Spotlight Blog 2

There are numerous arguments revolving around school and the best way for kids to learn. It’s no secret that kids will struggle to some extent no matter what but looking into ways to make it less stressful and difficult is what people have been looking into. I found several articles stating many different pros and cons to one idea: year-round schooling. It was difficult to find an article that was just about all the bad things or just about the good things. It seemed as though there were an equal amount of pros as there were cons.

As far as cons go, I found an article that only had 3 reasons as to why year- round schooling is a bad thing. The first one being fairly simple and practical in that schools would end up having to pay more money than they already do to keep the air conditioning running. The second being that children’s schedules would be messed up and it wouldn’t allow them to have any down time. The article says that some experts believe that summer months allow for greater and healthier development for children. The last one building off the fact that the schedules would be messed up. It would cause extra stress to parents trying to find babysitters who would work three weeks at a time. On top of that, if they have kids at different ages and in different levels of education, then they have to deal with trying to get each one to school at different times.

The second article I found about the cons is very short yet concise. The points made in this one are similar to the previous but there’s one section in this article about kids and summer jobs. Older kids who have jobs over the summer will basically be unemployed since places will not want to hire them for only a few weeks at a time. And this author simply believes that students work hard enough as it is for eight months straight and that they deserve to have a few months rest.

On the other side of things, I found an article that contained 10 reasons why this type of schooling would be very beneficial. To sum up the most important ones of the article, this system would solve overcrowding, it would most benefit low-income families, and it would cut down on “brain drain.” As far as overcrowding goes, the article claims that schools will use something called the “multi-track system.” This will split the kids up into different groups and they will all rotate between being on vacation and being in school. For low-income families, it will keep the kids who are more likely to get into trouble in a safe environment as well as help them keep up with their learning and work. Finally, the brain drain aspect has to do with how children’s brains aren’t learning new things in the summer and when they come  back to school they essentially have lost everything they learned and have to be retaught.

The second positive article I found had three simple reasons to support the change to year-round schooling. The first one being that kids would actually remember what they learned and wouldn’t have to go through the “brain drain” that was talked about in the first article. The second being that it would bridge the achievement gap between minorities and white, economically advantaged students. Dropout rates would decrease and these minorities would be able to learn English much more quickly and easily. The last reason is that students will simply just like school more. Having periodic long breaks will stop them from getting as stressed out with all the work.

After reading these different articles and getting different perspectives, I believe that year-round schooling would be much more beneficial than the school system in place now. It’s all about the students and their learning and if this would make things easier for them, then I think it wouldn’t hurt to try it out.


21803, et al. “3 Reasons Not to Adopt Year-Round Schooling.” The Edvocate, 16 Apr. 2017,

Sines, Julia. “ From Our Archives: Year-Round School Bad Idea for Students.” The Pantagraph, 17 Oct. 2009,

“Reasons Why Year Round School Is A Good Idea.” Screenflex Portable Room Dividers, 21 Apr. 2017,

21803, et al. “Top 3 Reasons the US Should Switch to Year-Round Schooling.” The Edvocate, 13 Aug. 2016,

Year-round schooling: Spotlight Blog 2


Is Year-round Schooling Worth It?

A common debate that has been talked about for a long time has been year-round schooling. Students still will hit the 180 days required but in two different ways. Today only 10% of the nation’s school do year-round while the other 90% are traditional. So, is year-round really worth all the debate?

When it comes to schooling many kids develop the summer slide. The summer slide is when students unlearn what they learned during the summer and get back tracked. Even when you acquire tutor the student will still get summer slide but when going to year-round schooling this will not happen. A study in 2007 from Ohio State University showed that there is no difference in students who go year-round and traditional schooling. However, decades of research by National Summer Learning Association shows that students who tend traditional schooling will take 8-13 weeks to catch up to speed. In an interview with Anna Habash, she said that schools with high poverty and minority student’s numbers benefit from year-round schooling because it keeps the students “on task” and leads to a more “meaningful instruction” when there are not a lot of academically sound options in their home. To Jessica Washington of Politic365, the solution to student’s success is year-round schooling. She reports that the national dropout rate is at 5 percent, while the dropout rate for year-round school students is below that at just 2 percent. When kids go to school year-round they develop a bong and relation stronger than traditional schools which helps them academically. Results from studies show that students in a year-round schooling are more self-confident, have a higher self-concept, have fewer inhibitions, and feel positive about their schooling and academic experience.

