A Fresh Look at Failing Freshmen
BY RYLAN PUCKETT ON DECEMBER 19, 2013
The first six weeks is a stressful time, especially for freshmen. We have to get used to tests, quizzes, class work and freedom at a high school level, and many of us have shown that we are not ready for this.
As some of you may know from the many meetings that were called during school to talk about the problem, over half of the freshman class was failing after their first six weeks. The question is “Why do freshmen struggle to pass in high school?” Is it because they don't care or is something else going on?
First, middle school does very little to prepare students for high school. Our mandated state tests last year were bogus. Also, only some of us are held to high standards. In middle school we were stuck with people our own age and were not allowed to work and learn with students that are older, younger or more experienced than we are.
I also think that some students aren't ready for high school. Yes, they passed eighth grade and are of age, but some of us lack maturity to be able to keep up with assignments, pay attention in class and have the determination to study, especially if they aren't interested in the class.
In high school some of the things we are supposed to learn also seem to have little to no relevance to our lives. The way some of our classes are set up doesn't help us understand why we are learning these things and how these concepts apply to our lives outside of school. For example, why do I need to know about Earth Science if I'm going to be a pharmacist when I get older? I admit I might need to know Latin because a lot of science words come from Latin.
Teachers need to understand that we like to goof off. School can't always be serious, and we can learn better when we are less stressed and have many different opportunities to show what we know other than on a test. I understand that we have SMART Block and we have our Link Crew leaders, but in some cases that just isn’t enough. I think that teachers should give us more of their time. Understand that we are going to slip up, but be patient. We are only freshmen!