Students Explain Which Things They'd Change About The Educational System
Education is an important, and oft-overlooked, aspect of our current President's agenda. So much so that on the list of 2nd term promises he recently released, out of over fifty talking points, only two were education related: pushing patriotic education and promoting more school choice.
Neither of these are functional fixes for any of the problems in our country's education system, but to understand that would be to understand something and it appears our President, unfortunately, doesn't.
When students, like the ones giving their opinions below, know more about what needs to be done than the President you can be both hopeful for the future while fearful of the present.
Reddit user, u/Electrical-Ad3893, wanted to hear the truth from those closest to the situation when they asked:
Take Care Of The People Who Take Care Of Us
Pay teachers much more and just generally try to ensure that there are actually good or at least decent teachers who know what they're doing, don't hate kids and are not doing it just because they weren't accepted anywhere else. Teachers, the good ones who actually care, deserve the world.
I would also love them to have some basic psychology training. I'm pretty sure they should have that already, but it certainly doesn't seem like it a lot of the time...
Also, I would like there to be more focus on actually practial things (like taxes and finances in general, writing academic papers and doing correct citations, public speaking, researching things correctly and working with information, writing on computer with all fingers, first aid, ......).ElsaKit
If You Don't Teach, You'll Never Learn
Make sexual education mandatory and make sure its well financed, not optional.
At Least Remove The Pressure Placed On Them
removed standardized testing
Most studies have shown that it leads to teaching based on passing a specific test instead of teaching to properly impart understanding of subjects, and since funding gets tied to standardized testing requirements the schools engage in all sorts of f-ckery to remove students that underperform and punish teachers that don't get high enough results from their students.
Kids Need A Different Sort Of Education
Put more emphasis on mental health
This is probably one of the biggest problems, and no one is doing much about it. Mental health matters.
Not sure if OP is referring to a specific class on mental health, but I would reform the overall health system in schools, starting with the counseling offices. Mental health care at my high school was a joke, and even after an on-campus suicide, virtually nothing was done to help the students. More emphasis on the importance of mental health, not just through a class but through administrative work, would be ideal.
Not Everyone Is Going To College. And That's Okay.
Bring back shop classes and the Arts. First of all they can teach you useful life skills like how to wire something.
Second these offer alternate paths for people who are legitimately not the college type and gives them a reason to stay in school ie Jim is okay in math and English but absolutely excels in wood shop; He has decided to join an apprentice program to be a carpenter, a well-paying job.
For the college-bound kid it opens their eyes to different concepts and possibilities ie because Mike took music classes, he was introduced to guitar and is now majoring in musical theory.
School Leads To Life. They Need That Balance.
Bring back good food for school lunches to boost moral on school.
Drop subsidized testing and put in extra subjects to actually help people. Cooking, finance class, mechanics class, home ect and basic carpentry class, ect. Give kids skills they will use daily as adults instead of a bunch of useless facts to memorize.
Math, reading and writing are important and so is history, but folks need to learn how to manage their daily adult lives too
Schools Might Like To Pretend It Doesn't Happen, But...
Take bullying seriously, idk about schools everywhere else but in the uk bullying is almost never punished and it does lead to a lot of students struggling with depression
What I dont understand, and I keep seeing so many stories and anecdotes of this being the case, is how a kid can be bullied for a long time (months or even years), and despite talking to teachers/staff like they're supposed to, nothing is really done.
Until the bullied kid stands up for themselves. And only then does the hammer of the f-cking law come slamming down. After begging for help from adults, after their parents demand that the administration do something, after all the sheer apathetic inactivity, it takes the bullied kid fighting back one time for the teacher to suspend (or even expel) both kids. Or just the one whose been getting bullied in some extreme cases!
Like just.... fucking why wasn't this kind of reaction available at the start for the victim?
Sometimes Situations Need A Critical Eye
Zero Zero Tolerance Tolerance Policy.
Zero Tolerance policy means you have a set (typically too strong) punishment for a specific activity, regardless of any reasoning that may have made it acceptable for an individual situation.
One example frequently of its poor use is fighting. Zero tolerance for fighting means anyone involved in any fight gets the same punishment, such as detention or suspension. However, if the fight is just one kid beating the sh-t out of the other kid with zero tolerance it doesn't matter that the other kid getting beat up didn't initiate or cause the fight, it just matters that he was involved.
Basically it is removing any nuance, critical thinking, or exceptions to any rules, which is completely absurd and counterproductive. It is extremely lazy leadership.
School Start Times Are Based On Outdated Work-Day Models
Not start classes at 7:30 in the morning for high school students (which seems to be widespread in the US). I get that the bus schedule needs to be staggered so that the youngest students get to school for 9 or so, so I don't have a real solution. But getting ready for school at the crack of dawn can't be that helpful for learning, especially if students are working on homework until late.
Ready For A Deep Dive? Let's Talk Property Taxes
Change it so property taxes isn't what funds schools.
What are the other problems this would fix?
It would stop the cycle of poor families being stuck with poor schools producing poorly educated kids that turn into poor adults. It would equalize education and allow for more attempts at universally improving it instead of just improving it for rich districts.
People often talk about what makes a lot of European schools better than American ones. They talk about shorter school days, funding for arts, no standardized testing, smaller class sizes, higher teacher pay and all sorts of things. But two things they rarely bring up for Nordic schools is that each school gets the same amount of funding from the national government and there aren't a lot of private schools. Because of this poorer neighborhoods still get lots of funding and rich families have a strong incentive to make sure the schools are great.
And like many things in the US, it also has a racist cause.
White people didn't want to live with and/or help educate black people. In the south this manifested really clearly, massive "No Blacks" signs and Jim Crow segregation; utterly awful but at least honest. The north, however, was still racist; they were just subtler. So they sidelined blacks into black-only neighborhoods (a common tactic was real estate agents just lying about what was available, the justification being that if a black family moved into a middle class/upper class neighborhood the property values would go down), and combined with how property taxes funded schools this meant that white-only schools were funded by their white parents while black-only schools were funded by their black parents.
It's astounding how many systems in the US are in place solely because white people didn't want to help black people, even if it was in their best interest (see conservatives whining about "welfare queens" to justify shutting down/slimming welfare, even though welfare queens don't really exist in the numbers they say they do).
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With millennials now reaching their thirties and forties, many are looking back on the childhood they had compared to the ones they're witnessing now.
With technology advances and a constant need to impress, these two worlds of childhood are undeniably different.
Redditor professorf asked:
"What did your generation have that kids need more of today?"
"Unstructured playtime outside with others that are a variety of ages. Not under the eyes of an adult."
"This was my favorite part of being a kid. There were 10-12 kids within a six-year age range on my street and we'd all be out playing between multiple blocks, houses, and wooded areas. Our parents would just yell or whistle from the porch at dinner time, and sometimes we'd go back out again after!"
"Beyond playing and having fun, being unsupervised and big kids amongst little kids provides so much mental enrichment that kids don't get sitting in front of a screen being constantly tended to. Problem-solving, imagination, cooperation, taking care of each other, sharing, working things out, navigation, self-awareness... on and on."
Ghosts in the Graveyard
"I miss playing 'Ghosts in the Graveyard'!"
"I grew up with an actual cemetery in my backyard (once you hopped a fence, of course) and you haven't really played 'Ghosts in the Graveyard' until you played it in an actual graveyard!"
"Typing classes. Most Gen Z/Alpha kids grew up with tablets and maybe a laptop, no desktops. Teachers assume they know how to type, but they've only done it with their thumbs, they don't have the muscle memory for a traditional keyboard."
"The ability to type on a physical keyboard is really important in the working world, and a lot fewer kids can do it well these days."
"We need to bring back typing classes, along with how file/folder/directory systems work in general, a lot of college students don't know how to use them!"
