Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Looking for advice, recommendations for school reform

As students are heading back to college, I have noticed an increase in readers from the universities. I know some are former students, so 'Hello' to all of you!! I need a favor from you, as well as anyone else who is interested in posting a comment. Now that you have been out of the public school system for one or more years, thinking back, what would the top one or two (or more) things you could have changed be, that in your mind would have made the experience better? If you don't want to leave a comment, feel free to email any suggestions/recommendations you come up with. I think this could start a very interesting and important conversation, as well as many ideas to expand on. Thanks!!


scott said...

What n o comments? Well i wasm just surfing blogs and read yours. Right now i am a junior at Auburn University majoring in Mechanical Engineering. All should know that Auburn is in Alabama. Most know that the public school system here is bad, to say the least. One thing i look back on is my own lack of commitment. Maybe it could be blamed on the lack of understanding of what the future had to hold. I guess that blame could be spread to all;me, public school, and the parents. Another problem i see with public school is its lack of progress. What i mean is that schools should be teaching calculus and higher maths earlier, like in 9 or 10th grade not 11 and 12. Same can be said for science. American kids are way behind in science and math compared to poorer countries. As science progresses schools should be pushing higher classes earlier to open up slots for new science.

There i started now maybe more will add. peace

Erica said...

Hm... well, as you know, anything I can complain about is relatively minor since ETHS is overall a fantastic school. However, the biggest problem I personally had was that the teachers were very poorly trained in how to treat a student going through a traumatic family experience.

During the trauma I underwent freshman year (I won't explain here but you know what it was), I constantly had teachers make comments that reduced me to tears. These comments included overly-personal and insensitive questions, implications that I personally could have somehow prevented this tragedy, scoldings for missing so much school, and repeated reminders that I needed to "pull myself together" in spite of the fact that I still got straight A's for the entire year.

I know that most of these teachers meant well, but they just didn't have a clue and some of them really did lasting damage. Thinking about all this still stings me.

Anyway, the upshot is that administrators absolutely cannot rely on teachers' intuition about how to deal with students in exceptional cases like mine. I'm sure there are dozens of students who went through traumas worse than mine, and I don't even want to think about the cruel comments they probably had to endure. That's what I would have changed about ETHS, and I can't imagine the problem is much better at most other public schools.

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