Are we still trying to ‘Build A Better World?’

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By The Editorial Board

Here we are in Quarter 3. Let us talk about communication. Organization. Planning. All of these tools are very important. Administrators and teachers have preached these concepts for years. But many are starting to wonder: Are the adults any more organized than the students? The consensus? Probably not.

Case in point: Each year, Balfour visits MV to distribute class rings that were ordered and other senior items. Due to communication issues, the bowling incentive trip was rescheduled for the same day. According to Mr. Peyton Blewett, a representative from Balfour, hardly any of the items were distributed on the day he was set up.

“Building a Better World One Ram at A Time” was the new motto that students, staff, and members of the community helped to launch last year. But are we still trying to build, or are we merely making an attempt to keep the structure together?

Last year’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” brought students a sense of unity at pep rallies. Many recall the unity we all felt at the Homecoming pep rally in 2017 when students were all one wave of light (of course, using cell phones). It seemed we understood the concept of the song. We had not stopped believing, and many students left Changnon Gym that day with a sense of pride. But where has that pride gone? Has it been crushed by the new cafeteria rules (which many students complain about –  not for its slowness, but because it resembles a prison chow line, complete with a frowning guard around every turn making sure the students stay within the roped off area.) Has it been snuffed out by the slow, but recognizable rise in fights? (Maybe the cell phones really had nothing to do with the fights after all). Many are starting to believe that grade schoolers have more freedoms than high school students. Are some in this school immature? Of course. But, for the few that are, there remains a large number who are not. Ask the seniors – it seemed happier at the old campus, where many felt free. They felt like they had a personality. There was no need to corral them like cattle.

When students in the halls aren’t getting yelled at for wearing hats and hoods (in January), we are in class –  where we ought to be. But ask most students: “Do your teachers really teach?” Do you feel as though you are learning in your classes?” “Maybe in one class,” they will most likely reply. And specifically to MV teachers, unfortunately, according to many many scholars, reading from slides is not a sufficient way to teach. In fact, EdSurge, a education technology company, published a report entitled, “Why Your Students Forgot Everything On Your PowerPoint Slides.” The article suggested that many times reading off slides is too much information to process, and suggests other ways to teach such as making it more personal.  And, in some cases, there isn’t much of a choice. But, if you are going to teach from PowerPoints, make it your own. Add your own input; make the learning fun and exciting.

It truly is a vicious cycle. We move to a closed-campus setting, students feel trapped, Admin makes more rules, students feel even more trapped, and so it goes. Students need to take the initiative. Perhaps it is the students who need to make the drive to become more mature. Then, maybe Administration will let up on the rules. Students: step up and attempt to be more mature. Stop acting like children, which, sadly, is the expectation. Raise the bar – change the expectation.