Sunday, October 11, 2015

As A Student, I Wish You Knew.... #iWishStudent


Well, the conclusion of my "I Wish You Knew..." series is here.  This has been such a learning journey for me to hear from administrators, then teachers, then parents, and now students from all over the world.

I think there's so much to be learned from all these groups as we move forward and make decisions.  This week's responses, from students, yet again had a common theme throughout.  But before I share with you my thoughts, I'll let you read a few of the comments I selected.

I had over 500 student responses submitted.   Students from PreK (with responses submitted by teachers) all the way through college students. Below are just a few.

It's hard, I need more time, all my classes are rushing through things and I have about 6 hours of homework each night and don't have time for anything else. I will be up till 2 in the morning studying for 3 different tests that are all on the same day, we need to slow down.

I wish you knew how hard it is to have homework after school when we all have after school activities

That I have a life outside of school and hate it when I'm given homework that is just busy work. Reading, do a few math problems, studying for upcoming tests I understand is needed. I really like watching the videos I'm assigned as part of our "flipped" class, but some of the other homework that is assigned it BORING and a waste of time.

That a lot of us are going through tough times, that we need your constant support, that we need you to understand that we do have busy schedules just like you, that everyone's special no matter what religion, color or race they are.

I wish you knew that students are rarely ever 100% physically or mentally ready for class. It's not laziness or uncaring for most of us that keeps us from reaching our full potential. Most of us stay up until eleven or twelve at night trying to do all the homework that you assigned for that night because we only were able to start it at ten because of every other activity that we're encouraged to do. In order to put school and your class first, we have to put our mental and physical health second. It's quite the paradox, but we would all probably do a lot better in class if you gave us shorter homework assignments each night instead of keeping us up into the late hours.

I wish you knew that I will do anything to fit in with my peers but I still really want you (my teacher) to like me.

We have other things going on besides school
Sometimes we just don't have time
We get bored easily
Were tired of sitting for a long
We like variety

...that some of us cling to our cell phones in classes because the people we're connecting with there provide us with a safe space that the classroom has never been able to. I wish you knew that more often than not, bullying takes the shape of smirks and snickers and raised eyebrows rather than verbal taunts or physical means. There's not much that you can do to stop that from happening, of course, but you can help students like me, who walked around with our eyes down and our headphones blasting because the music drowned out everyone else around us. I wish you knew our stories, because I would have been happy to tell you mine if you'd only just asked.

I wish they knew that they can come off as very intimidating and even though they may offer extra help some students are reluctant to take it due to a teachers intimidating demeanor.

I wish you knew that sometimes you are too hard on us. Sometimes we have a bad day and need support.

As a student, I wish you knew that we like our teachers even when we misbehave a little.

How hard I work for barely passable grades.

New concepts aren't as easy to understand as you might think. If one way of explaining something doesn't make sense, don't explain it in the same way again! It doesn't matter how much slower you say it, or even if you say it louder, chances are that concept won't get through to the student unless an entirely fresh way of looking at the problem is introduced. Also, frustration is your biggest enemy. I remember being frustrated because I just couldn't understand how to read an analog clock in 2nd grade. No amount of repetition was going to make me get how to read analog clocks. I had to see clocks in a totally different way. So, get to know which students are easily frustrated, and lead them away from whatever is frustrating them to a new path of "enlightenment."

That life is more important than school sometimes.

That sometimes it's hard and that maybe sometimes they can trust us when something bad happened and they think that we did it. Maybe that sometimes they could tell when were nervous to answer a question. 

I wish you knew, that its not easy to answer questions that fast like you expect us to and not yell at us about.

I wish you knew that it's so hard to have home work on vacation/weekend because my little baby cousin is going to have a little sister so it's my job to try to keep her happy and it's so hard to take care of her when I have homework.

that I do not understand things until they are repeated several times

That it is hard and really stressful on the mind. Also honestly I am afraid of missing class because of all the work we do.

I wish teachers knew that I am trying to do my best on my test, and it is hard to be a student.

I wish that teachers knew how to say my name,.

That it is not always easy for us ,and we go through tough times on the bus because there are some people that bully you. So i just want to let teachers know that we have tough times in life.

That kids are thankful for people that care about kids education. And teachers are doing a very nice thing just for kids.

As a student I wish my teachers in Junior High knew how
nice my teachers were back elementery school and that they are so nice too

I wish teachers knew some stuff about me and my classmates, so they can learn about what are our favorite thing to eat and play.

I wish teacher's knew what we feel like because it is hard to be a kid in school.

I wish that teachers knew that we the students want to help the environment and people

That it sucks when you are just there for the pay check and we have to teach our selves everything

I wish teachers took the time to know a little bit more about me than who I am.

I wish teachers knew more that kids liked projects then work on paper.

I wish that teachers knew that their kids would like them if they would interact with them like they were family.

As a Student I wish teachers knew about me.

I wish you knew how boring it is to work without partners and how bad I feel when I get a bad grade

it can be hard to make school a priority when I am thinking about problems in my family. Please be someone who understands.

I wish you knew how much I miss my sister. Sometimes it makes me really sad and it lasts for the whole day





And there you go.  There were two things that stuck out most to me.  Kids are overwhelmed by homework, but more so, kids want to be known.  They want to be seen, to be understood, to be heard.  One that especially stuck out to me was "I wish you knew how to say my name".  Wow.  So easy, yet we miss those moments some time.

I hope this series has been as enlightening to you as it has to me.  Please leave any comments via this week's hashtag of #iWishStudent