"Toys that were just toys. Not everything had to be educational. Just let kids play and explore and discover. Let them get bored."
It Takes a Village
"Village grandparents. My parents would leave me with my grandparents for months during summer. We had a large, large yard with many old collapsing or collapsed buildings, a variety of animals roaming around, and a few gardens."
"I’d climb trees, and buildings, play with the animals, and go fishing in the small river near the house with a self-made fishing rod made out of a bottle, rope, and an old nail."
"I never caught anything. Best time of my life."
Thinking Outside the Box
"Freedom to explore, invent, and create. Today's kids are so scheduled with activities and online all of the time. Getting out in the world without an agenda would be helpful."
"I'm now seeing college graduates who have a hard time doing anything other than following explicit instructions from their boss. They don't problem-solve. They don't innovate on their own."
"I can teach someone numbers or the structure of loops or conditional statements. I can't fix an issue with someone not understanding why they would choose a certain solution or not being able to relate what they are doing to the software module's objectives. I see perfect Leetcode problems with no understanding of the problem they're solving or even why they want to be an engineer. Or what to do if something varies slightly from what they memorized."
"AI will take over a lot of jobs if kids can't think nonlinearly or relate information. ChatGPT already writes code akin to what I'm seeing from young engineers. It doesn't have human reasoning about the problem and why you'd need to solve it a particular way, but it sure codes a variety of solutions quickly. A senior engineer can replace the junior engineers who don't think through the problem with AI."
"I feel like kids have no tolerance for 'boredom.' I try to tell the youngins to let their minds wander and allow thoughts to flow, but they feel compelled to stuff every moment with games or videos."
"They’re not even enjoying music anymore. It’s all, 'Can I play this song? It’s from a meme.' And they change the song before it’s over because there’s less appreciation for composition anymore."
"No patience. That's a side effect of the tech culture. My friend's kid is 10, and she's only known the instant gratification of TV, iPad, and Nintendo Switch all without ads. She never has to wait. If she's losing a game, she hits the reset button. Doesn't like a song, she skips."
"The rest of us grew up with limited or no tech. We had commercials on TV. Our favorite shows were only on once a day at a specific time. We were prisoners to whatever the DJ was playing on the radio. Sometimes our friends were grounded, so we'd have to play alone."
"Now I have friends with kids who place limits on the 'electronic babysitter.' These kids do have patience and they use their imagination. So there's hope."
"I love technology for its educational pieces. I avoid my kids on YouTube etc. They are aware of those people but not how you access it from their tablet. Coding, PBS Games, reading, writing, math, stem games."
"Kids today need time to just be kids. I believe study hall should exist after their main subjects. They can do homework, tutoring, and extracurriculars afternoon until their parents pick them up or they ride home on a bus. It should be a time of exploration, soft social skills through board games, etc."
"They are missing, and even daily living skills because the world is always on the go."
"They need access to actual food. Vegetable gardens, rabbit pens, etc. Helping others. Time to just be kids, make mistakes and get messy without it being filmed. We all f**k up that doesn't mean it needs to be filmed and posted or shamed for it."
"They need time to build resilience, kindness, and just to be with their family and friends. Access to actual public transportation. I could go on and on."
Being Held Accountable
"Accountability! Especially in schools. In my district, they think it’s unfair to the children and can hurt a child’s self-esteem if they’re held back in school. So, even if they never do a single assignment, flunk every class, and learn nothing, they advance to the next grade."
"Because of this, I have sixth graders who don’t know how to spell anything, don’t know punctuation, have no idea what to do with commas, and have no clue that they need to capitalize the first letter of a sentence. They don’t know how to write a paragraph. They are disrespectful to teachers and just don’t care because it doesn’t matter if they flunk. It is just sad."
"The outdoors without electronics. We have nature trails that border where I work and when I see people out 'enjoying' the great outdoors, most of them have their faces buried in their phones."
"There is so much beauty in nature and being able to observe it can teach a person a lot."
