School: Learning to Play the Game


Steph Peterson, Staff Writer

Every day you wake up for school around 6:00 am, get dressed, maybe eat breakfast, hopefully brush your teeth, then go to school. You spend seven grueling hours at school, get a ton of homework, and get told that you have yet another test coming up. Once you get home and start to work on your homework, you try to get it done as fast as possible instead of actually focusing on learning the actual content. This is because the school system we are a part of is so focused on having students complete assignments and pass tests. We are forced to rush through the piles of homework to get credit rather than actually learning it.

Why did school end up being a place where learning seems to be so low on the lists of tasks given to us on a day to day basis?

Teachers pile on so much homework every night that it is impossible to absorb any of the material that you are given because while you are busy integrating functions, in the back of your mind is the five chapters you have to read for Language Arts, the Pogil you need to fill out for science, or the twenty plus flash cards you need to make for social studies. And this doesn’t even equate to half of the things you have to do each night.

What about extracurriculars like sports or the arts?

What about having a job or helping out around the house?

Each year we get the talk from our counselors about rounding ourselves out to make it easier for us to get into college. They recommend joining clubs and doing community service, but how are we supposed to be doing these things when some nights we only have time to eat dinner and do homework? And those are the good nights, when all you have to do is eat and do homework, because then maybe, one or two nights out of the entire week you actually get an adequate amount of sleep. The bad nights are when you have hours of homework, along with three tests to study for, and you also have a two hour practice of some sort. That’s when the flaws of the education system really show. Because in those cramped nights, instead of trying to learn the content, you blindly fill out each review guide, flip to the back of the book to get the answers to odd numbered problems, or Google the answer to each question. The issue with this, though, is that when you turn in the homework that you finished last night you get 100% for completion. And hey, you might even do really well on the test if you memorized the study guide well enough. You’re getting good grades, but you are never really learning anything.

The only thing school teaches you to do is how to produce good grades in high school, but what about college?

How is knowing that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell going to help me figure out how to pay bills?

We all get that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell, we have all easily heard that once a year in science since the seventh grade. How about actually teaching us something that will have at least some form of impact on our lives, because odds are cell organelles are not going to help you pay off your student loans. Or here’s an idea: teach us how to study for tests in a way that is not just memorizing. High school is supposed to be preparation for college, yet why do thirty percent of college students drop out after their first year of college, while fifty percent never end up graduating? (Read more)

Maybe it’s the fact that school says that many things are imperative to your education, but that are actually virtually useless to most of the students.

Ever notice how our parents are never talking about the War of 1812, but we constantly hear them talking about taxes and bills?

It might be an irrational thought but maybe school should teach us things that will be helpful in life. But it’s fine, I will gladly make another cell analogy project. After all there are already hundreds online.