On the other hand, no kid wants to go to school year-round and have a small summer break. When kids go to school all year around they get tired and bored of the same thing and do not want to hand in their assignments and do their work. People always forget that teachers need breaks to which they do so during the summer. Kids and faculty of the school need to spend time with their family and relax from the hardships of school. I students go to year-round schooling they will miss more school because they will have to miss time when going on vacation since they don’t have a summer to do so. There will be an increase in cost when it comes to keeping the school open year-round. The cost will average 100,000 plus to do so which will cause a chain reaction. Parents will have to pay more in taxes which causes them to work more and be distant from their child. When hitting the summer time for schooling the cost to keep the school cooled during the months of June, July, and august will increase the cooling bill by three hundred times. Another negative is that when teenagers need to tend school during the summer are lacking work experience and trying new activities. Von Hippel’s from the University of Ohio State research showed no difference in academics and still go to the same amount of days.

Overall there are many pros and cons for each argument. I believe that schooling all year-round will be helpful because we will not lose a lot of the material we gained during the summer the year before. We will not be academically smarter, but we will be able to obtain more knowledge because we will have time to learn more information since we are not behind the 8-13 weeks.

Work Cited


21803, et al. “Top 3 Reasons the US Should Switch to Year-Round Schooling.” The Edvocate, 13 Aug. 2016,


Kimberly Demucha Kalil in Waltham, MA. “The Pros and Cons of Year-Round School.”,, 18 July 2017,


“Students shouldn’t have to attend school year-Round.”, 30 Jan. 2008,
“Year-Round schools don’t work, so districts should abandon the idea.”, Deseret News, 30 Jan. 2011,





No Summer Vactation? Blasphemy!

As a future educator, providing the best education for future generations is extremely important to me. A lot of debate occurs as to what this “best” education looks like and how we can provide it, but one of the most highly debated topics is the suggestion of year-round education. Although there are many different models for what “year-round education” can look like, the basic premise is that students would have shorter breaks between their semesters, quarters, or terms instead of one long break in the summer; most of the debate among this decision revolves around the factors of academic achievement and economic reasoning.

Supporters of year-round education suggest that academic achievement in schools will go up if the school system is changed as retention and tutoring opportunities increase and absences decrease. According to these supporters, retention of information among students will increase as there is no longer a large gap in the presentation and practice of knowledge to students (“Research Spotlight on Year-Round Education”). Many believe that if shorter breaks are given in increments, this will prevent students from ignoring school work for long amounts of time, leading them to forget the information they have learned (Pearson).

Similarly, supporters of the year-round education system suggest that tutoring opportunities will increase if a more constant form of teaching is provided. According to the California Department of Education, students, particularly economically disadvantaged students, would be given more opportunities for tutors as less amounts of information would need to be covered over shorter periods of time (Pearson). The logic behind this idea is that because students will be retaining more information consistently and will have less time to forget that information, less tutoring time will be needed; this focalizes the time the tutor and the student spend together, resulting in less time and money needing to be spent.

Lastly, in regards to academic achievement, those who support year-round education believe absences among both students and teachers will decrease if short breaks are given in the school year. In the year-round system, students and teachers will be given consistent breaks, which supporters view as a system that will help prevent them from getting sick and burnt-out, as the long summer break tends to do (Pearson). With smaller breaks, students and teachers will also be able to constantly recharge during the school year, providing more enthusiasm and willingness to learn while they are in the classroom (“Research Spotlight”).

However, those who do not agree with the year-round education suggest that more negative than positive academic outcomes would come out of changing the school system. Those who do not support the year-round education system point out that there is no actual research supporting that year-round education would improve retention, and that, in fact, it may be hurting student’s education overall (Lynch). As summer break is a common time for teachers to prepare materials and lesson plans for the next school year, taking that time away from them could greatly alter the efficiency and effectiveness of what they are teaching. In a year-round calendar, teachers may not be given enough time to access the materials they need or be able to research different teaching methods that could greatly affect the way that they are teaching students (Brown).

As well, people who do not support year-round education believe that students who benefit from remedial and supplemental classes during summer school will not receive the support they need from the type of education that would be provided during year-round education. Yet, not only would these students be negatively impacted, but all students would be negatively impacted as students may struggle with focusing back to class time after ever short break is taken (Lynch).