Less Technology Dependence
"Growing up in the '90s/early '00s was a lot of fun. H**l, I didn’t get my first cell phone until ninth grade."
"Kids are surprised when I tell them I had to share it with my brother, had no internet access, and it only had enough memory to store 50 texts. If you reached that, you had to delete some in order to receive new ones. Oh, and I got so good at texting without looking at my phone."
"I'm Gen Z but I see older people being a lot more optimistic. If something fails, they try something else. A lot of young people are so fed up with life (me included), they can barely function and they either isolate themselves or indulge in obscene hedonism."
"Free time (too much homework in my opinion)."
"Privacy (social media and constant connection via a phone/laptop)."
"Downtime (time to just chill and do nothing, they feel like every moment needs to be filled or they’re missing out)."
"Ignorance (they’re introduced to world/political issues way younger)."
Kids Being Kids
"A youth without having to be perfectly styled and ready for social media..."
"We played. Outside. In the mud and snow and in the summer's heat. We came back with dirty clothes, freezing cold noses, and wet from jumping into the nearby lake. We didn't care about our clothes, about our "style" and happily wore the same green t-shirt and jeans every day (of course, cleaned)."
"We knew when to come home , not because we had a smartphone or a smartwatch, but because of the sunset. I'll never forget sitting on the porch, watching the sunset, eating ice cream, and being completely and undeniably unworried."
"No one captured every third step on digital videos and posted them on every single social media platform. No one needed 'likes' and 'retweets.' No one bullied you because you didn't have the iPhone 383637 S for ˘$3000..."
"We were KIDS. Just. Kids. Not miniature adults with bad manners and mobile phone addiction."
For people who grew up in the early 2000s or sooner, these memories are undeniably nostalgic, and even sad, knowing that today's kids won't share in the same memories.
The biggest takeaways seemed to be the push for a full schedule and impressing the internet, when really, the point used to be to unplug and relax with friends.
Now that pandemic protocols have been lifted for the most part, inexperienced travelers should take advantage of the time to visit places they've always wanted to see or dreamed of seeing in lockdown.
Unfortunately, a myriad of excuses can delay one's inclination to wanderlust–including a lack of finances and a fear of the unknown.
But thankfully, Reddit is here to prove it can be a great resource for travel information that isn't generally known to the public.
Inspired by a search for wisdom, Redditor HugeDismissal asked:
"What is your best travel tip that most people don't know?"
Know before you go.
Sharing The Journey
"Let your family back home know your travel itinerary."
Price Search Hack
"Try searching for flights in the airline’s original language. I once saved $700 booking tickets in Peru by using Spanish rather than English."
"When flights get canceled, don’t stand in line to talk to an agent. Call the airline."
For packing, it might behoove you to keep these in mind.
"Roll everything, fold nothing."
A Perfect Disguise
"For photo equipment or all kind of expensive stuff: put some duct tape on it. If it looks broken, nobody wants to steal it."
Once on a flight, these tips may come in handy.
"Three things; 1.) bring an orange. If someone you are sitting next to smells bad you can open the orange up as a natural deodorizer. 2.) Bring a spare pair of socks and change socks after you are settled on your flight, train, etc. Put the sweaty socks away in a plastic bag. Dry socks after a long day of travel feel luxurious. 3.) Stupid and Cheerful. A cop stops you in a foreign country? Stupid and cheerful. Never be belligerent. A border guard says your papers aren’t in order? Stupid and cheerful. The airline says you are too late to board? Stupid and cheerful. Cheerful always works better than aggressive. And it transcends culture. I knew an elderly couple who literally drove across the whole of Africa and “stupid and cheerful” was their advice. It’s far harder to punish someone if they simply claim ignorance and are smiling."
The Best Travel Companion
"Who you go with is way more important than where you go."
Once you reach the destination, now what?
Booking Affording Lodging
"The best room in a cheaper hotel is often better than a standard room in a more expensive hotel. When looking for luxury on a budget, don't overlook the cheaper hotels - they often have fantastic suites for what you'd pay for a standard room somewhere pricier."
