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Community Comments with Dessa Bershinsky: The System We Learn In

Education is one of the most time-consuming challenges we take on in life. It can feel like a job, having to do work from not only school itself but home too. Many think that if school was optional, no one would go. But because the government and guardians tell us it’s something we all need to do in life, we go. Since school is something we participate in for 12 or more years, many students and even teachers form their own opinions on how we think school should be. Most of the changes we hear our peers and even teachers talk about are almost always negative, such as terminating school, but is that really the case?

The way our school system works is very different from others, and far from the way it used to be years ago. Many say we are privileged, our rules are so flexible yet many students still express their disdain for the ‘strictness’ our school is said to have. But, what exactly is wrong with it? In order to take a peek into both peer and faculty’s minds, I asked them if they were to change anything about the way our school worked, what would be altered first? Bryan, a health technician here at Poudre happily shared his opinion, sharing this: “I do think they can be improved by staying away from teachings of the test, and go towards more specifics in what kiddos are actually looking to learn, as opposed to just generalizations.” Bryan expresses his want for schools to start a new teaching method, which can seem like a very hard thing to do; But would this help us students learn, and become more engaged in the topics we feel forced to learn about?

Surprisingly, because of how broad this question was, there were no recurring answers among those asked to share their thoughts. One of the most interesting ideas came from a fellow student and junior, Chloe DiMatteo. They voiced their wish for a better schedule, stating this: “I like the system itself, but it feels a lot more packed in with our 4 periods. It’s a lot harder to focus with our hour and a half in class, so I think adding on an additional 5th hour would be good so we can fit more into our quarters.” Chloe’s opinion really stuck with me because one of the complaints that's most commonly heard is the excessive amount of classes and homework; But with this system, would this allow many of our students to graduate earlier?

Because of the amount of schooling we do, it can lead us to wonder if we truly need school to build a better future. This inspired me to ask English and Ready, Set, College teacher Jen Musci her thoughts on whether schooling is necessary to live a good successful life. “Absolutely, I think education unlocks the keys to the future and success. I feel like the way our society is set up, you have to jump through some hoops.. If you aren’t educated, it’s a barrier.” Barriers have many different forms, jobs can refuse to give you work for things such as not having a high school diploma.

After asking many students the same question of whether school is necessary for a better future, a common theme developed; One senior, Orion Jones had this to say: “I do indeed... It teaches a lot of things, and I honestly don't think others such as your parents can teach them, or at least as well as school can. Being more educated can help us have an easier life.” What most students don’t know is that education can not only help you get better pay in most jobs but open the door to new knowledge on how to do things. For example, our school takes pride in having one of the coolest classes ever, Geometry in Construction. Not only does it teach us math, but it allows us to make a physical connection on how we can use math later on in life, with the new skill and possible interest in carpentry and construction.

The thought of packing in more classes was brought up, but what about shortening the amount of school days we spend in class? Surprisingly, when asked, 6 out of 10 students said that the ratio of school days to weekends was more favorable than anything else. One senior, Jordyn Westrope claimed that it was okay the way it was, “I think it’s fine, I have no issues with it.”.

Now, it isn’t hard to guess what athletic secretary Michele Niesent had to say. “I don’t know any different, so nothing has really ever changed for me. So yeah, I think the more we can keep kids in school during the week, you know active busy doing things, the better.” Ms. Niesent had a perfect explanation behind her answer; the more productive we are, the easier it is to stay out of trouble. Many studies and theories such as the ‘routine activity’ theory suggest that teenagers are more likely to commit crimes when a guardian is not present. Thus, school is a great example of a place that will not only keep us out of trouble but will teach us the necessary skills.


My name’s Dessa. I'm a sophomore at Poudre High School and this is my first official year in the Poudre Press. My goal for this year is to help spread the opinion of our school to help bring us together as a community. I would love to ask students and faculty questions on podcasts and for quotes in my upcoming articles.

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