|Not technically a school team, but helps illustrate #8 below.|
I've also blogged other lists about school, like Subjects I've Studied in Post-secondary & Things That Were Actually Good About High School. But it's a HUGE topic that I don't feel is exhausted yet. (Let me know if you agree after you read this, hey? ;) So what to write, exactly? I think I'm probably done with teaching ESL, so I don't really feel like writing about that. For the first time in a while, I'm not actually in school. Sprout's still three years away from kindergarten, so what to write? What to write?
How about whining? I haven't really complained about school yet! There's my topic: Ten things I don't miss about school. To be honest, I actually liked school quite a bit, so I'll have to dig deep & take from my entire educational career to find ten. I've got a lot of years of schooling under my belt: including my recent part time studies at Simon Fraser University, I did 11 years of post-secondary on top of my 13 of elementary & secondary school.
- Pointless assignments. I'm sure that the instructor always had a reason for giving me every piece of homework I got, but some of the time, I just really couldn't see the point.
- Subjective marking. I did a lot of fine arts & literature courses in my post secondary career, so obviously, there's no right answer for most assignments. Surprisingly though, this was the most apparent in one of my classes this year, an upper level Phonology course at Simon Fraser University. I'm not going to name names, but that prof was totally inconsistent with his marking scheme on both assignments & tests.
- Having to do the same thing as everyone else. I realize that lesson planning for a class with everyone working on their own project can be complicated. But it can also be a lot more rewarding, especially for the students, when they get to study something they're truly interested in.
- Needing to ask permission to go to the bathroom. How humiliating is that, to have to ask if you can take care of basic bodily functions?
- Portable classrooms. In grade four, I was stuck in one the entire year. Later on, I still had at least one class in portables nearly every year of my entire educational career, including post-secondary school. The portable buildings at Capilano were possibly the most pathetic excuses for classrooms. The windows were constantly fogged in the winter & all the condensation made it feel like a steam room inside. The floors were rickety & the carpet smelled of damp dog. Even the classroom furniture was crappy small desks, rather than the tables of other buildings.
- Bullying. I remember it starting sometime in early elementary school & peaking somewhere in high school. Once I moved on to post secondary, it just didn't exist anymore, suddenly.
- Having no control over the curriculum. In later high school, I did have a lot of choice about what classes I took, but elementary school we just followed a set curriculum & I never remember being asked what we wanted to do.
- Organized sports in gym class. I'm not into team sports. At all. Being forced to do them for several hours a week was the bane of my existence. It wasn't until grade 11 that P.E. class (I know, I'm dating myself by calling it that) got cooler & included more activities I like, like kayaking, rock climbing & sailing. However, as it wasn't compulsory any more, I took an art class instead.
- Being bored in class because we all had to do the same level work. I'm not trying to brag here, but I was bored a lot in school. When they separated us into groups by level for Reading class, I was thrilled. That meant I could actually read a few novels in grade seven! Seems to me that 12-year-olds should all be able to read well enough to tackle a novel, but apparently that wasn't the case in the 1980s. I wonder if it's gotten any better now?
- Exorbitant tuition costs. I realize that Canada is still not as bad as some countries, but our students are also a lot worse off than much of the rest of the developed world when it comes to the cost of post secondary. I've seen the costs skyrocket in my time as a student: when I started at Emily Carr University in 1993, my tuition for full-time classes was $1500 a year. In my last year at Simon Fraser University, equivalent full-time courses would have cost me around $7000. How can anybody afford that?