This System.

Education is often taken for granted.  Most of us never realize how important school is and how others around the world don’t have the same opportunity.  

I am a student, I procrastinate and I don’t always finish my homework but, it breaks my heart to hear a student doesn’t care about their future, what hurts the most, is when the teachers give up. 

I am going into my junior year at Southeast High School. My school is very popular because it is the only school in the county has the IB program.  It upsets me because many students have the wrong idea of what it is and in middle school, they didn’t tell anyone to join unless they were in honors.  This upset me because I know many students who are capable of being successful in the program but were never given the chance.  It’s as if my education has been robbed from me.  I’ve been going to school for many years and it’s like we learned the same thing every year.  It’s only in high school that  I actually began to learn something useful.  

It also feels like my school is not separated by race but by your academic abilities, which is unknown for many students. During my freshmen year, I had four electives and three core classes.  They were not difficult at all and the teacher barely expected much from us.  We moved at the speed of a snail in my math class because we had to spend extra days on things we were suppose to learn in middle school.  In my English class, whenever we had to write an essay, we would never get feedback, just a grade.  How am I suppose to improve?  I was in “regular” classes.  Halfway through the year is when I realized I needed a challenge, that I could not go four more years of learning nothing new.  That’s when I asked to join IB. I knew it would difficult since I missed the first year, but it doesn’t start till junior year, the years before are to prepare you.

Many students were offended that I joined as if I’m different because I didn’t go through freshmen year.  This meant I had a lot to prove.  I was surprised at what I could do but I knew it all along.  That determination is what will drive me to success and I couldn’t wait on anyone to tell me what to do.  Another reason I joined is because I wanted to be in a classroom where there would be a discussion on related subjects not back talking to the teacher. In IB, sometimes it feels like it’s one big competition and it gets difficult to make new friends.  

I know what its like to be in a regular class and an honors class.  The atmosphere is completely different.  There is this gap between students & teachers in regular classes.  It’s as if they gave up on their students because they know they won’t get much out of them.  I wish there was more teachers who pushed their students and didn’t let them fade into the background.  In IB, we are constantly reminded that we are IB, as if that somehow gives us super natural powers.  Let me remind you, we are only humans, not to mention teenagers.  Sometimes, that gets into a student’s head and suddenly they own these halls.  The amount of homework given when you are in IB compared to regular is at least 3 hours more per night.  

There is no happy middle, it’s either stay up all night to finish your physics homework or finish your math homework in class.  Teachers need to push their students, they can’t let anyone let themselves down because they aren’t top of the class.  Students often get into the mindset of “oh, I’m not as smart, it doesn’t matter where I go after high school.”  We are so lucky to have a free education, we are the future of this country.  It’s not fair to deprive any student of their knowledge.  But this begins with us.  Also, the system, is our generation failing because of the amount of technology available to us? or does no one have any hope for humanity?  What choice are we left with?

-Maggie Ilicheva.

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