Not Like The Romans Do
"Nobody wakes up early. Like you can wake up before dawn and get fantastic golden hour pics when the city is empty then go back for breakfast and a nap before heading out for lunch."
"Like the best city for this is Rome. No one is around and you can get wide shots that would never happen during the day and the lighting is better."
"If you're asking for an opinion, don't ask the opinion of someone who's being paid to provide it."
"Want to know where the best meal near your hotel is? The cleaner isn't getting a kickback from the nearest steakhouse, but the concierge probably is."
"Want to know the easiest way to get to the airport? The front desk clerk is going to tell you to hire the hotel preferred transfer, but the barman will probably tell you what train to catch for 1/20th of the price."
Now that you have these handy tips jotted down, there are no more excuses to delay travel plans.
The world is your oyster.
So why not take advantage of it?
Because trust me, once you get out of your bubble, you'll be glad you got to experience the wonder of discovery and adventure you can't find by looking at pictures or videos of the places you've been longing to visit.
Any other travel pearls? Let us know in the comments below.
History is made on a daily basis.
Indeed, there is little more exciting than having witnessed the accomplishments of people like Barack Obama, Stacey Abrams, and Greta Thunberg knowing that they have firmly reserved a space for themselves in history books.
Of course, most of the people who paved the way to make the world what it is today have long since passed away.
Not all of them, though!
It may surprise you to learn that there are people who made an indelible impression on history who are still much alive today.
Some of whom even continue to make a difference to this very day
Redditor enginearz was eager to hear about historical figures people were surprised to learn were still alive, leading them to ask:
"What famous person from history is still alive?"
Forever Leaving His Name In Science
"He's the only currently living man with an element on the periodic table named after him."- snowflake247
Quite The Story To Tell
"Last human to hold the title of Tsar, as leader of the Kingdom of Bulgaria."
"He was exiled along with his family when the Soviets invaded Bulgaria in 1944."
"In 1990, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Simeon returned from exile to Bulgaria and July 2001, was democratically elected prime minister."
"The private citizen is now 85."- DirectionNew5328
Making Nature Cool For Decades
"David Attenborough."- random_username_96You Can Do It Uoftartsci GIF by U of T Faculty of Arts & ScienceGiphy
The Fought For Freedom And Justice
"The last surviving airman of the battle of Britain."
"He is 103 years old."
"He helped with the liberation of Auschwitz."
"He is 99 years old."
"He was a prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials."
"He is 102 years old."- Ashtar-the-Squid
"The last living member of the german anti-nazi resistance group 'White Rose".
"Most well-known members were the sibling Sophie and Hans Scholl, who were executed by the Nazis when they were identified."- ChrisTinnef
The One Who Made One Giant Leap For Mankind
"Buzz Aldrin, and I’m not even American."- mukaltinState Of The Union Salute GIF by MSNBCGiphy
Opening Doors For So Many Others
"She was one of the first black kids to go to an all-white school."
"There is a famous picture of that first day."- mumwifealcoholic
He Continues To Surprise Us
"Ozzy Osbourne."- CaptinDerpI
Admirably Defying So Many Odds
"98 years old."- Back2BachJimmy Carter Drilling GIF by GIPHY NewsGiphy
We've Still Got Two Out Of Four
"Paul and Ringo"- HMKingHenryIX
Inching Close To The Big One Double Oh...
And Still Practically Perfect In Every Way
"Julie Andrews."- aslrulesjulie andrews snap GIFGiphy
Who Could Forget About Dick Van Dyke ?!?!?!?!
"Everyone just forgetting about Dick Van Dyke, he's like 97 and still going."
