Do we even need high school anymore?

Read this editorial today in the New York Times by an 8th grader, who says she's learning a lot better with distance learning due to the Communist Lung-Rot Virus situation:

Why I’m Learning More With Distance Learning Than I Do in School
I’m 13 years old. I don’t miss the other kids who talk out of turn, disrespect teachers and hit one another.

By Veronique Mintz
Ms. Mintz is an eighth-grade student.

Talking out of turn. Destroying materials. Disrespecting teachers. Blurting out answers during tests. Students pushing, kicking, hitting one another and even rolling on the ground. This is what happens in my school every single day.
You may think I’m joking, but I swear I’m not.

Based on my peers’ behavior, you might guess that I’m in second or fourth grade. But I’m actually about to enter high school in New York City, and, during my three years of middle school, these sorts of disruptions occurred repeatedly in any given 42-minute period.

That’s why I’m in favor of the distance learning the New York City school system instituted when the coronavirus pandemic hit. If our schools use this experience to understand how to better support teachers in the then students will have a shot at learning more effectively when we return.
Let me explain why.

I have been doing distance learning since March 23 and find that I am learning more, and with greater ease, than when I attended regular I can work at my own pace without being interrupted by disruptive students and teachers who seem unable to manage them.

Students unable or unwilling to control themselves steal valuable time, often preventing their from being prepared for tests and assessments. I have taken tests that included entire topics we never mastered, either because we were not able to get through the lesson or we couldn’t sufficiently focus.

I do not envy a middle-school teacher’s job. It’s far from easy to oversee 26 teenagers. And in my three years of middle school, I’ve encountered only a few teachers who had strong command of their — enforcing consistent rules, treating students fairly and earning their respect.

I go to a school that puts a big emphasis on collaborative learning; approximately 80 percent of our work is done in teacher-assigned groups of three to five students. This forces students who want to complete their assignments into the position of having to discipline peers who won’t behave and coax reluctant group members into contributing.
Distance learning gives me more control of my studies. I can focus more time on subjects that require greater effort and study. I don’t have to sit through a teacher fielding questions that have already been answered. I can still collaborate with other students, but much more effectively. I am really enjoying FaceTiming friends who bring different perspectives and strengths to the work; we challenge one another and it’s a richer learning experience.

I’ve also found that I prefer some of the recorded lessons that my teachers post to Google over the lessons they taught in person. This year I have struggled with math. The teacher rarely had the patience for questions as he spent at least a third of time trying to maintain order. Often, when I scheduled time to meet with him before school, there would be a pileup at his door of students who also had questions. He couldn’t help us all in 20 minutes before first period. Other times he just wouldn’t show up.

With distance learning, all of that wasted time is eliminated. I stop, start and even rewind the teacher’s recording when I need to and am able to understand the lesson on the day it’s taught. If I am confused, I attend my teacher’s weekly online office hours (which are 60-90 minutes long); there are never more than two or three other students present.


The fact that I am learning so much better away from the shows that something is wrong with our system. Two weeks ago, my school began experimenting with live video teaching on Google Meet. Unfortunately, the same teachers who struggle to manage students in the also struggle online.


What lessons from remote learning can be taken back to the I have a few suggestions. First, teachers should send recorded video lessons to all students after (through email or online platforms like Google Second, teachers should offer students consistent, weekly office hours of ample time for 1-to-1 or small group meetings. Third, teachers who are highly skilled in management should be paid more to lead required trainings for teachers, plus reinforcement sessions as needed.


These first two suggestions began during distance learning and have already been a great success. I hope they continue when we return to school, and that schools use this opportunity to improve the learning experiences of all their students.

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Kids nowadays are a lot more used to digital education, and their minds seem to have been programmed to learn more by looking at their phones and computers than listening to what are sometimes some pretty mediocre teachers drone on for 50 minutes at a stretch.

From what my kids say, a big portion of the school day in the average public school is wasted time. There's a lot of busywork, watching DVDs so the teacher can catch up on Facebook, poitical indoctrination by teachers who are passing on their own political indoctrination. 

Is distance education the future?

