Unit 1

Education Narrative Final Draft

Unlike most Education Narratives, this narrative is going to be a critique of the American education system. While it’s not a unique stance, the American education system fails the people within it daily. My history with education is just one of the many examples of near missing a catastrophe. The education system attempts to turn unruly children into functioning members of society while at the same time showing that the same society they are supposed to join, cares little about them themselves. The system is far from a perfect one, but it should have a focus on creating an environment that emphasizes how important education truly is.

Early on in my educational career, I started to amass a large number of absences which were never addressed until my late high school years. Even with all these absences, every school I’ve ever been in let me slide by year after year without correcting my behavior. I started missing school for the basic reason that my mother was sick. In my life, it’s always been just me and my mother so I somehow got it into my head that it was my job to stay home with her as much as possible, which in hindsight just sounds like a childish excuse to miss school. Despite me missing school for weeks on end and still getting sent to the next grade, the school quickly became boring and I became quite disillusioned with it. It wasn’t until I was nearly a senior in high school that my “sliding” stopped abruptly. I was a whole 33 credits shy of graduating. After thinking I could get away with anything I was simply and abruptly told do not pass go, do not collect $200.

After hitting the limitations of putting in no effort with school I was given a choice by both my parents and school: go to a transfer school or get my GED. In my eyes, a GED was tantamount to failure. I also didn’t want to leave my current school as I had been there for almost a decade. After months of back and forth something in me relented, some part of me knew this wasn’t the way things were supposed to go and wanted me back on track. Leaving my old school and going to a transfer school was the best decision I could have ever made. If I didn’t I doubt I’d have graduated high school. The key difference between the transfer school and the normal school was the staff. While most teachers were a bit distant, the teachers at the transfer school took the time to know you and tried to help based on your individual needs. The things I learned in my short time at that school were more valuable than the almost decade I spent in my other schools. The first thing they teach you is the value of education and how every path in life no matter how untraditional is beneficial in the long run. That’s where I feel the education system needs the most help. It’s a vicious machine that teaches you that you’re nothing but a cog in the machine that has one path in life. The compassion and love they held for teaching forever changed my standard of learning.

There are so many ways the school system can improve and the first is guaranteeing every student knows the value of education. Instinctively we know education important education is as our parents or whoever raised us probably drilled it into our heads, but we don’t know WHY education is so important. As a child, my definition of education was just to socialize and play. I was never taught the importance of education and in my opinion, caused me to miss an important developmental milestone that a lot of people seem to miss. An individualized approach or at the very least the acknowledgment of the circumstances of life would go a long way in helping prevent students who think school is a waste of time. Those students who had to take care of a sick parent, those students who had to take care of their siblings all the time, those students who had to work early in their lives, shouldn’t be abandoned by the school system simply because things got a little difficult. They should be celebrated for their resilience and encouraged to continue their education despite the odds. The environment of a school shouldn’t place a stigma on young children who don’t inherently know how important education truly is.

In my opinion, I’m one of the lucky ones. What if I never ended up swallowing my pride and just leaving my school? What would my life have looked like if I never learned about the importance of education? Others haven’t been as fortunate. After a certain point, the school system disregards the individuality of students and prioritizes pointless things like test results. This in turn conditions students to place an unhealthy emphasis on results and not the process that got them there. Why bother learning the importance of education or the nuances of language if all you have to do to succeed is take a test? The school system turns children into poorly cultured gears that they simply toss away when they don’t fit into the machine they designed. Life happens and the school system needs to learn to adapt to it, not stunt the growth of the children it’s supposed to protect.

My story isn’t a unique one but think about all the people who have had to stay home to take care of a sick loved one or thought they had better use of their time than school? What happens to those kids who end up not knowing the true value of an education? Those kids end up falling out of the machine, ground up, and spit out without anyone to actually care. I truly am fortunate to have learned the value of education no matter how late it came. Traditional education could benefit more from compassionate individuals who truly care for their students.


1 reply on “Education Narrative Final Draft”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *