Just Do It

Cari - Cedar, Michigan
Entered on June 2, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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As a soon-to-be graduated high school student, I have been through everything consisting of learning in the past twelve years. With this, I mean late night studying, pre-class cramming, even seeing people cheating. This is what people, as well as I, do to get a good grade. Personally, I believe that this isn’t the right way to learn. With this information, you can see that test taking is not the best way to show what a person has or has not learned. Actually, once you think about it, it has no real point at all, except to get points for your grade.

My passion about this subject has derived from my younger years in middle school through my senior year in high school. In middle school I was all about getting A’s and high B’s in my classes. This was when teachers actually still took the time to teach in ways that may actually stay with me. They played games and gave projects. They made sure that we connected with each concept without leaving any child behind before going on to the next lesson. They would put us in real life situations that made us apply it to our own lives to show us why we were actually learning it. Nowadays, it’s all about notes, worksheets, and tests. That’s it. Whatever happened to teaching instead of making the text do it for you?

I am a strong believer in learning from past mistakes. Though, when I look at my means of learning today, there’s no room for mistakes. Either you do the work right the first time or you fail. That’s it. I remember throughout high school coming home, looking over my notes a million times, hoping to grasp what I just read and do well on the test the next day. Recently I guess the high school way of teaching has everything to do with memorization and needs no teaching techniques whatsoever to be able to grasp it. I know that there are many other methods that are so much more effective and efficient that teachers just don’t take time out of their day to use.

In the younger grades, teaching used to be all about field trips and show and tell every week. This has always worked for every person I know to grasp the concepts. I remember in the seventh grade, my English teacher was notorious for showing this corny old video about sentence structure, such as nouns, verbs and adjectives. It was so corny and childish that the whole class was laughing by the time it was over. Nonetheless, the whole grade was singing songs about adjectives and conjunctions by the end of today. I still remember those songs to this very day. Needless to say, she was one of my favorite teachers in all my years of schooling.

When I talk about all of these stories about good times in the classroom and learning so much then, it makes me realize what the problem actually is within methods of learning. Our teachers were neglecting us by taking away adventure and fun. This makes me think that sometimes we need to just “let our freak flag fly”, as my old English teacher says. We need to just do what we have to do to learn; go on those field trips and be creative about those projects. Be creative about learning. This is what we need to do, and this I believe.