Fix the Broken System

Standard

Today, I’m proud to have a guest blogger from Washington Co. High School. Below is a speech that he presented in his public speaking class this semester. I love his ideas and I’m so happy he’s agreed to share them here. Thank you, Cole! 🙂

Photo Credit: flickr

The School System is Broken

by Cole Perkins, aka “A Random 9th Grader”

The school system is broken and it needs to be fixed now. The sad truth is that the current school system is not effective and is incredibly outdated. It does not address the need for every student and it tends to focus on subjects that are not essential to being successful in life. It is bad that school prioritizes subjects such as complex algebra and science when so very few people need that information in their life. Knowing this information for the sake of knowing it should not be essential and should only be optional for people to pursue, their are many problems in our current school system, some of them are being addressed others are ignored.

An awful thing in our education system is that it is very broad in the way it teaches and often doesn’t care about what some students may want or need, focusing on narrow and complex topics to teach while ignoring what students may actually want. It’s even worse that most colleges could care less how well you did in all of your classes, and seem to care more about whether or not you have played some extracurricular activity, that you honestly don’t care about.

Also another fatal flaw in our current school system is the idea that students should have little to no control of their own education, and that they should only be able to pick a few little classes that they may or may not get into. Students have absolutely no freedom or control on what they want to do, and in a few cases where they do have some control it is heavily restricted by what the school wants and desires for the students to do.

Now would you like to know a fun fact? America ranks 14th in education in the world it may not sound that bad but you would think we would want to strive to be number one. But do you want to know who has the best education system? Finland, and you know what is so odd about that? Finnish schools are known for giving very little homework and only have tests that are optional.

Another absolutely wonderful thing about Finland education is that it gives more chances for students to do what they actually want to do! It is a truly wonderful thing that Finland made a system that actually works both good and efficiently, a system that actually benefits the people it’s supposed to be teaching.

By now, you may be expecting a solution to this problem and it is actually very simple, if we want to raise the education standard and allow students to fill their goals in life all we have to do is make the system more of a democracy and allow students to have a bigger say in their education. Giving students more power into what they actually want to learn will turn them into more creative and innovative people, which is what we currently need. The system we have now was designed to turn students into mindless obedient factory workers who must only speak when spoken to and who must only get things done and nothing else: a system that teaches them that their opinions mean absolutely NOTHING.

However, times are changing and factory appeal has gone down. Students want to be free to make their own choices. After all, this generation is supposed to lead us into the future. Also let’s take the example of Finland and copy what they are doing; break down the divide between grades, because the more we divide the students the bigger the gap of education gets. Not separating students into categories has proven to work, by good old Finland.

Another grand thing we can do that Finland is also doing so it is proven to work, is cut the time students spend in schools and classrooms. Why must this be done? Well it has been proven multiple times that people will function and work better if they get both more sleep, and more free time between activities.

In Finland the average time students start school is 9:00 through 9:45 AM and finish at 2:00 through 2:45 PM. And from what I have researched Finnish students have less classes and more break times, the average break between classes is 15 to 20 minutes. At first this may seem confusing but if you think about it a little, it begins to make perfect sense, fewer classes means students won’t have to memorize as much and long breaks between classes means students have time to digest all of the information that they have learned.

So overall Finland has proven that when it comes to education less is so much more. If you want to have an actual good education and be prepared for life and know how to properly adult, then make the school system aware that it is an absolute failure and it needs to change or else we will all suffer the consequences.

There are many issues with our current education system and I have only talked about some of them. But I believe the main thing to fix is the issue of students having so little freedom to decide what they want to do. Many children don’t want to learn complex algebra or know how many wives Henry had. Humans as a species are people who will naturally learn on their own; we don’t need to hold their hand and tell them to do this and that.

In this very classroom where I am writing this document, several students have been working hard on their own projects that they actually want to do and care about doing. It is time that we fix the school system and give the students who are forced to come here everyday to listen to complete nonsense only to forget about it all later an actual choice in what they want to learn. We need to give students more freedom, more space, and more responsibility.

In history, democracy has proven time and time again to be the best option; so let’s implement some democracy in our school system. By the time students get into high school, they should no longer be forced to learn something they do not want to; and they should not be punished for not reaching the schools expectations. Give students complete and total freedom to pick every class they want. It’s not as crazy as it may sound, in fact it is the best option.

Advertisements

Play to Learn: Failure Doesn’t Exist

Standard

“Think tactically: not emotionally.” – Kobe Bryant

Failure is an emotion that gets in the way of your analysis of a failed attempt. Instead of getting stuck in the emotional distress and disappointment of failing, you need to FOCUS on determining why your attempt failed. What weakness(es) or circumstance(s) contributed to the failed attempt and what steps can you take to correct the problem? So, when an attempt at something doesn’t work, you can tactically analyze the problem, pinpoint the issue and take action to make corrections.

In Brett Ledbetter’s video, he highlights an interview with Kobe Bryant in which he was confronted with the poor performance of his early career and the brutal public criticism that accompanied it. Listen closely to Bryant’s explanation of why he feels failure doesn’t exist.

 

Bryant’s comments about failure are so fascinating! His perceptions of failure are based on the fact that “the story continues.” If you fail on Monday, you have Tuesday to try again. Bryant goes on to explain that the only way to fail is to “stop and to not learn.” So, if you learned from the failure and go on to grow and improve your game, it wasn’t a failure.

kobe

Wow! What an idea… You have the power to flip the script. You can measure your success by how much you grow and learn: not by the outcome. Be the best that YOU can be; don’t measure your success against the success of other people.

growth


In the game of life, you must discover the “game” worth playing —  the game YOU were meant to play. Next, you have to FOCUS on growing and learning; don’t give into temptation and wallow in the disappointment of a failed attempt. Keep moving forward and don’t play to win or lose; play to LEARN and GROW.

“…I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead…” — Philippians 3:13b

 

Learn from Picard

Standard

The past couple of days I have been questioning my ability to be an instructional coach and this morning I found encouragement from a few of my own blog posts as well as some words of wisdom from Captain Jean-Luc Picard. I share them here, lest I forget…

 

“The only person you’re truly competing against is yourself.”

 

 

“It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose.”

 

Give Thanks

Standard

8292524381_b60676ca4f_mI am taking a moment to give thanks for all the great people I work with and who are helping me become a better instructional coach. On the days that are a little more challenging, I can look at this and remember to give thanks in all things and that the dark times are only temporary.

I can count on the dark to give way to the light and sooner than later if I will focus on the positives and be grateful for the blessings. Even the struggle has a purpose and will make me stronger and wiser if I choose my attitude.

So, if any of my WC colleagues read this post, THANK YOU! I’m so glad to be working and learning with you. 🙂

Photo Credit: flickr

 

See It and Be It!

Standard

This is a reminder to my fearful self…

On those days when you get caught up in a swirl of activity that doesn’t align to your real self – STOP and fear not. You were made with purpose to be who you are – not who others want you to be.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life and don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.  Most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.  They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”          – Steve Jobs

See the real you… What does it take to see the real you? To see your purpose?

Courage

Be the real you… What does it take to be the real you? To live your purpose?

Dedication

Live your truth… TODAY!