As a teenager finishing up high school and soon to begin college, it seems extremely apt for me to have a post about education and my general thoughts on it. In all honesty, I feel that every person can go through public school and have a completely different view on it.
Personally, I was very focused on grades throughout most of my education. I would always try to learn the content as a way to get good grades, but sometimes I found that that wasn’t always necessary. In my eyes, the system of grades and ranking students based on these grades creates unnecessary stress and pressure on students, which is a huge contributing factor to nearly every aspect of my schooling. This grades-centric approach to my school put learning on the backburner.
At the same time, teachers are forced to teach for general examinations like AP exams or state tests. Because of this, the teachers who put in a lot of work to involve their students and actually make them learn the content may be given the same amount of respect by administration as the teachers who can have students succeed by just taking practice tests and doing busy work. Thus, there is no incentive for teachers to really teach with tons of effort. That being said, I can definitely say that I have had many teachers who truly cared about their students and were passionate about their subject, explaining the content in a way that made me share their passion for the subject (art history and US government), something that I didn’t think was possible coming into the class.
As I move towards the next form of education, I know I will face something similar in college and can just accept it. I also know that my grades may or may not matter (inspiration for this post) and it’s likely that most of what I learn will not be used in my career. From talking to several people who’ve spent many years in my field, I’ve found that college seems to be helpful for building skills at learning and adapting, yet the content itself will generally be unhelpful and forgettable. Any way it goes, my education will be ongoing, not ending after a few years in some really expensive institution. Education is a process that never ends and never should.