150 years. A century and a half. More than any human being could ever lived.
We have launched rockets, cured most diseases, invented countless scientific breakthroughs yet we still, teach our kids the same way. The same way of 150 years ago.
If we take into account of what’s going on, we look up to the ones who got away from the systems and created history, and future like Steve Job, Bill Gates,.. That only, gives the educational system a bad reputation already, for not mass-producing Bill Gates and Steve Jobs on a large scale, to make the world a better place.
Why I would never become a teacher in the US? Because teachers are the ones that shape our academic viewpoints about the world and yet see how much they’re being neglected. Curriculums are written by politicians who never taught a day in class; core classes are not always suitable for all students because they’re all different.
Students have the same mindsets and attitude for school, where all the things they miss when graduating are friends and memories, not the knowledge and their teachers. Where all the hilarious, and relatable, memes are created from the tedious and draining hours and hours of mandatory classes, homework, and assignments. School is a hell hole to students, which it should not be. Where is the logic in that? Students were supposed to love that academic environment for it is the logical and conventional way for them to thrive and be credible in the workfield. What have we done to this logic? The answer is not teachers’ fault, but everyone blames teachers.
I myself is a current international college student, which equivalent to “I’m rich, exploit me”, at least that’s what colleges in the US assume. During the time I study in this particular college, I found even more reasons to not blame teachers in any way, because shaping and conveying knowledge to students is what they do for a living; they’re the credible and responsible ones who have to endure from student’s ignorance.When you’re a college student, it is a common sense to acknowledge that teachers are trying hard to give you what you need for an imaginary letter to grade your level of comprehension in class. Here’s what I notice that reflected on every teacher’s face:
- Students pay attention, but they do not know what to attend to.
They listen but they never filter. They pay attention but they do not think. They care about what to do on the test and how to not have a C more than the knowledge. The purpose of attending class is to walk out of that class, learning something new, and memorizing it to utilize in the future. I’m taking a trigonometry class this semester; it’s been 4 months and we’re still going around with the same speed and same questions which the teacher had answered previous classes. Scientists have shown that if we don’t understand what we’re looking at, we’ll never spare any space in our brains to memorize it.
2. They are not willing to learn from their mistakes
The teacher gave out the test which most of them have a C or a D. There was this girl in my class got mad, crumbled the test and walked out of class right after. The teacher has to give students their test facing down because no one wants anyone to see their grade, to internally judge them for being an idiot in this class. That’s not how you’re going to be successful in life. If you don’t have the guts to learn from your own mistakes, how on earth can you accept others’? A grade will not define you as a person in anyway. You can be bad at math but you excel in multiples sports and that’s completely plausible. The secret is to accept that failure and learn from it. My trigonometry teacher spent all class to go over the test and teach them what they did wrong, but all of them were just sitting there, being sad and feeling bad for themselves while the solution to end all that and to create a better outcome in the future is right in front of them, right there, yet they refuse to accumulate. Getting mad about your mistakes will not help you getting out it and improve it in anyway. The only way to do it, is to thrive from it, know what you did wrong and to never make the mistake again.
3. “There is a difference between smart and having good grades”
I have asked 10 students to elaborate on this statement; 8/10 agreed this is true, that having good grades does not mean you’re smart and vice versa. Let’s take the matter into a deeper account. We know that people who are intelligent can surpass every obstacles and can always be innovative and visionary. Consider yourself as a smart person, one should acknowledges that they can manage to surpass their peers in all ways, and in this academic situation, is having good grades. Secondly, surveys show that those who considers themselves as smart, usually take education for granted and therefore, utilizing nothing from what they learnt in school. At a result, these people tend to land undesirable jobs, whereas, people who are keen and want to ace every class tend to have goals and therefore leads to successful and dream jobs. Although being street smart can be an advantage when it comes to flexibility in solving problems, smart people with bad grades usually have bad grades because of the lack of discipline; employers are looking for discipline and responsible candidates, not the ones who claims that they’re smart and swift.
All that observations came from only one year I have been studying in the United States; one year and they already made me regret my choice of coming here the first place. Students maybe only a few percents of the US population, but they are a hundred percent of the country’s future. When will these mindsets change and how can we influence students to appreciate and utilize the educational infrastructure they’re having? And furthermore, is it their fault to blame?