesn’t think are necessary. “Certain things in math are important to know and learn for certain jobs in the future,” she then adds, “but honestly, I just want to know how to do my taxes, and then I think I’ll be ok.” She also added how most of her non-core classes have helped her more over the years than the required ones. “I took a speech class my freshman year, and I think public speaking is super important, especially for all the presentations we have to give in almost every class during the year. Speech also helped me learn life skills since our teacher encouraged that a lot in our daily classes.” 

After interviewing a couple other students, they all came up with similar thoughts and ideas for how school could change. Some of those reasons are the time school starts, no more homework, the number of days we have to be in school, and places set aside for students to go during the day. Of all of the students I interviewed, the earliest time of 10:00 is when they said they were able to go to bed because they’d be up late doing homework. On most nights, one student told me how he usually has about five to six hours of homework with few breaks, and he’s gone to bed close to 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning. He also had many hours of sports after school, but added homework doesn’t help with that either. 

One of the students I interviewed said she thinks school could give students places designated for them to go to if they feel stressed during the day. “I think this would help students just calm down and even talk to someone, not having to worry about making up work or missing another class or assignment and it’s easily taking away that stress and anxiety.” She also said since more and more today, schools have their own laptops per classroom, and most of classwork and homework is either being done online, then they might as well make school online. Following her idea, she mentioned how if students aren’t feeling up for school that day or for some students dealing with more severe mental health issues like depression or if they have anxiety that is keeping them at home, then they could just complete the class online and at home. This way, they don’t need to worry or stress over missing and make up work.

Overall, the students I interviewed feel that the idea of school is not something that is truly helping the student body anymore. More and more students are getting hurt and soon; the spirit of schools may be falling apart into tiny pieces if we don’t find a way to heal these wounds. School is a place that is suppose to help our students, to help them learn, to help them grow, to help be a place they can work as one and work together and help these students find out who they are and who they want to be. What if we brought to life what school is truly meant for, and this way we can take down the rapid life diseases that keep taking out the foundation for our new generations.

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