During our first week of the second semester, I gave my students the opportunity to complete free writes for bell work. This means they were able to write about any topic they chose, and in any format. One student chose to write a paragraph about pancakes, another wrote fantasy flash fiction and some students created their own persuasive prompts and then argued their point.
One particular student, a junior, chose to write about a topic that is near and dear to my heart. She gave me permission to share it here:
What is one thing you'd change about school and the education system and why?
I would change the fact that we are expected to be super “smart” at every subject we take. Not every person is good at the same thing and everyone learns differently. The pressure us teenagers feel to be the “perfect” student is ridiculous and very degrading. As a student who has always struggled with their studies, I think the way we are expected to do so much is overwhelming. There is always pressure to make the highest ACT score so you can go to the biggest college, and it's just crazy. College is definitely not a bad thing, but it's also most definitely not for everyone.
My students frequently amazing (but not surprise!) me with their brilliance.