Student Stance

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Student Stance

Emily Clark

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Student opinions of their school are essential to see how to make the building better. Students at Ray-Pec East Middle School rarely get to have their voices heard, and they mostly only get to follow rules. So what better way to spread their opinions than a newspaper story? There are many ways to spread views at school, like the food or classes, but there are many others in this story as well. So here are the voices of students at RPEMS.

Changes in the school can either be a good or bad thing, depending on how big the change is. Some students have very strong opinions on what they think needs to be changed, just like Ali Fielder who says, “Students should be able to pick their seats, and also talk to whoever they want during class.” Although this is a great idea, is it really practical? Students would be thrilled to come to class, but they would be more excited to talk with friends instead of learning. “A study done by Angela Hammang at Montana State University found that when carefully crafted seating charts were in effect, teachers were twice as successful reaching students and that the attainment of lower ability students was doubled,” (Education Weekly 2). This doesn’t mean every student can’t sit with their friends. As soon as they gain the teacher’s trust, the teacher might allow the student to sit wherever, it just depends on how they behave during class. If they are the ones who are always disrupting learning, then they obviously aren’t going to be seated next to their best friend.

 Schools also have annoying things about them too. From it being noise level, or disruptions, there are always some things that students just have to deal with at RPEMS. Fielder explained, “Loud hallways make me annoyed at school because they are too small and overcrowded all the time.” This statement is very true, with almost a thousand kids in one tiny school, there will be traffic getting from one class to the next. Em Blackstone also stated, “Kid’s actions make me annoyed, and getting a lot of homework as well.” Both students are saying some are just too disrupting during school. Blackstone doesn’t want any homework, so how will that affect learning? “Researchers at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education found in a 2012 study that math and science homework didn’t correlate to better student grades, but it did lead to better performances on standardized tests,” (Graham 3). The quote proves that homework won’t help student’s GPA, but it can on tests like MAP or EOC’s. In 8th grade the two tests are really crucial to see if they get advanced classes or not, so homework will help a ton of RPEMS kids.   

Getting to school at seven o’clock in the morning is very difficult for teenagers, and most have to get up at five o’clock to get on the bus. This means not being inspired to get to school on time. There are some ways to get more thrilled to come to school, and here is what Sammy Como has to say about it, “There should be more activities during class, and we shouldn’t always have paper work everyday. I also think that Friday should be a fun day just to hang out, with no tests.” Having Friday as an off day could be good and bad, the bad part is that students wouldn’t learn for three days, so they might forget what they were taught before. The positive thing about having the break is that kids wouldn’t be as stressed during the week. “I would be more thrilled to come to school if it started at twelve and ended at four,” exclaimed Fielder. Even though this sounds amazing, that would only be four hours of school, and there has to be eight.

Happiness is an important characteristic that needs to be displayed in school. Not only will the feeling feel good to the person, it will make others happy as well. “Friends, jokes, and sometimes teachers makes me happy at school,” stated Como. Sean Staudinger almost said the exact thing, “Lunch makes me happy because you can hang out with friends.” School is a social place, if kids couldn’t hang out or talk to anyone at school, everyone could go crazy. Lunch is also a happy place at school, it is the time during the day kids actually get a break off of work, but it is only for twenty-five minutes. Friends that met at school can last for the rest of their lives, creating a great social experience. School really is not that bad because they can meet the people they really care about.

    Every students’ dream is to become a principal or teacher for a day to see what it is like, or what rules they can make in classes. Staudinger claimed, “If I was principal, I would change the schedule, so that there weren’t any blue or white days.” This is smart because this would get students ready for high school since they do not have different days. Blue and white days also means that it is harder to get used to the different classes, if every other day is a different class then it would take longer to memorize. Fielder vowed, “I would let everyone do their own thing if I was principal.” This is not as good as an idea because school is meant to gear the students for the real world. If the principal let anything happen then their future wouldn’t be very good. School isn’t supposed to be this death trap of a place, but maybe with a little more freedoms, Fielder might not think that way anymore.

The eagerness to learn is a factor that has to be at school. Without it no one would be motivated in their lives because people learn new things everyday. But, there are students who just don’t want to do anything since it is simply too early to do anything. Fielder informed, “I am not eager to learn since it’s too early.” That is the same for many students at RPEMS. Many studies also have shown that a lot of schools start way too early, and should start at ten o’clock. A good example of school starting later is in England, they start at eight in the morning and ends at three. Some schools across Britain even have a break in the morning from ten to 10:40, and have an hour lunch. The students over there still get as good of grades even though the US starts an hour earlier. “I find myself eager to learn when doing something fun in class or with friends,” Blackstone confessed. Friends are very important at school, not only does it determine the happiness, but the willingness to learn and pay attention in school.

To conclude, the opinions of RPEMS aren’t that bad. The changes that wanted to be made could make the school even better or worse. The annoying parts of school are mainly produced by the students, and not the teachers which is good. The time school starts is a problem, but that is probably one that the students won’t be able to stop. The best thing is that there is pleasure in coming to school. RPEMS is not a bad school, yes there are problems, but every school has them. The students at the school are really lucky to have such a supportive school to give them the best future possible. With the advanced classes (IB and AP) that start in high school, students will be able to get into the best colleges possible, having the best future for them.

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