"If you've never heard of him, he played in Marry Poppins, along with a bunch more movies"- Longjumping_Drag2752
And Still Stunning
"Sophia Loren is still kicking."- The_REAL_McWeasel
Continuing To Go Where No Man Has Gone Before
"William Shatner doesn't look it but that dude is in his 90s wtf."- flubberF*ckWilliam Shatner Fun GIF by Shark WeekGiphy
Perhaps what's most admirable, is that even when these astonishing people do eventually pass, they will continue to live on and change the world with the remarkable work they did.
We all indulge in fast food from time to time.
Even if we know what we're eating isn't exactly healthy, sometimes the salty, fatty mass-produced food is the only thing we want.
Resulting in our making weekly, if not daily, visits to a nearby chain.
Then, of course, there are the chains that we make every effort to avoid.
We've likely tried places at least once simply because everyone is always talking about them.
But after having one bite, we have trouble seeing exactly what all the fuss was about and vow to never return.
Even if it might be the only option at a rest stop or even the only available food for miles, we instead opt to wait and be hungry.
Redditor BungOnMimosas was curious to hear what people considered to be the most overhyped fast food chains around, leading them to ask:
"What do you think are the most overrated fast-food chains? Why?"
"Food As It Should Be"... Or Not...
"I know it's not technically 'fast food', but Panera Bread pisses me off."
"Insanely expensive for extremely average food." - Reddit
"Their quality has decreased so much in the past few years and they’ve added weird sh*t to their menu like pizza and chicken sandwiches."
"Massive identity crisis and crap food."- asm233
Things Ain't What They Used To Be...
"All of them, now that they charge real restaurant prices."- P00pf4rt5
"As much as I hate to say it, McDonald's is the only place that I can think of that the quality hasn't changed much."
"I mean, that's a pretty low bar, but it is what it is."- gnatman66happy ronald mcdonald GIF by McDonald's CZ/SKGiphy
"The majority of them, especially the really big ones (McDonald's, Wendy's, BK, Pizza Hut, etc)."
"The prices are no longer fast food prices and the quality is not there like it used to be."
"Far better local options that cost roughly the same at the end of the day."- senorita_diablo
Consistency Is Key...
"You can go to the same location three separate times, have the food made by the same staff, and receive 3 wildly different results."- AndrewLampart
Not So Popular Anywhere, It seems...
"KFC in France became so bad."- SterBout
"KFC."- calm4ufried chicken animation GIF by octavioterolGiphy
Likely Won't Go National...
"Idk how wide spread they are, but in the Buffalo NY area there is a chain called Mighty Taco."
"They were even voted best tacos a few years ago."
"It is absolutely terrible food."
"I’ve tried to like it and given them 3 chances."
"Each time I couldn’t eat more than a couple bites."
"Absolutely terrible and I’m disgusted even thinking about their sour vomit in a tortilla."- aa-2020
"I think I’ve answered this question before but definitely for me, it’s Subway."
"Nothing but a giant hunk of bread."
"I’m editing this to add that part of my anger about Subway is how good it used to be."
"I can remember the days of nearly a whole can of tuna salad delicious sub."
"And a Veggie sub with Swiss cheese and piles of yummy veggies and the sweet Vidalia onion sauce."
"It’s all gone to sh*t."
"I would’ve been perfectly OK with increasing price but the big drop in quality pissed me off."
"Oh woe is me with my first world problems."- Mysterious-Region640football ok GIF by Subway ColombiaGiphy
Quantity Doesn't Guarantee Quality...
"Starbucks is a scam."- cmkeller62
Tasty, But Not Worth It...
"I’m going to say Five Guys."
"Not because the food isn’t good, but because I’m not paying $20 for a burger meal."- 2PacTookMyLunchMoney
"Dairy queen grill and Chill for sure."
"I worked at one for a lil' while and 1 burger combo is $14.56 CAD."- lolidk13Ice Cream Miracle Treat Day GIF by Children's Miracle Network HospitalsGiphy
And Not In A Good Way...
Big Kahuna Burger, it kills you."-Darklock2022
No two people have the same taste in food.
Some people know to avoid crappy food, while others eat literally nothing else.