Hate School

Katie Longnecker and Lavana Hahs

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Let’s face it, we have all had our moments where we hated school. And for some of us, it was more than just a moment (looking at you, upperclassmen!). The majority of the time, the school system can’t necessarily understand exactly why students dislike their school or certain part of it. But this isn’t only school admin and teachers, but parents as well. Some adults even go as far to assume that teenagers are just being whiny and lazy, but there are real factors about school that put unnecessary stress on students that can potentially lead to even bigger problems for them down the road. So, just what exactly do students not enjoy about school? And what are administration and teachers trying to do about it?

 

To start off, we asked just a few students from WPHS about what they personally think is stressed them out. “[I don’t like] how you just go in and sit down. It needs to be more hands-on instead of just sitting [in class] taking notes and listening [to the teacher].” says Brenden Ogden, a freshmen. Another student, Noah Selvin, who is a senior this year shares his biggest stressors; “I stress over the idea of massive work loads in each class. I’m so used to doing so much [homework] that even if I don’t have any from a class, I still feel stressed because of a withdrawal from so much work.” he tells me. And last but not least, sophomore Esther Burcea lets us in on her perspective of what part of school causes daily stress; “Mostly waking up so early and the workload. I’m constantly busy with homework and it messes up my sleep schedule, which then affects how I perform in every class. There is always too much to do and not enough time to do it.” It seems like the most common stressors for WPHS’s student body is the amount of work, both in-class and homework, teachers assign to each student.

 

Thanks to massive amounts of homework, students tend to prioritize their classwork rather than a healthy sleep schedule, which can be uncomfortable for them but also detrimental to their academic performance. In a study done by students and professors at Stanford university, 30,000 people over the course of 18 months were analyzed for their sleeping patterns. The subjects wore fitness devices that measured their sleep data, then they were tested on their keystroke speed on a computer as well as their click interactions on a web search engine. After the first 24 hours of the experiment, data already started flooding in, and it showed that after just one night of insufficient sleep, the subject’s keystroke timing was 1.2% slower. After two nights of bad sleep, their abilities slowed down even more to 4.8%. People’s simple typing and web searching abilities were seriously affected after only two nights where they had less than six hours of sleep (you can find out more about this study by visiting this site: https://scopeblog.stanford.edu/2017/01/26/sleep-deprived-suffer-performance-loss-according-to-new-study/)  So, imagine how much a student’s performance on a test they have in their first period class would be if they average only about five to six hours of sleep. Sleep is incredibly important to the human brain and it’s normal cognitive functions, and the fact that students must sacrifice better performance during the school day for one to three hours of homework every night is wrong. Thankfully, some teachers such as Mr. Brown, a psychology teacher, understand how important sleep is to young minds. [quote by him].

 

Knowing that one to three hours of homework every night impacts student’s sleep in a negative way, we decided to ask some students what they think teachers and admin could do to help students get more sleep; but at the same time make sure that each student is learning and understanding the material they are being taught. Hayden Bartlet suggested the idea for love, learning and logic, which is a learning technique that his mom uses when teaching. This way of teaching allows the students to feel more comfortable in the classroom and with the teacher in general, allowing them to ask questions and learn better. When it comes to math many students believed that it should have more one on one learning, a class where it’s not just a bunch of paperwork where the teacher expects you to know everything. Math classes should take more time to learn the different areas and subjects instead of taking one week to learn a new chapter in the math book, doing a bunch of paperwork in class and loads of homework only to take a test at the end of the week and start a new chapter the very next week. It’s hard to remember those subjects if it’s so fast pace and we instantly move on and don’t return to that subject until months later on a huge test. It was surprising to hear how many students hate english class and are failing it, the majority believes it’s because most of the work is abundant and it’s all supposed to be done in a short time. The students want their work for english to be more hands on and not on computers. Kenneth Armstead put it simply when he said, “When you’re learning subjects on the computer with a bunch of teenagers, nothing is going to happen. There needs to be no NoRedInk and no discussion posts for english, it would help a lot.”

When it comes to science it shouldn’t just be a bunch of notes every single day where sometimes you’ll get a worksheet…that’s not going to help us learn, we need hands on teaching and science should be fun! Not just notes. But, there are some teachers who actually understand what their students are going through and don’t give homework. Mr.Read, a history teacher, never gives out homework because he knows that students are not likely to actually do it. He gives work time in class for all of his assignments and if his students are working hard but need more time, he understands and grants them more time to complete those assignments.

 

It is likely that you already know about or at least heard about this, but this year there was a new school rule implemented; the Freshman and Sophomores now have to pass the SAT to graduate. As you can imagine, a lot of students are angry and think that this new rule is completely unnecessary. Students are stressing out about it and many are almost entirely un-motivated to even try anymore. Some students are even saying that at this point, they are just going to drop out. “I think that it’s unfair to hold all the students up to a standard like this. Not everyone wants to go to college so why should they have to pass the SAT? The SAT have a lot of information and it takes a lot of time and effort for the studying alone, it should go back to being used for college applications. The fact that we have to pass the SAT is stupid.”-anonymous. In a poll asking if students agree with the new SAT rule, 64% voted that they do not agree, whereas 36% of people voted that they agree. Although we do not know for sure, a theory is that the reason for this new SAT rule is to possibly encourage students to do better in school, and maybe even make them consider college just one more time before they make a final decision. Whatever the reason, it is safe to say that our administration is doing this for the good of our students, whether they like it or not.

Teenagers tend to complain a lot, and we do not deny it. However, when the pressure of school life starts to affect students’ mental and physical health, their “whining” becomes a cry for help. Here at WPHS, we are lucky to have teachers and other staff that somewhat care about us, and try to make our highschool experience more bearable. School in general is still an imperfect function that has a long way to go, but society is learning how to adjust so that education can fit everyone, not just those who naturally excel at school, making future generations more successful in the long run.

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