Have you seen videos on Facebook about how the current educational system doesn’t work? I did. I saw a lot of them.
There was one video about a student who failed his test. The scene was set in a faculty room where the student and his mom were seated in front of the teacher’s desk.
The teacher was telling the mom that her son failed his exam and the mother displayed her disappointment towards her son. The teacher ended the discussion by saying that the student was a failure.
That was the moment when the student stood up and dropped a cool rap song about how the teacher should not be labelling him as a failure. He also sang about how old teaching methods doesn’t work anymore and that the teacher should be creative in his teaching.
I think that the video’s message was about every teacher’s responsibility to be student focused on their teaching, that educators should use various methods to teach and assess students, and that things are changing.
I appreciated the message of the video. I saw other videos like it, and I understood the relevance of the point that they want to convey. I do not agree with teachers who label their student failure and I truly believe that teachers should deliver lessons with the students’ benefit in mind. However, something in my Spirit was disturbed for some reason. Not knowing the reason I was bothered by the videos tortured me for the longest time, and I couldn’t figure it out until this morning.
I learned today that I was troubled by the videos because it also carried the message that current educational methods are completely ineffective and that students nowadays should not be held responsible for poor performance.
It is true that the educational system has its flaws and needs to be fixed quick, but what if the educational system doesn’t change within the span of the student’s stay in school? What if the process doesn’t change in the next decade? Should students just drop out or quit school? Should students just go through school half-hearted with the thought that they are just wasting valuable hours in school?
I say no. As a learner, students should not put all the responsibility of learning on the teachers and the educational system. Learning is a shared responsibility and students can learn from various methods while they are in school.
There are a lot of opportunities for learning in school and we just don’t notice most of them. Students can learn how to socialise and understand how young people culture works in the school. Students can learn how to deal with difficult people and unfair situations in school. This could happen through incompetent and inconsiderate teachers, bullies or peers. Students can learn about different interests and diversity in school. Classrooms are like melting pots of culture and diversity. Students will learn a lot through interaction with peers alone. Students can test the limits of their brains by memorising or comprehending items that could prove to be relevant or irrelevant in the future. Students can learn how to express themselves in front of a crowd. Students can learn about the limits of their physical capabilities through sports, horseplay, and running away from bullies. Students can learn about romance as they get to explore their feelings towards another person. Students can learn that friendship can be birthed from the experiences made available in school. I know there are still a lot of learning opportunities that I’m missing here. I’ll let you figure them out.
Learning is continuous. The great thing about school is that it provides students with a safe environment to explore and experiment on life concepts. Students have a venue where they can make mistakes. Normally the consequences of failing in school are not as severe compared to failing in life. The real world is not going to be nice to students after they graduate and this is, to say the least. Life is not always about unicorns, rainbows and butterflies.
In the real world, I will not get a failing grade if I make a bad decision. My life could be ruined. I might get myself too deep into trouble that my options would be limited to prison, poverty or death. I will not get another grading period to make up for my mistakes.
I know there are some teachers who do not care about students which makes you wonder why they chose to be an educator in the first place, however, I honestly believe that there are a lot of good educators who genuinely care for their learners.
What’s my point?
Until there’s a proven effective system for teaching nowadays, students and teachers alike should share the burden of learning. Both teachers and students should work together to make learning in school interesting.
If students think that the teacher’s method of teaching is not working for them then they should respectfully recommend a style that works for them. When students share ideas with teachers, it provides a great learning experience for both parties.
Students should also be very proactive with school activities. If there are events that don’t work, they should voice out their feedback. Again, the only way for school events to work is when students and teachers work together.
Students, if you’re having problems collaborating with peers and faculty in your school try this technique. Be curious. Go to that state of genuine curiosity. Be curious about the lesson. Be curious about the benefits that you will get from learning modules and academic concepts. Be curious about the application of these concepts. Be curious about your capability to adapt to your environment and ability perform well in different situations.
The responsibility of learning is shared by the students and the teachers.
If you’re a student, don’t give up on school just yet, show up and let your voice be heard. Change in school will not happen if you’re not in class.
New International Version (NIV)
Blessed are those who find wisdom,
those who gain understanding,
for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.
She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honour.
Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;
those who hold her fast will be blessed.
King James Version (KJV)
7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
New International Version (NIV)
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter;
to search out a matter is the glory of kings.
As the heavens are high and the earth is deep,
so, the hearts of kings are unsearchable.