I wrote a bit in past posts about school and senior year. For the most part, all I am saying is that it feels like a waste of time. This purely comes from the thought that “I can be learning so much more out in the real world.” For this reason, it is so hard for me to go back to school after a break or even just a weekend. When I am out of a classroom, I am working and living and doing “adult” things. I’m not constantly surrounded by other teenagers and people that I would not necessarily choose to spend my day with. I am learning on my own and I get a taste of true independence.
Now, I go on these rants about school and I do not in any way mean to make it sound like school is not important. That is not true. Education is one of the most valuable things the world has to offer. In fact, for years I have wanted to be a teacher. I am thankful that I live in a country where you can go to school no matter your race, religion or gender. I know very well that men and women have fought for that right for much longer than I have been alive. That is why I believe that we owe it to them and to ourselves to better the education system.
I have had a handful of teachers throughout my education thus far who are the reason I still have a sliver of hope. They all taught different subjects and they all had something different to teach me about life, money and the world. The one thing all of these teachers had in common was they cared! Those are the teachers that have make me want to teach too. Those classes are the ones that I have gotten the most out of.
I learned more having a one on one discussion about life and travel from my American Sign Language teacher than I did in a geography/culture class. I learned how to buy a car in eighth grade from my STEM teacher. I learned division using chocolate bars that my forth grade teacher bought for every student, with his own money. I was taught to love my country and to honor those who serve it from an English teacher. These little moments did not come from a textbook or curriculum, but they impacted my life the most.
I learn when my teachers leave their desks, sit down at my level and talk to me with the same respect that I am expected to give them. I learn best when a teacher takes their own time to show me how this will impact my life outside of a classroom. It does not matter if you have a PhD or a GED, the best way to teach a student is to care about them.
As I move from high school onto whatever may come next, I will look back on all that I have learned. Most of this will not be from a book. I will remember the moments where I felt important, where my teachers invested in my future because they believed in me. Once teachers start seeing their students as more than just another body in a desk and they begin seeing them as the future leaders of the world, students will begin to have the confidence to raise their hand, ask questions and learn! They will value their education and be thankful for those who made it possible!