Education is the cornerstone of growing up. It is through our school system that we begin our journey into adulthood. Many people have criticized Ontario's school system over the years, rightfully so in many cases. But what's the scoop from the students, the actual people who are currently experiencing the modern education system? I'm here to answer that today in this special report. Using information from fellow students, teachers, and what I've seen firsthand, I'm going to tell you what really goes on in the schools of your children.
As is well known by all parents, teenagers tend to suffer from a whiny case of mood-swings. Here are a few reasons why. Some teens are tired of their more... let's say hyper-assertive teachers. Hyper-assertive teachers are the ones they likely never talk to you about because, as you hear so often, “You wouldn't understand.” So let me help you understand. These hyper-assertive teachers are so self-entitled, arrogant, and generally angry, that they choose to needlessly take out their aggression on the poor kids they're responsible to teach!
To better prove my point, I'll share a story from a friend of mine that encapsulates this idea perfectly. This friend, who will remain unnamed to preserve her privacy, was going through menstruation at the time and needed to be excused so she could go to the bathroom and apply a tampon. Her teacher however, who is infamous for being hyper-assertive, would not allow her to leave class for seemingly no reason at all. With no way to resist the teacher without further humiliating herself in front of her peers, this poor girl was instead forced to sit at her desk and bleed throughout the entire period. This is one extreme example of a hyper-assertive teacher being unnecessarily strict, not to mention completely disrespectful of a situation that any rational adult would take seriously.
And this isn't an isolated incident; dozens of teachers all across Canada behave in this belligerent manner towards their students with zero repercussions.
With that being said, another point that greatly frustrates students is the fact that their word has little to no value when weighed against that of an adult. Not only are they being treated unfairly, but students are not given a platform to defend themselves against the opinions of these hyper-assertive teachers or principals. I’ve seen countless situations where students who have broken very trivial rules, such as wearing a hat indoors or parking in the school parking lot, get punished severely with little to no explanation.
It could be the student’s demeanour, their personality, or even their history with the specific teacher who is passing judgment on them, but for whatever reason these students could be suspended or even expelled in some cases for very petty reasons. This is why certain demographics of students are driven to distrust authority figures.
With the system in its current state, even if an incident occurs, more often than not it would go unreported as kids are either afraid to challenge the wrath of their hyper-assertive teachers, or they simply wish to handle the situation themselves. We have to remember that all teenagers have one thing in common, a desire to be independent in any way. This extends to defusing situations that students often aren’t mentally or emotionally prepared to approach, such as the encounter from the classroom example. It’s simple really, if you give a teenager any reason to resent you as an authority figure, they won’t come to you with their problems. These kids understandably feel powerless in their situation, which is why they often come across as bitter or whiny.
Now these problems may sound petty or childish from the perspective of a working adult, but you need to see the situation from their point of view. As an example think of how many people have been charged, arrested, or even incarcerated for minor offences such as traffic violation. Regardless of the circumstances, the majority of rational people would agree that that situation is unjust. Now think of how these teenagers are forced to submit to their authority figures in the same way, and the reality of the situation may become clear.
However, despite all of its structural problems and corruption, high school still has its share of amazing qualities. Many schools encourage students to break out of their comfort zones with clubs and other extra-curricular activities. Not to mention the fact that school boards raise awareness and often thousands of dollars every year for good causes like cancer research and food banks. Does this excuse the overall state of public school boards? No. But it does show that these schools do make an effort to positively affect the minds of today’s youth, despite the issues that lie within.
So there you have it, a deeper look into being a student in 2017. We could debate the issues in our school system till the end of time, but I think we need to realize as a society that every system has its problems. And it would be in the interest of tomorrow’s youth for the government to work not only on fixing the current problems, but on making public schools a fair, safe, and comfortable environment for students of all ages and backgrounds.
Tag(s): Guest Writers & Blogger