School Is Too Easy

This week, I’m featuring posts from five students who have shared their thoughts on what they would, if they could, change about school.

Today’s post is from Emily.  Her take?  School should be more of a challenge.

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I’m a high school student at a nationally acclaimed magnet school. I go there because my home school wouldn’t offer me the kind of education I’m after. So a nationally ranked school that promises college prep and world readiness should offer some sort of challenge to an intelligent, determined, hard working student, right?

Wrong.

School is EASY. And I know, I know, not everyone thinks so. A lot of my friends don’t think so. And I also know that I am not the majority. I was in gifted classes all through middle and elementary school, so I’m used to having someone say: This is the minimum. If you do this, you will a C. I don’t want C work, I want A work. I want you to give me all you’ve got. I’m used to being expected to produce work that I’m proud of, not work that passes under minimum inspection.

So now I’m at a supposedly challenging high school, and I can scrape by with barely any effort. I’m bored out of my skull. I’m two years ahead in math and in AP history and it’s NOT ENOUGH. Teachers don’t expect anything of us, and we’re the cream of the crop! So they say, anyhow. My problem with school is that I am a student who wants to give everything I have. I want someone to tell me that it isn’t enough just to try. I want a teacher who will stimulate me intellectually, creatively, and emotionally. I want people to stop telling me that I’m the best of the best and start treating me like I am. If I turn in an essay that took me five hours to perfect and get the same grade as someone who did it that morning on the bus, I’m not going to be spending five hours on my next essay, I promise you that much.

My realization has been that the problem with my slacker friends didn’t start with them. They didn’t have the classes I had early in life. They never got pushed to do their best. So they think that their best is giving up. They think their best is what they can do before they get bored. They never had someone tell them that they were capable of great things, that they had it in them, that their minimum effort was not acceptable. I feel like my fellow students have almost been… punished.

Instead of preparing us for a standardized test, prepare us to be intelligent, educated, informed adults. Turn us into scholars, not drones. If you expect the minimum out of us… we’ll give it to you.

I’m sick and tired of being treated like a teenager. Treat me like a student. I want to LEARN.

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What do you think of Emily’s perspective?  Do you agree that schools need to change to accommodate more gifted students?  Please leave your thoughts.

Tomorrow’s post:  Aewl thinks that we shouldn’t go to college until we can pay for it.

Image by Horton Group