Similar disagreements also take place regarding economic reasoning that would result from a change in the calendar years for schools. Supporters of the year-round system claim that two economic benefits will result from changing schools’ calendar systems: school facilities will be used more effectively year-round, and families who travel will ultimately spend less on vacations. When summer break occurs, that leaves an average of three months where school buildings are not being used and certain equipment pieces are not being maintained; this is seen as a waste of resources in year-round supporters’ eyes as the building is just sitting there and will likely need to have repairs done to its equipment when the schoolyear starts again (Pearson).

On the same note, those that agree with year-round education state that breaks in increments instead of one long break will prevent families from spending large amounts of money of vacations. With smaller breaks, families will still be able to vacation, but they will be less likely to stay as long or go as far, which, in turn, saves them money (Pearson).

On the contrary, those who are against year-round education suggest that the lack of a summer break will not only affect the employment of both students and their parents, but will also greatly affect the overall budget of the school. As summer is a common time for older students to seek out employment, sometimes even full-time employment, opponents of year-round education suggest that students will no longer be able to maintain this type of employment with shorter, more spread out breaks (Brown).

Scheduling is also pointed out by opponents of year-round education as influencing the income of parents. Parents of younger students will need to find childcare or take off of work more frequently if shorter breaks are given to students, leading them to lose a substantial amount of income no matter which choice they make (Brown).

Finally, those who oppose year-round education also point out the financial influence no longer having a summer break will have on a school’s overall budget. As not only power but air conditioning must be supplied for students in the summer, schools would likely expect a great increase in their school budget. As most schools cannot afford to change their budgets, money that would be set aside for things such as extracurricular or learning programs would have to be redirected to pay for these expenses, negatively impacting students’ educations (Lynch).

Although there are many arguments present for both sides of the year-round education argument, those both for and against the schooling system acknowledge that there is no conclusive evidence of the effect of changing the calendar year of schools on academic performance and financial decisions (“Research Spotlight”). With that being said, I believe that the current structure of schooling is the most affective for future generations. As it becomes more and more difficult to hold the attention of students as time goes on, I believe that constant break would cause difficultly in maintaining focus on teachings. As a student myself, I have personally witnessed and experienced the lack of focus and discipline students have right before a break and right after a break, which would be a constant in the year-round system.

As well, in regards to retention, information must be constantly studied, repeated, and made meaningful in order to be stored in long-term memory. Although I do agree that it would be helpful that no long break would be present for students to forget a majority of the information they learned, there is no guarantee that students will practice good studying and learning methods simply because they have had less time to forget.

Therefore, although proponents of the year-round education system suggest students, parents, and schools would benefit from more consistent breaks and less time to forget information and waste time, by analyzing academic and financial reasoning, I tend to agree more with those that advocate against the changing of school systems.



Brown, Mary. “The Year-Round School Debate.” SchoolMoney, SchoolMoney, 5 Mar. 2016,

Lynch, Matthew. “Year-Round Schooling: 3 Common Arguments Against It.” Education Week, Editorial Projects in Education, 3 Jan. 2015,

Pearson, Amy. “Year-Round School Advantages & Disadvantages.” Seattle PI, Hearst Seattle Media, 2017,

“Research Spotlight on Year-Round Education.” National Education Association, National Education Association, 2017,

Spotlight Blog #2- Intelligence

There are many controversies over what is the best way to teach children. One recent controversy that has been brought to the public’s attention is whether or not year-round schooling could be beneficial. This is a hot topic; there are many people that are strongly in favor of laws that support this, but there are also many people that are skeptical about changing the system. It is known that other countries besides the United States utilize year-round schooling but would it work in the US? An article titled “Research Spotlight on Year-Round Education” from the National Education Association mentioned some pros and cons. The pros included increased retention rates due to a shorter time away from school, efficient use of school space so buildings would never be left unoccupied, and remediation can occur during the school year. Some of their cons included scheduling conflicts with extracurricular activities, scheduling conflicts if the whole district does not adopt year-round education and a parent has children that go to more than one school, and no research suggests that year-round education is beneficial for students.

Another article titled, “Year-Round Schooling Explained” also weighed the pros and cons of year-round education. They emphasized that going to school all year long with frequent breaks could actually relieve stress for students and teachers and prevent burnouts. They believe that even though students would be going all year long, there would be enough breaks that it would not drain the kids. For their cons they added to the list that tourism could suffer because in the summer months when families usually go on vacations, their children will still be in school so they will be less likely to go and in turn will negatively affect tourism. Also, high schoolers could have difficulty finding jobs because instead of one big break that lasts a couple months, their breaks only last a couple weeks at a time.

