It has been great just talking to the students.
It was not what I expected to hear from high school students…
The answers I got from the students were heartfelt. I really sensed that the students wanted to talk to me and were excited for the possibility of change. Most of the student talked me for 30+ min.
I asked them generally what they wanted to get out of HS, do they get that they need from HS for their life and what would they do differently to change the school.
Most of the students told me they wanted real life experiences. They wanted to learn how to write a check, how to write cursive (don’t they teach them this?), how to save money, etc…
A lot of students said they wanted a volunteering class, where they can help their community. They wanted more labs and hands on experiments in classes. They said that students teaching or giving lectures would be helpful. They also liked the idea of peer teaching. Several students said that they currently help some students in certain subjects and they help them in others.
Students also said the traditional learning was good for their freshmen and sophomore years but wanted more of non-traditional based learning to focus on their individual interests their junior and senior years.
The most interesting discussion was with two different students who wanted their teachers to listen to them and to help guide them. The students said that the teachers would get frustrated with them if they did not instantly understand. They said that the teachers would imply they were dumb and start speaking slower or louder. In addition to that, one of the students said he was accused of doing drugs which he said he has never done.
Overall, they just wanted to be heard. They wanted their opinion to matter. Most of all they were really interested in learning and wanted a better way to be taught. They said they would be willing to come in after hours to learn if the teachers would be willing to explain the topic to them. Who should take this initiative? Should the teachers be asking the students or should the students be coming forth asking for further help?