Saturday, May 3, 2008


I finished up my last standardized, scantron bubble sheet in the winter of my senior year of high school and felt completely defeated. I had been beaten down by countless well-meaning tests set to measure my mental aptitude, check on my teachers, stack up my stats next to the next kid. I wanted to throw my hands in the air, wave a white flag and proclaim that I was done. Is this all education is? I believe many students face this wall--the wall of dark dots marking rows and rows of lettered circles, seemingly endless patterns of graphite on paper--and wonder what for? Is this all I go to school for?

This is well-meaning, no doubt, but do they fail to realize that students aren't motivated solely by tests? What happened to the passion? Where did the motivation beyond the score go? I refuse to believe that simply paying teachers more would somehow reignite them with the passion they once had for their discipline. If money was the goal, teaching wouldn't be the means. It's that fire, that passion that must drive them to sacrifice and toil as they do. But somewhere between jumping hoops and managing the menaces the vitally passionate flame diminishes to embers and soon public schools are filled with brilliant-minds-left-dormant without the once vibrant passion to heat up their cerebrum.

No, it's not more tests that we should be concerned with, but more mentors; teachers who are there to do something beyond get all their students to score well on the ACT or get a 5 on an AP test. We need people. Passionate people. We are here to help each other, lift inspire, and motivate each other, not simply aid one another in merely getting by. Is there a way to reform? Is there a way to infuse? Is there a way to make the means match the end? I don't buy the argument that going to school is only to become educated. School should be to transform us into hungry learners anxious to absorb more, more and more. It's to light an insatiable flame inside us to carry us through a lifetime of, what should be, gathering knowledge, refining ourselves and honing in on our purpose of igniting others with our passion and zest for learning and life.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...