The next two articles I found on the same website; they were written by the same person, but each argued a different opinion. The first article, “Top 3 Reasons the US Should Switch to Year-Round Schooling,” claims that year-round schooling will actually decrease obesity among children. They believe that over the summer is when kids gain the most weight because instead of playing outside with friends, many kids are turning to video games for entertainment. Whether or not there is a connection between year-round education and obesity is still unknown because there is no conclusive evidence from research. In the article, “3 Reasons Not to Adopt Year-Round Schooling,” the author argued that year-round school would actually end up costing the tax payers more money. This is because the schools would have to pay more for air conditioning over the summer months than they are currently. After looking at all the information, I do not think year-round schooling is overly beneficial for students and taxpayers. Sort of like the saying “if it’s not broke don’t fix it,” I do not think there is anything wrong with the current system. I do not think young kids in elementary school could handle going year round because when I was little, I always looked forward to summer vacation. Sometimes kids need to just get away for awhile from all the schoolwork, and I do not think a week here and there would be enough time for the kids to de-stress from all the work.




Spotlight 2: Year-Round Education

For many decades there has been a controversy whether or not the current education system should change from having nine months of schooling and three months of summer to having shorter terms of schooling and short breaks along with them all year long. Both options have their pros and cons and both have their supporters.

An article from the Edvocate focuses on some of the cons that can come with having year-round education. They argue that having year-round education could cost more than the traditional education system. “Having empty classrooms in the summer months means less money going out to air conditioning,”(3 Reasons) which means if there was year-round schooling then schools would have to worry about paying for more air-conditioning during the summer days that students would be in school.  An article from a school that is using the year-round system says that “it costs $128,000 more just in busing expenses to keep the schools operating under the year-round calendar”(Year-Round). Usually the time that students would be off for summer is the time that schools would fix anything that is needed fixed or add anything the school may need such as a new air-conditioning unit for example. Another argument suggests that younger students need the down time that summer gives for proper development, suggesting that kids should be out playing games with friends and getting fresh air. “Students can use traditional summer breaks to gain work experience, to take specialized courses or remedial tutoring…  all of which shape a student’s character”(Year-Round). Taking away from this time could hurt students preparing for college, without time to work how will they be able to pay for schooling?

When it comes to year-round educational system there are some positives contrary to popular belief. “Reasons Why Year Round School Is A Good Idea,” argues several points to having a year round school system, including “easier to schedule vacation.” With more breaks for the students it is easier for parents to schedule vacation time rather than struggling to find the best time in the summer to get off and go somewhere with the children. It may also cost less as well since having little breaks would mean that there aren’t as many people to compete with to get that nice resort room at Disney World. Another point brought up is that teachers would make more working year round. “During the summer, many teachers have to take on second jobs to supplement their loss of income.” A long with several other arguments/points for pro year round schools they all mention that student’s brains won’t be drained from constantly being at school for nine months straight, same with the teachers. Having a usual summer vacation causes “children to lose a good bit of what they have learned each yeah”(Reasons).

When looking at both sides of this argument I would have to decide on our traditional way of schooling. I would go with this decision by looking back at my school district I grew up in, it really wasn’t the richest to say the least. Having a year round school system would really hurt my district when it comes to all of the expenses. Also I have been friends with many great and incredible students, with the traditional system, that are out accomplishing their goals, which shows me that our traditional school system is still credible in producing excellent students and people.


“3 Reasons Not to Adopt Year-Round Schooling.” The Edvocate, 16 Apr. 2017,

“Reasons Why Year Round School Is A Good Idea-Screenflex.” Screenflex Portable Room Dividers, 21 Apr. 2017,

“Year-Round Schools Don’t Work, so Districts Should Abandon the Idea.”, Deseret News, 30 Jan. 2011,


Spotlight 2

There are lots of controversies when examining the educational system. Everyone has a different opinion on how to create the environment optimal learning environment for students. There are many common suggestions which could improve learning experiences and determine how well student perform. One aspect where people have strong opinions about is year-round education.

Year-round education would eliminate summer vacations and students K-12 would attend school all year rather than nine months of the year. However, they would still be attending the same number of school days. These days would just be spread throughout the entire year rather than just into the 9 months. According to the National Educational Association, the most common type of year-round schooling runs on a 45-15 schedule. Students attend school for 45 straight days and then have 15 days off.

When looking at the pros of year-round education, NEA states that often times “students tend to forget a lot during the summer break, so a shorter time away from school might increase retention rates.” It is also noted that remediation can occur when it is most needed- during the school year. This would lead to better grades and a more supportable learning environment for students. Along with this, ThoughtCo. states that “school buildings are often unused in the summer and are wasted resources.”

