The problems with America’s educational system
November 25, 2019
Four writers from the Clarion express their thoughts and feelings regarding various aspects of school.
I am stressed for virtually no reason
There is so much stress around picking classes for pretty much no reason. Are students really going to be unsuccessful in life if they decide they don’t want to take Spanish, or if they take more than one study hall? Are no colleges going to accept students that don’t have five AP classes crammed into their seven-period schedule? No. It is not the end of the world if students decide to take some study halls, or if they decide not to take that AP class that they’re dreading. So why are people putting so much pressure on the students?
Students usually start talking about picking classes for the next year around the end of the first semester/beginning of the second semester, and I think this is too early. I do understand that creating a schedule for every student at RB is difficult, but I think it’s unrealistic to expect students to know what classes they want to take after only one quarter of school. What if they thought they were going to like Honors Chemistry, so they signed up for AP Chemistry, but then discovered that they really hate chemistry?
Another issue is the internal struggle with taking a class where you can have fun, make friends, and take a hard, stressful class that might make your college application look a little better. Sacrificing social opportunities to improve your academic appearance is something students do regularly, so it is no surprise that about 30% of teens struggle with depression or anxiety.
It’s no secret that the majority of students are extremely stressed, and some of this stress comes from the number of assignments and tests we have to do. Some students go to sleep at 1 a.m. because of all the schoolwork they are assigned the day before. This lack of sleep can cause a number of issues for the student. To name a few, students can have difficulty focusing, lack of motivation, and mood swings. These symptoms can have a huge impact on students, from their social life to academic life.
In addition to loads of homework students have to do every night, they also have to find time for their extracurriculars and interests of theirs that they want to pursue. Sometimes students have to give up things that they love doing to have more time to focus on school, which can, in turn, affect their mental health.
On top of all this work from school and extracurriculars, students also have to juggle social issues, like family or friend problems. Usually most teachers do not concern themselves with the personal lives of their students, and usually, they assume their students are okay, but this may not be true. Family issues can weigh very heavily on the minds of students and make it very difficult for them to concentrate on school.
In addition to the family stress, the pressure from the students’ teachers can make them feel unheard and alone. When students are going through something difficult like divorce, or a death in the family, having no leniency from teachers can make the students feel belittled and pushed aside.
There are a lot of great teachers who make their students’ well being their top priority, and there are also some teachers who don’t really think about their students and what they might be going through. All us students ask is for some teachers to take a step back and look at everything from our perspective, so maybe we can be understood a little bit better.