Homeschooling can work if you've got a dedicated teacher, but there's some pig-ignorant parents out there. Programmed from the local district might work a lot better. With the disappearance of vocational tech, home economics, etc., there's less and less necessary physical involvement, althought that could be handled by 1x weel meetings in person to do lab experiments, etc. in that need it like chemistry.

Society benefits from keeping all its juveniles locked in one place and feeding them a lunch while many parents are at work. Kids benefit from trying to find friends and social/romantic partners. Some kids are interested in sports, music programs, etc. that need live attendance. Those could all be handled by district level clubs and programs. Maybe mandatory requirements for a sports activity, which could be filled by extracurricular activities. You want to do BJJ or boxing or MMA? Go to a private school and have your coach sign off on your sports points. Or swipe your card at the local gym to show you did x hours of physical ecducation that week. Would probably beat the listless walking around the track with friends while gossiping that passes for PE these days.

It would be harder to do if there isn't a parent at home to be responsible for the kids and make sure they eat. 

Has high school's time passed?

 

FRAT - I don't think we need even more socially maladjusted young adults, but yeah most don't need to be in school to learn with the resources these days.

There is a part of going to school that is very important imo... It's not the text or the lessons... 

It's the dealing with bullies, assholes, all the fucktards, and all the random social situations you can encounter... You're going to deal with absolute retards out in the real world... Might as well start getting used to and learning how to deal with them now...

 

2 Likes

Homelander - 

FRAT - I don't think we need even more socially maladjusted young adults, but yeah most don't need to be in school to learn with the resources these days.


How good a job is high school doing these days to produce socially adjusted kids, though?

Depends if you go to a decent school or not. But one things for sure, children are not to be trusted. Whatever this infant says needs a pinch of salt 

i think it's much easier for teachers to help kids in a environment.


the reality would be that the divide would sharpen, and kids breaking out of their families financial situation in their own lives would be increasingly rare. Rich parents would set their kids up for success and everything including sports, band, arts would become increasingly pay to play and closed off.

Those without the means to do such things would increasingly end up in low paying jobs to pay for hobbies and potential to graduate or upskill would likely disappear.



The Stewed Owl - 
Homelander - 

FRAT - I don't think we need even more socially maladjusted young adults, but yeah most don't need to be in school to learn with the resources these days.


How good a job is high school doing these days to produce socially adjusted kids, though?


Better than the alternative most of the time. I know communities of people that do quite well with "home schooling" but they are dedicated and part of a large group.

schools have shared resources available to kids beyond just the teachers, and multiple teach relationships can be leveraged over a school career for kids that struggle.

I think an environment that caters to helping teens become productive adults is a good idea.

Publics schools are crap.


I went to a fairly nice public school and most of the education was dogshit.

ABCTT_Disco Dracula - 

There is a part of going to school that is very important imo... It's not the text or the lessons... 

It's the dealing with bullies, assholes, all the fucktards, and all the random social situations you can encounter... You're going to deal with absolute retards out in the real world... Might as well start getting used to and learning how to deal with them now...

 

 

Yeah, there's that. For a lot of kids, though, that experience comes at the expense of learning the material if the is a dumpster fire. Kids seem to do a pretty good job of going through random social situations without being in a though - and they would get that from the in-person sports, extracurricular programs which they would be required to attend.

 

I got way behind in math as a kid from being sick for a month at a crucial period in elementary school. If they had online, self-paced math instruction back then, it would have been a lot easier to catch up. I think some subjects, like math, are probably better taught online.

sacredhate -

i think it's much easier for teachers to help kids in a environment.


the reality would be that the divide would sharpen, and kids breaking out of their families financial situation in their own lives would be increasingly rare. Rich parents would set their kids up for success and everything including sports, band, arts would become increasingly pay to play and closed off.

Those without the means to do such things would increasingly end up in low paying jobs to pay for hobbies and potential to graduate or upskill would likely disappear.



The wife and are doing the distance learning right now...


Our daughter is 7 and honestly this is a huge inconvenience...


It's several hours every day while I still have a fuck ton of deadlines and the wife is studying for the bar...


If we were setup for homeschooling, which we're considering for next year, it'd be a lot smoother, but it's definitely an adjustment....

sacredhate - 

schools have shared resources available to kids beyond just the teachers, and multiple teach relationships can be leveraged over a school career for kids that struggle.