Contrary to these opinions, the Daily Journal makes the point that students are not able to have summer employment leading to college in the summer months. It is also stated that “While year-round schools are more economical overall, there are added expenses such as air conditioning for the summer months. The normal wear and tear on the facility require continual care. Imagine having 500 or more guests in your home on a daily basis! Many school systems do infrastructure repairs and maintenance during the summer to minimize disruption of instruction. At year-round schools, isn’t possible, so costly overtime and disrupted schooling may result.” Global Issues blog stated that having year-round schooling does not support or help students who have attention difficulty.

After examining the two sides of the argument regarding year-round school I have several thoughts. Initially, I was not sure which side that I agreed with. I felt that year-round schooling was a good idea in making the schooling go faster, however that is not the case. After researching I decided that I agree that not year-round schooling is not a good idea for students. As a student, I understand how important summer vacation is to reset and prepare for the next school year. I also understand that there would be added stress going all year round, not just to the students but the parents as well. Overall, I feel that despite the controversy towards the most suitable educational options for students, non-year-round education is the most beneficial system.


“Research Spotlight on Year-Round Education.” NEA,

“Pros, cons of year-Round school.” The Daily Journal, 14 Oct. 2013,

Connectusfundadmin. “6 Predominant Advantages and Disadvantages of Year Round School.” ConnectUS, 19 Aug. 2015,

Kelly, Melissa. “Does Year-Round Education Make Sense?” ThoughtCo,







Intelligence Spotlight

Some may argue that year round education is a very positive thing for students to have due to various reasoning. Others express that children deserve a vacation, and summer break is a necessity for children to have throughout their educational years. Here, I’ve picked four different sources to lay out the argument. Matthew Lynch, a writer for the Edvocate, explains the top three reasons year round education would be beneficial to kids. The first point made is that students will remember what they learned since the breaks are shorter, but more frequent. The gap between lessons is littler, leading us into the second reason Lynch gives. It’s easy to bridge the achievement gap where children are likely to forget material that was taught due to the amount of time between big ideas in core classes such as division in math or writing in English class. The last point is that students will like school, due to the opportunity to have closer relationships with teachers and allowing students to become completely immersed in the educational environment. These two things put together gives an all around more positive outlook on school to children, as well as sparking excitement into school. Another source I explored is through with a discussion by Kimberly Demucha Kalil who made a good point of boredom during summer vacation. This was a unique point to make since it was something not found very easily in some of the other sources I’ve read, but it still very similar to the personal experiences I’ve had myself. Sure, vacation in the summer is fun, but my mom had to send me to soccer camp or my grand mom’s house in place of going to school every day; so I still had to find something else to keep me busy. Kalil states, “Year-round school eliminates the need to fill 12 weeks of vacation with activities to keep your child interested and engaged” (Kalil). This brings up a big issue for families that do not have other people to watch their children and are not financially stable enough to send their kids to camp. This affects families in the sense that their children are not mentally stimulated for months at home over summer vacation, and this only leads kids to boredom rather than a positive learning environment that school provides. On the flip side of things, so many researchers support summer vacation and the mental break it allows students to receive. Laurie Futterman from the miami herald talks about how kids need a break from the busy school year; as it is necessary for children to have an “unwind time” as well as simply a time to have fun. Futterman also brings up how summer time can bring unique forms of educational experiences. Futterman exclaims, “time off from school can offer different learning experiences, including the power of outdoor play” (Futterman). This was important to be expressed in addition to just fun because “just for fun” isn’t a great argument to make. Another supportive side of not having school year-round is that their is no research proving that it helps children first hand. Mary Brown offers up this simple statement exclaiming, “There is no conclusive data on whether a year-round system works as effectively as the traditional school year. The academic data is too scattered” (Brown). This shuts down most ideas that are for year-round school to begin with; but also expresses how new the idea is although it is a norm in other countries. This problem makes it seem like it would be especially bad in America due to how much research we put into our education system debating on whether or not the amount of time we go to school is beneficial or not; we attempt to make sure the benefits are there if we were to change the way school has been ran for years. It also adds the exploration of why we would change the way education is ran after years of it working just fine? Both sides of the arguments are fair and strong; although a lot more research has been done on allowing children to have their normal break rather than going to school year round.


