what would you change?
What is wrong with how public education for kids is structured? What works well? What specific things about school do you remember good or bad?
I went to Catholic school until 8th grade. While in Catholic school, the nuns were very strict. It was either listen to them, or get some sort of punishment: sit in the hallway; write 500 times of something I said; miss going on an outing; or spend months sitting in detention. We all knew that it was better to go with the flow, or have to put up with some punishment from the nuns. Mean, they were. But you know what, I learned a lot. And I wouldn’t trade what I learned from the nuns for all the gold in China.
Having so much discipline in grade school, made me not want to go to Catholic high school. I didn’t even take the entrance exam to get into Catholic high school. I knew I didn’t want to spend another four years with the nuns. Eight years of being in their presence was enough for me.
So I decided when I became a Freshman, it was going to be in public school. Was I in for a shock!
In Catholic school, I wore a uniform and so did everybody else. Wearing the uniform made me feel part of a group; like I belonged somewhere special.
When I entered public school, everybody wore what they felt like wearing. There seemed to be no unity among the students. There were so many cliques, it was hard to tell what was what. The public school kids were meaner. And there was no one in charge who seemed to know what was going on.
The subjects taught were things I’d learned in my classes in Catholic school. In the four-years I spent in high school, there were very few things that hadn’t been taught to me by the nuns. I got bored. I thought high school was going to be more interesting, but the teachers all seemed bored. They were all there to get a paycheck and the hell with the kids. The only thing they would get upset about was if I missed a day of school. If I missed a day of school, that meant that the school wouldn’t get paid for me that day. There were teachers who cared and it showed. But most were there for the paycheck and nothing else.
The positive side of public education, is diversity of the student body. In Catholic school, all the girls were Catholic and believed in the same things I did. In public school, there were people of all races and religions. All, somehow, getting along. But, however, the discipline from Catholic school was non-existent. Students answered teachers back without any punishment. The students seemed to controlled the teachers. In Catholic school, we knew the nuns were not to be messed with. And it made a difference in how we learned. We knew we better get with the program, or we be out on our asses.
My experience in high school was a feeling of just there being too many students for too few teachers. There were so many kids in every class that the teacher barely remembered the students’ names.
To change how schools are structured, I’d have fewer students in a class. There be more discipline in the classroom. And teachers would not have tenure. If the teacher is not a good teacher, she’s fired. I believe in unions, but not at the cost of the students. Some people are not meant to be teachers.
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