by Caleb Peter

“When am I ever gonna use this in real life?” We’ve all heard this statement many times before. You’re sitting in a math class and looking at this complicated equation and a person behind you mutters the words under his breath. Let’s be honest, few people will use the quadratic formula in real life. Too many students are bored, tired, stressed or just find school a waste of time. What can be done about this? Is it the student’s fault, or the teachers?

I think teachers get a bad wrap. They don’t get paid enough, they are sometimes treated disrespectfully by their students and if the school is doing poorly, the first thought is that it is the teachers’ faults. I do not think that the problem with school is in the teachers’ hands. I don’t think the problem with school is the students’ fault either. I think it’s a systematic problem.

The education system is way too focused on test scores. Teachers and students are forced to go through a repetitive rinse, wash, repeat system of testing, which leaves no room for creativity in the classroom. Instead of learning about the subject, we learn about how to score well on the test. The emphasis on the tests leaves no room to learn about the “real world.” You don’t learn; you just remember answers to questions to pass the test. Then you fail the test because of one reason or another. Getting an F on a test makes you feel like you’re not going to be a good person, when in fact, failure is a normal human thing.

All students are forced through many years of math classes, although few of them are interested  in any sort of math career. Math is interesting to me; what started as 2+2 can turn into complex equations that can make groundbreaking change to the world, but math is by many considered the least liked class by students. When am I going to learn about taxes, checking accounts, insurance, or any other real world math?

Why is a subject that is fundamental to the modern world the least liked among learners? I think it’s because of the constant tests, tedious homework, and disconnection in the classroom. I would be much more interested in the subject if I knew to what it applied.

School is overall not a bad place. It provides a social environment that every kid needs, it opens the students’ eyes to new subjects, and we have access to free laptops that we all take for granted. There is just an obvious problem. There are just too many students that are stressed going through school. They don’t have enough time to learn what skills they need in the future and are instead forced through a system of testing where failure is imminent for some.

The best news:  The future is in our hands and we can figure it out!