Lynch , Matthew. “Top 3 Reasons the US Should Switch to Year-Round Schooling.” The Edvocate, 13 Aug. 2016,

Demucha Kalil, Kimberly. “The Pros and Cons of Year-Round School.”,, 18 July 2017,, Laurie. “Beyond the Classroom: Should Kids Get a Long Summer Vacation? Depends on Who You Ask.” Miamiherald,
Brown, Mary, et al. “The Year-Round School Debate.”, 5 Mar. 2016,







Week 10 First Impression

Intelligence isn’t really something you can obtain through genetics. Though my parents are very smart people, my intelligence has not come from them but from school. I have had my fair share of teachers who just didn’t really care about everyone personally and how well they were doing in their class. But I’ve also had those teachers who want to see people succeed and will help them accomplish that goal. Each of these teachers have had different teaching styles and some just weren’t the most beneficial for me. For instance I had a very strict and scary English teacher my freshman year of high school. She would always call me and others out in the middle of class and when we didn’t know the answer to something she would wait and keep asking us questions until we got the right answer and basically embarrass us in front of the entire class. Ever since then I have absolutely hated English classes and I don’t try very hard in them. It goes the same way  if you have a great teacher, you’ll look forward to their class and try your hardest because you don’t want to let them down.

Going off of my experience with the English teacher, I think an improvement for all teachers would be not to put students on the spot when they don’t know the answers. Especially if they’re one of the more shy kids in the class like I was. Being comfortable in the classroom is one of the key things that contributes to learning and if the student isn’t comfortable and are on edge that they’re going to be called out, then they won’t learn anything. I think this goes along with the teacher recognizing that every student has a different way of learning and they have to adapt to what will be the most beneficial to everyone.


I never thought of my intelligence to be something that has come from my parents; although my parents are very smart, my intelligence is expressed much different than theirs. I give all the credit to the phenomenal teachers I’ve had over the years that taught me almost everything I know. Besides common sense, that I have my dad to thank, educators in my life have always made a huge impact. Most of the time, I believe it is the way teachers interact with their students that makes learning new material and absorbing new information fun in a way. I’ve always loved learning, and school has always been a sort of “happy place” if you will, and teachers saw and always loved that about me. It was easy to communicate with with teachers and ask questions throughout my education thus far as well, so this made learning a very pleasant experience and something I wanted to do. I believe my intelligence is firmly rooted in the place I am most confident, school. I always loved excelling in certain classes and taking on the challenge of hard classes. Something about learning is always new and exciting, so blaming my intelligence on something so satisfying isn’t so bad. Overall, interactions I’ve had between teachers and myself have always been positive and encouraging. This assisted me in not only doing well in school, but giving my intelligence the chance to take off by giving me such a happy environment. If a negative environment was present, I do not believe I would have done so well since I could have been put down, or just not as encouraged as I have been over the years. There has always been a clear goal given to me as something to strive for; so without this, a child might struggle as well. I have always felt I was equipped with the correct tools and positive attitudes that every child needs in order for him or her to express their intelligence, but without them, I would not have had as great as an opportunity.

Week 10 First Impressions: Option 1

I would have to say that most of my intelligence, and probably a lot of people’s intelligence, comes from school. Interactions with teachers went a long way towards helping me build that intelligence. My interactions with teachers were usually good. I was quiet but I did my work, got good grades, and was never an issue. As a result, my teachers put more focus on others that were struggling but if I ever needed help with something, they were happy to lend a hand. That worked well for me. I liked being able to figure things out for myself before I go to someone else. Doing things on my own did lead to me not being as close to some of my teachers as others but I was okay with that. When I did interact with my teachers, it went well. They always tried to do what they could to help me with whatever I came to them with. This was exactly what I needed in order to learn as much as I could and perform academically.

While those methods worked for me, they do not work for every student. Everyone’s ideal environment for learning is a little different. To get students to learn and do well, teachers need to do their best to understand what that environment might be for each student. In order to do this, they need more time working as close to one-on-one with students as possible. Smaller class sizes could achieve this. The average class in my high school probably had 30 people in it; it can be hard to learn the specific preferences of 30 people. Cutting down on class size makes it easier for the teachers to learn that. Another thing to change could be the curriculum. In Pennsylvania, we have these tests called the keystones. They suck, they’re stupid, and I spent a ton of time in class just learning how to do well on those tests. Instead of designing the curriculum to get students to perform well on standardized tests like that, make the emphasis on trying to make sure students are really learning the material. I think making those changes could help schools improve the performance of their students.