Why kids hate English — From a high school Junior’s perspective

Writing — A word both treasured and feared by many. Since the earliest starts of our writing careers we’ve either been told we had it or we didn’t. You were either good and loved it or you considered yourself bad and decided to throw away the skill. As a soon to be junior in high school, I see my peers struggle with this dilemma each and every day. But I refuse to believe that some people are just “not good at writing”. I refuse to believe that kids should go about their lives dreading to write a 500 word short fiction story. I choose to believe all of us have the creativity within us. All of us having something to pour out onto a page, whether it is fiction, journalistic style writing, or poetry; we all have something to offer. If you choose to continue reading I would like to give you an average student’s opinion on why so many people grow up hating writing and reading. If we continue on the path we are on, with so many kids growing up to become adults who haven’t opened a book since high school, the art will continue to slowly die out and a tragedy will occur.

To help understand the underlying issues in our education system, we must return to the beginning-elementary school. If we’re being honest most of us would agree we dreaded English class. Daily grammar exercises at small desks, the fear of being called on to point out parts of speech, tests on prepositions and more. That’s a lot for one kid to endure. Don’t get me wrong, I completely believe that all of this is in fact necessary, but I just have a slightly different view on how we should go about this. Instead of rewarding kids with the largest memories or best studious, what if we started rewarding creativity from a young age. From the moment we walked into the doors of our elementary schools a standard was placed on us. F-CATS and SAT’s from 3rd grade and on to test all of our skills except one, creativity. The most praised business men and women are those who stepped outside the box. The ones who eventually became famous were not afraid to do whatever necessary to accomplish their goals, yet we are teaching the exact opposite in the everyday lives of our children. We are teaching them to study, not to understand. We are teaching them that a grade is more important than a goodnight’s rest. We are always looking for the hottest product and biggest idea, yet we are teaching the future generation that all success comes from a GPA or a test score. With a slight change in perspective we can create the world 5-year old you always dreamt of.

As much as I would love for children to be able to choose their passion and follow it from a young age, I do agree that this system of education would not be preferable in today’s society. There are things we need in order to survive that aren’t the most preferable jobs and very few would choose to pursue an undesirable career path as a child. As I’m around children quite a bit I realize that we would have far too many fireman, musicians, and actors if we followed a dream oriented way of teaching. My idea is not to stay enlightened and in a dream world of naivety, but in a place we could teach practicalness along side happiness. My hope for our education system is to enlighten the upcoming generation by finding ways to help them enjoy the subjects many of us have dreaded through the years. Instead of boring worksheets that many children do not learn well from, what if we had each student create their own worksheet to share with the class. Instead of grading so harshly causing kids who are not inclined towards school to fall behind, what if we gave chances to correct mistakes? Instead of putting so much pressure on our children what if we put the emphasis on learning before the grade.

Lets just imagine a place, a place where we are taught to be creative and pushed those to follow their gifts and passions from a young age. A place where students loved getting up every morning to go to school. A place where there wasn’t millions of retweets about a hatred for life. It sounds too good to be true. A silly idea thought of by ridiculous people, but the smallest of steps will eventually cause a huge one to be made. I beg of you, if you’re a teacher, a parent, a politician, a student, anyone takes a small action with me. Write, speak, sing, paint-anything- just help spread an important message. A message for the sake of our children and grand children. A message to the past you saying that it will change, that joy is right over the horizon.

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