Importance of Education: Better Educational Experience for My Students
Education is one of the most important things that is talked about all over the world. According to WorldBank, routine jobs are soon to be replaced by technology, and the demand for advanced cognitive and socio-behavioral skills is rising. Education is important because everyone needs it if they want to succeed, even if it is just a highschool education. Education provides the skills necessary to live, turns dreams into realities, and is essential to the economic growth of the nation. While there are many countries that do not provide public education, the United States does offer the opportunity of taxpayer-funded education through 12th grade and in California even 2 free years of college. Education is essential for someone who wants to be in a career field of their liking. That being said, some may have received formal education but not acquired useful career and life skills. Education in America is failing to provide students with the tools they need for success given: lack of training for the teachers, distraction by modern technology, absenteeism of teachers, and/ or the students. To combat these failures, classes that teach life skills and or on the job training can help students be more successful, as well as better training for K-12 teachers. One major drawback in today’s education is the use of new technologies that teachers are unable to use. While some modern technologies are very useful and increase efficiency, most of the new tech used in classrooms does nothing more than just hold the students back. According to Natalie Wexler, in MIT Technology Review, “Educators love digital devices, but there’s little evidence they help children—especially those who most need help.” Either technology is too complicated to use for the teachers, or they just have problems in general that even I.T can’t manage to fix sometimes. Our generation tends to rely on technology for learning a bit too much. Wexler also states, “Gallup also found near-universal enthusiasm for technology on the part of educators. Among administrators and principals, 96% fully or somewhat support “the increased use of digital learning tools in their school,” with almost as much support (85%) coming from teachers. But it’s not clear this fervor is based in evidence. When asked if “there is a lot of information available about the effectiveness” of the digital tools they used, only 18% of administrators said yes, along with about a quarter of teachers and principals. Another quarter of teachers said they had little or no information.”
When there are problems with classroom tech, most of the time the teachers do not have a backup plan for their lesson because everything they had planned was on their computer. Now, there are even classes that have to rely on students using their own phone for learning. This isn’t always the teachers fault however. Technology continues to influence the way teachers teach and get their work done, however, it seems to be more of a detriment than an aid. New technology becomes a new distraction. Teachers today, and also most students, are dependent on technology for learning. Many times, most of us do not even really learn anything at all, we need to use our tech to look up answers sometimes or depend on other students for a way to pass our classes. This means we really aren’t learning any material at all, we are just working for a grade, not to learn. And this is where the teachers are at most fault. Teachers these days need to learn how to actually get the students involved in learning and not just give them an assignment for the day and let them be. In an Article by Eric E.J Thoonen of the Department of Education, University of Amsterdam, in Amsterdam,The Netherlands, research is conducted by using a series of questionnaires around the school. Thoonan finds and states that, “Results of the multi‐level analyses show that connection to the students’ world and cooperative learning methods had a positive effect on students’ motivation, while process‐oriented instruction by the teacher had a negative effect on motivational behaviour and motivational factors of students.”
This shows that teachers need to create a lesson plan that will involve themselves AND the students and try to make learning fun by incorporating things that the students are actually interested in and can relate to. Another thing that could improve the education of students mainly in highschool is trying to incorporate life skills into all of the classes. For example, all math classes can have one day a week to focus on how to work with taxes or financial math and even about how interest works in some instances. English classes can incorporate lessons on how to speak formally when going into an interview. These are just some of many things that can be done to improve the current education overall.
More and more students today are not motivated to come to school whatsoever and this can be caused by the lack of useful information taught in schools. Many things that we learn as students cannot even be incorporated into our daily life or even our life in the future after we venture off to college or our career path. Instead of spending money on unnecessary technology, we can use more funding for more arts and useful electives and even job-preparatory classes such as construction or culinary arts. Many more students would come to school and actually have fun if they had the classes of their liking. At my school, Highlands High, we are very limited to the electives we can choose. At the beginning of each year, the electives are all filled and some students have to resort to taking classes that they are not interested in such as AFJROTC for example. AFJROTC is a class that should only be for people who are actually interested in going into the military, and not for people who simply have the class because all of their other class choices were taken. Our districts can step into this problem and help out by providing the highschool students with more electives.
The addition of more electives in the highschools in the district would make a huge difference in our education. Much more students would be motivated to come to school and learn and this would solve some of the problems with bad attendance which is another big problem in the Twin Rivers District. Not only would this help with bad attendance, this would help improve overall GPAs and motivate students to get better grades in all of their other classes. Schools and districts in the area are getting bad reputations because of mainly the students. The students should not always be blamed for the majority of these problems. If we were able to make our schools more fun by adding a bigger variety of electives, and teach the students about topics that are actually important, we can create a big impact making the futures bigger and brighter for these students so they will be prepared for life after highschool and the work field.
