In continuation on my rant of why personal political views should not be taught or responses in classroom settings, this semester in particular I have one Professor who believes otherwise. I will not include the course description or who this Professor is, but needless to say he believes that only his political views should be tolerated, and those who see matters otherwise are wrong. In addition, I’d just like to mention that the class does not have to do with politics. Now again, whether I agree with his political views or not, I do not see how as a professor it is alright to facilitate ideals about how our country should be run, or that other political views other than his own are inaccurate. While it is acceptable and necessary to discuss what is going on, it shouldn’t be bias or opinionated. It should be left open to form a personal opinion of what should be taking place in the world. It used to be rude to discuss political opinions, and somehow it has become appropriate to discuss in an educational environment? We, as human beings, are not robots. We are not meant to intake information and spew out that data as if we don’t understand its meaning and cannot form an opinion ourselves about it. Without help. The world is formed by different beliefs and understandings, made by the ability of young individuals to create their own hypothesis on events and concepts. Teachers are meant to inspire individuals to be just that: individuals. To think and know and have opinions and question things and make thesis’ on their own. We aren’t made for multiple choice. Were made for open ended. For essays. For open responses that allow our minds to wander and grow on their own and respond with our own free will. Not to just put down the exact answers you told us to in class. To all the teachers or professors who believe that their way of thinking, studying, taking notes, testing, writing, reading, etc. is the right way; the only way: you are not helping, you are hurting. Let young minds grow on their own. You are meant to give them the factual knowledge as well as the skills to create their own opinions from that knowledge. That is all.
While I myself tend to have liberal views, since voting day I have felt very strongly against biased political views in classrooms and on college campuses by authoritative figures such as professors and teachers. The reality of what has been going on in classrooms when it came to the 2016 election struck me first on Voting Day. In North Haven, voting is available among the schools within the town to allow voters to easily access a voting facility in their district of the town. I, growing up in the Montowese district of NH, found myself back at my Elementary school in which was my first time entering since I was an eager 11 year old ready to leave 5th grade. And how the times have changed from 2009 to 2017. Each classroom has sets of computers or tablets in which may enhance learning in some ways that I don’t particularly agree with (some old fashioned learning should stay instituted in the extreme young impressionable minds of those in elementary school). Nevertheless, I kept my political opinions to myself when going to vote with an elementary school friend and then decided to explore the old stomping grounds, which was all fun and dandy until I came across my first grade classroom (and just a reminder that in first grade i was 6/7 years old) and viewed the bored in which has tally marks under Trumps name and Clinton’s name, making Clinton the winner by a long shot. Granted, I’m sure some small political knowledge was enforced on me when I was six, like who the president was and what he did for our country, but by no means did anyone take “votes” on whether or not Obama should be elected or not in 4th grade, let alone 1st. This leads me to believe that whatever teacher decided to discuss the 2016 election decided to inflict her personal political views on impressionable minds, who would never be able to make that decision on their own without facilitation. Whether I think Trump or Clinton should have been president is irrelevant. Whether I believe one view over another it is CLEAR that we are teaching young minds to have a specific view that has been facilitated instead of forming their own. The ways in which political facilitation is used in classrooms is an absolute abomination and should NOT be allowed, especially in such young minds.
While I have always been a hardworking student, I am, like everyone else, a procrastinator. Technology, while making education easier in some ways, complicates them in many. I am haunted by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the worst of them all, Netflix. Shameless, Friends, American Horror Story, and countless movies as well as wondering what everyone else is doing and saying seems more intriguing to the average student then their Geography homework. Last year, somehow some way I made deans list and I can say I have The Office to thank for keeping me sane during the overwhelming times. However, this desire to constantly binge watch television is honestly not working, and I hope to inspire most of you to control and constrain your Netflix addictions. This semester it has been a drastic change in the amount of work that I have to complete, and my calling to Netflix must be on halt in order to pass classes. While I would love to rewatch Jim and Pam’s relationship again for another few months, I find that as courses get more difficult, social media and the temptation technology entails becomes less beneficial to my education.
I have never favored technology in classrooms because from my own personal experience, more harm came from benefit while using them in an educational setting. I remember hating the website “Membean” designed to build vocabulary, but angering and frustrating students around my school for giving the same words over and over again for four years. While yes, the idea for the technology to understand and learn new vocabulary is great, it often is boring and doesn’t use the potential it has in order to intrigue students to learn. While I believe if there were interesting and affective websites and technology out there to engage students in learning methods, I’d agree yes, it is important to utilize this in the technological world of the youth, however it can also provide numerous distractions if not monitored, making me a firm believer that old fashioned books and ways of learning are most affective for intellectual learning.
After reading the ways in which technology drives the lives of young adolescence, including myself until quite recently, I decided to discuss the issues within English Education. For some unknown reason, math and science have almost 99.9% of the time been more focused on in standardized testing and in schools, leaving English and History to be the survivors of a biased system. Nevertheless, the average human being needs to understand how to speak and write fluently no matter what life path they chose, and the same cannot be said for the Pythagorean Theorem. Now I’m not saying math and science are not important because they most certainly are. I am saying that all aspects of education are equally beneficial and necessary, and that learning how to put sentences together and write sentences properly is important. With that being said, there is a huge gap between where students should be as an expectation to grammar and sentence structure, and where they are. In a class I currently take, I often read and critique other student work and it is astonishing the amount of students who don’t even know how to use commas, so they simply aren’t used at all. A skill most people should have down by middle school. I looked into this further and found that in most high school and middle schools, average classes (Not Honors or AP) do not go into depth on grammar, and Honors and AP classes do not teach grammar, but they expect you to know it thoroughly. Therefore, a majority of students barely know simple grammar, and are left to go to college with the knowledge of how to text “lol” and knowing the proper placement and situations for emojis, rather than commas.
It’s Complicated By Danah Boyd discusses the effects technology has taken to adolescent life and could not have hit the nail anymore on the head. Walking out of classes, down hallways all I see is students staring at their phones, and the worst part is that a lot of them are ignoring the people around them. As a society we’ve deemed it to be normal that we don’t look up while we are walking or having a conversation, but instead pay more attention to other people’s digital lives then the one right in front of us or we draw our faces and emotion to the conversations in texts instead of the verbal conversations that could be taking place in real time. We’ve totally lost the concept of going out and doing things ourselves, and are stuck in a world of watching everyone else do it instead. Since reading this article I’ve decided to put down my phone and my computer and sit in silence or absorb the world as it is myself and not precariously through others. I joined a yoga class and started seeing the world for myself. I suggest it to all of you as well.