About a month ago, I did a writing across the curriculum exercise where students described what their perfect school would be like. Some of the students had really good insights and I thought I would share my student quotes with you.
"I learn better in places I like."
"The world is your textbook."
"For math, we have Miss Miller, because she is awesome like that. Duh."
"There is a couple of hours for leaving and getting something to eat."
"My perfect school would be a night time school."
"Classrooms would be pimped out. We could bring our phones in class and text…ipods too."
"No classrooms- just free roaming."
"Teachers would be laid back, but still be in control."
"I would make sure that at breakfast time that we had chocolate pancakes and blueberry muffins…you could eat chocolate all day long."
"All the teachers would be in good moods and nice." (Implying that this isn't the norm.)
"I would focus on the social side and still make them do work. Cheerleaders would have cheery attitudes and good minds."
"Kids will be given a laptop to do their homework, projects, and tests on." (Yes, I love technology)
"Teachers would discipline but at the same time educate and have fun doing it."
"Everywhere you walked to, you would see words of wisdom."
"The kids would be of every race. No discrimination. Nobody would be left out."
"Transportation in school would be in helicopters and the teachers would be driving them."
"The hours will be from 10:00AM to 3:00 P.M. The teachers have to be from 18 to 26 and they got to look good. Before we hire you, we got to go to the gym and the kids will judge you and see if you’re good enough."
"The school would have good teachers, ones that want to actually teach and that would explain to the students when they don’t understand."
"The only time you get wrote up would be for fighting or back talking a teacher."
"There would be no violence in my school except for the boxing and wrestling classes."
"We’d go outside and do more things, when it felt nice, and go on more trips and learn about fun things."
"Students wouldn’t be so rude all the time."
"They should have sports everybody likes but not just the old basic stuff like basketball."
"I wish Subway could cater the school!"
"My perfect school would only have better students and not immature animals running around like idiots in the hallway."
"I think the whole student body shouldn’t suffer because one kid is stupid enough to screw stuff up."
"Your classes will be classes that prepare you for the career you’d follow in after school." (As opposed to...?)
"The principal of my class would be Flavor Flav; just because he would be really hype and always go around saying “Yeah Boy” to everyone."
"My school would be mainly worried and focused on helping the kids succeed and make it through school, and we would always be willing to help the kids." (What are we focused on then?)
"I think students need to care about their education." (Owned!)
"School would make people forget their problems at home and would make them feel peace and tranquility."
It made me sad to see how many of these things listed are things we say we are doing. All in all, if you look at these requests, almost all of them are perfectly reasonable and easily possible. They are asking for so little. Ok, so maybe I won't be driving to school in my helicopter to meet with Mr. Flav, but you get the idea. Why don't we ask the kids what will help them and then do it?
If we aren't going to change anything, then why do we ask?