We can create a better environment for learning at all the schools in the district if we just use the funding more efficiently and for more important things than new tech such as smart boards. The misuse of schoolwide funding is affecting the education of many young students.We could, in fact, make a difference in education and also other problems such as the attendance and participation in our schools. By taking surveys around the school and conducting school wide fundraisers we can raise awareness of the problem in our district not just specifically one school. This isn’t something that should have to have immediate action taken to it, but it is something that should be considered by all staff in the district and even around the country. It is also a problem that if solved, could be very helpful for the students at school. Teachers should also have more training for the job, and should have a set way on how to teach the class while occasionally throwing in some life skills or even something fun to be incorporated into lessons. In order to make this happen, we need to have more funding and also have higher authority approve of this cause.
With the right amount of money and determination, our districts in the area can provide a high school experience similar to that of highschools in other countries, for example, Germany. In most High Schools in Germany for example, the highschool students have a career path created for them and they are provided with different trades to pursue and also hands on training to prepare them for the working life after graduating. More motivation to learn is present in this type of school environment and can improve skills for the students and also give the students different ideas or examples of career fields they would be interested in continuing after highschool. By introducing these electives to our schools in the district, we can expect to see a rise in productivity around the schools and also improved attendance of the students due to more interest in school.
Providing the students with more opportunities for success will not only look good but make more parents proud and also give students skills that can be applied outside of highschool. Skills are one of the most, if not the most important key traits when it comes to having success in the district. Many students would not be ditching their classes and they would also have fun while also learning new and useful information. Participation in the school will also be improved greatly along with the addition of new, fun classe. This will create a similar experience as that of schools in Germany where there is a path paved for the students going into the career field after graduating.
There are many factors that cause a school to be unsafe or unfit for the students to learn, with some examples including lack of teacher training, lack of funding for schools, and also low attendance and or participation in the schools. In a personally conducted, schoolwide survey, I found that almost 100% of students would be present in class more if there were added electives in the school. 86% of students said that teachers should have more training and also be more involved with the students personally. 100% of students surveyed schoolwide said that they would be interested in having more elective classes added to the school. 86% of students believe that teachers that are more involved and touch the hearts of their students everyday, and also teach better in general, should receive more pay than teachers who are less involved with the class and rather do not care as much about the students and just give assignments and expect the students to have a good experience learning.
This information has shown me that we could in fact make the school a better learning environment but we as the students and also the teachers need to get involved because that is the only way we can make this a reality. More funding along with the presence of teacher motivation toward their students, will pave the way toward great success in the district. There is also more to education than just success. When trying to make sure that these students are successful, we have to make sure that the students are doing well emotionally. When the students are emotionally healthy,they are more likely to be motivated and also engaged in their learning and will be willing to have fun while at it. Student happiness can also impact the teachers happiness, which is another important key factor towards a better educational experience. Forming bonds with the students will show that the teachers actually care about the students outside of their schoolwork.
Overall, I believe that no one is specifically the one to blame. I believe that it is, however, a problem that needs to be looked into further and also is something that can be improved easily with determination from the teachers and also students at the school.
The cause I am trying to help is better education for the students as a whole in the upcoming years. My overall plan is to try and get the students to be more motivated and also try to make more teacher training and copay for the teachers whole really deserve it, a reality. In order to make all of this happen, I will have to take some of my personal time and conduct my own fundraiser in order to show the school that I am supporting it. There is no set cost for making this happen because I believe that any money and any contributions will help. Things needed for this change will be: motivation, time, money, and a will to pursue. It can all be done if everyone is willing to play a part in this cause. Districts can provide schools and teachers with more training, teachers can try to connect with their students more and make learning a more fun experience for the students while also being beneficial to them, students can show up to school at all times and show the teachers respect and also make donations to their school. Parents should also be willing to make even a small bit of money or vocal contribution to the school. Positive outcomes can include a variety of benefits. Students will benefit by having better trained teachers, more variety of classes and also feel great emotionally. Schools and the districts will benefit by having more students present, and the teachers will benefit if there is extra pay for their hard work. Another benefit will be that there will be more proud parents of students who will then be more likely to give good feedback to the school and push their students to go on further after highschool.
After conducting a fundraiser for my cause I have found that it is very easy to start, but also very hard to convince people to actually want to contribute to it. Doing a fundraiser has shown me that even small things that take about 5 minutes or less of your time can make a big difference in the future. Doing surveys around the school was very hard to do because I was limited to only students I had on social media due to COVID-19. There were little responses but all of the responses I received were very good and further proved my cause and situation, however it was enough to show me that the students actually care about topics like such.
In the end the hardest part of supporting my cause was just getting people to actually answer the questions to my survey, I had only 1-2 people per grade at highlands (who were not my friends) that voted in the survey. The other hard part was getting money for my cause because there are also a ton of other causes that need money raised for such as cancer and autism awareness. People just weren’t aware enough of the situation and also not willing to use their own money which can also be understandable because many highschoolers would rather used the money that they worked for for something else.
Overall I believe my help wasn’t necessarily a failure, I believe that putting the effort to do a survey and start a fundraiser should show the school that I actually care about the education of our students and also care about the teachers who deserve to get paid more for the amazing things they do for our students. My contribution to my cause has motivated me to always be willing to help out, even if it is just 5 minutes of your time or even just 1$.