I think an environment that caters to helping teens become productive adults is a good idea.


I think a lot of the current model for high school education, which was created after the industrial age, was designed to produce social conformity, though. Do we benfit by creating drones that are taught not to step out of line and to parrot the latest identity politics beliefs?

Homelander - 

FRAT - I don't think we need even more socially maladjusted young adults, but yeah most don't need to be in school to learn with the resources these days.


Yup, there's a big problem. Yes, it's very important to understand how to act socially, and that comes from being around other people.

However, there is no correlation these days to public school and the adult world, unless you live in a shitty area, have shitty friends and a shitty job.

The bad kids DOMINATE the school experience these days. Especially in class. They negatively influence otherwise good kids, they disrupt teaching, they make "normal" kids feel uneasy and unsafe.

Thus, you have a whole generation of kids who still don't know how to interact with people after finishing school. And their education sucks.

sacredhate - 

i think it's much easier for teachers to help kids in a environment.


the reality would be that the divide would sharpen, and kids breaking out of their families financial situation in their own lives would be increasingly rare. Rich parents would set their kids up for success and everything including sports, band, arts would become increasingly pay to play and closed off.

Those without the means to do such things would increasingly end up in low paying jobs to pay for hobbies and potential to graduate or upskill would likely disappear.




That could happen. To an extent, though, I think it already is. The education elite kids get is waaaay better than what the prole kids are given. Although if you really WANT a good education, you can certainly get that no matter where you go to school. But like the girl who wrote the editorial said, if the environment is crap and the kids intimidate the teacher, that kid is not going to learn anything.

Homelander -

FRAT - I don't think we need even more socially maladjusted young adults, but yeah most don't need to be in school to learn with the resources these days.

Which are the maladjusted ones? The ones that favor learning on their own versus being around disruptive shitheads who see no consequence to their actions? 


 


Why should some kid get bullied every day of his life just so he can go learn? 


 


Kids act like shitheads and are never punished with more than a slap on the wrist meanwhile you have kids doing the right thing every day and they're punished for it.

1 Like

dangerboy12 - 
Homelander - 

FRAT - I don't think we need even more socially maladjusted young adults, but yeah most don't need to be in school to learn with the resources these days.


Yup, there's a big problem. Yes, it's very important to understand how to act socially, and that comes from being around other people.

However, there is no correlation these days to public school and the adult world, unless you live in a shitty area, have shitty friends and a shitty job.

The bad kids DOMINATE the school experience these days. Especially in class. They negatively influence otherwise good kids, they disrupt teaching, they make "normal" kids feel uneasy and unsafe.

Thus, you have a whole generation of kids who still don't know how to interact with people after finishing school. And their education sucks.


Yep. If real life was like high school life, most of the adult population would have suicided long ago. Real working life shouldn't be anything like high school life, if it is you're fucked.

Sounds like the kid wants to segregate the schools.....

Kings21 - 
Homelander -

FRAT - I don't think we need even more socially maladjusted young adults, but yeah most don't need to be in school to learn with the resources these days.

Which are the maladjusted ones? The ones that favor learning on their own versus being around disruptive shitheads who see no consequence to their actions? 


 


Why should some kid get bullied every day of his life just so he can go learn? 


 


Kids act like shitheads and are never punished with more than a slap on the wrist meanwhile you have kids doing the right thing every day and they're punished for it.


Things are definitely changing especially right now for obvious reasons. Punishment can be weak or totally lacking, but it can also be completely overboard in public schools.

It's impossible to be 100% accurate on predicting what current children will be looking at in regards to careers when they are young adults.

I suspect distance learning will be a more prominent thing, in many parts of the country for even middle school kids, after things settle into the new normal.

Personally, I see pros and cons to both philosophies but either side I'd choose would likely include shades of gray.

What's the point of high school when more than half of college undergrad is high school level?

I don't know about no more highschool but I bet you some places will be doing away with snow days. That's what happens with many other jobs that can be done remotely. Oh... weather too bad to come in? No worries, work from home. Probably going to be the same with many schools.