Adding a Class to the School Curriculum
Dear Principal, a class that concentrates on focus, prioritizing, organization and study skills is definitely essential for any Intermediate school trainee. At my age and more youthful, students have a tendency to be disordered both physically and psychologically. I have a propensity for losing and forgetting my homework projects and my grades suffering. I understand I am not alone in this battle against clutter and forgetfulness. Critical thinking classes offer a trainee with structure, research study skills and the art of focusing on.
I know personally the results of school on a trainee who is unprepared and messy. The stress and sleepless nights can be avoided with a class committed to the trainee’s future. Unlike Mathematics and Language Arts, this class would be connected with the students’ success in EVERY other class. The advantages would not just refer to students, but to the enthusiasm and effectiveness of a teacher. Exists anything more vital than preparing a trainee for his/her future?
The skills discovered in a critical thinking class would assist a trainee not only through Middle and High School.
The research study abilities and note taking techniques would also be beneficial and really useful in College and whatever career they choose to pursue in the future. A class committed on teaching a student to stay focused and take precise notes in lectures would be advantageous to all the daydreamers, doodlers and dozers who can’t listen to an instructor and remain concentrated on the words coming out of her mouth.
I know the results all too well. As my teacher begins her everyday tirade, I shut my mind off and let it roam around the space. I see students snoring in the corner and others doodling in their note pad or flinging notes to each other as slyly as possible. I smile at their antics in alleviating the tiring boredom of a class like this.
Only a handful of students are actually listening to the teacher and it is evident that they rather be anywhere else doing anything else. With lunch just ten minutes away the whole class is already leaning towards the door and staring hungrily at the wall clock. I am snapped out of my daydream by the shrill shrieking of the lunch bell above my head. Relief runs through me as the teacher dismisses us and our grumbling stomachs. As quickly as I possibly can I scramble to pack up all my things and rush to the lunchroom. I don’t even remember to write down the homework assignment! This forgetfulness is fueled by my inability to stay focused in any class much less the one right before lunch. The night before I had stayed up all night studying for a different test this inevitably leads to me being grumpy and unfocused for the following days. Especially since every night seemed to be a late night and with the stress and lack of sleep I am on the verge of snapping. The next day I fail the pop quiz along with almost all of the students who stopped listening to the teacher’s lecture, five minutes in.
Mr. Principal, if students knew how to take accurate notes and focus, then the snoring in the back of the class would be brought to a minimum as well as all the other distractions in the room. Students would be more eager to learn if they understood how to do it in a way that works for them and they see the positive effects it can have on their lives. Grades overall would improve if students knew how to listen in class and study correctly. Instead of waiting until the night before a huge exam, reading words over and over until they become a jumbled mess of never ending letters and symbols, I could study one step at a time so that on the night before I can skim over the topics and be prepared to face the test. Being prepared keeps students from wanting to ditch school in order to avoid the test as a whole or just to sleep in and catch up on some Z’s.
Preparation would also bring the lack of sleep and stress to a minimum. No longer would the piles of never ending homework and study guides hover over our worn out minds, not if we knew how to work ahead and prioritize what needs to be done now and what can be done progressively. It would help to keep students fresh, awake and ready to learn every morning. Not only could grades improve, but so would the school’s attendance record. Mr. Principal, students are more willing to come to class if there is something to look forward to. Instead of school being boring and torturous, it could be viewed as an opportunity to put the skills learned in their Critical Thinking class to the test. There would also be less problems waking up and therefore making it to class on time. No more napping in class, instead students would be note-taking and teachers would see the increased enthusiasm in their class.
The teachers would be motivated to work even harder to teach their students all they can. Why would teachers want to teach if they know that the students couldn’t care less? If teachers see students participating and not acting out then they would also be motivated to help the students learn even more than what is specified in the curriculum. Regular and advanced students would surpass any of the other schools. The school would work at least ten times more efficiently and productively. Everyone would be enthusiastic and successful in school. Mr. Principal if adding a class could determine whether your school is average or above average, would you take the chance? The skills learned in Middle School Critical Thinking classes would have a lasting impression in a student’s life forever. With the added skills, advanced teachers, and motivation that a student gains while taking a Critical Thinking class would definitely up their chances of that student staying in school not only in High School, but progressing even in the College level.
This is not a simple feat and many students who just don’t know how to keep their lives organized have a lot more chances of dropping out than the student who is well prepared and ready to take on anything the class has for them. In college most if not all the classes are lectures, if this bores a student or a student knows how to keep organized notes then the classes will be a lot harder. In comparison to High School, College has a lot more temptation to go party instead of studying, or hanging out with friends in your dorm instead of going over yesterday’s notes. This can lead to dropping grades and even dropping out of school. Peer pressure to drink, smoke and not study is a LOT stronger as the years go by. In college teachers are no longer on top of their students to do their assignments and to study like the teachers in Middle School and High School. Students have more freedom and a more responsibility to keep their grades intact and the choice to worry about their academic or their social life.
This responsibility may be too much for an average student, but for a student who has been taught and has practiced their critical thinking skills, the choice is obvious. The students who have the discipline to prioritize correctly and put their school first will be more successful time and time again over the student who picks his social life over his “stupid” grades. The students who stay up until midnight cramming for an exam that they knew months before will also struggle with their own problems in the future. Mr. Principal, a student who has practiced discipline, prioritizing, focusing and productivity will be prepared for anything that can come at them in the future. It is your job to prepare your students and if your students aren’t improving then their academics are failing. This is not something that can be fixed with MORE work, but with a class that helps kids manage their time better. Skills like these are not only useful in college though. They are useful in the students’ career.
Discipline and respect are very useful in an office setting especially when interning. Interns are usually put through a series of test before they are even accepted! Most of the time these tests have nothing to do with what one hundred twenty thousand times fifty is, but with how to manage two or three tasks at the same time and how to be adaptable in any situation. An intern who already knows how to take outline notes and schedule their days accordingly will have much more chances of succeeding in the business world over an unprepared slacker. Bosses look for organization and preparation in their employees, but above that they look for someone who looks the part. Before you even open your mouth in an interview, the only thing the employer sees is just how long you stayed up the night before preparing a last minute resume.
The bags under your eyes and crumpled outfit won’t seem like a presentable and organized employee and the typos in your resume will stand out in comparison to the other applicant who worked on their resume for a week, reading and rereading it until it was perfection. The applicant who has her hair perfectly in place, her outfit ironed flat and fully prepared to speak to the employer has a lot more chances of being hired. This all goes back to you, Mr. Principal. The student’s ability to focus on the interview and be prepared depends fully on what opportunities YOU put in their lives when they are in your school. If Critical Thinking Classes aren’t offered in school then your students will be beat out in interview after interview not only for their careers, but for college and for advanced placement.
This will hinder them in comparison to the students who have all the skill they taught in their Critical Thinking classes to help them through the interview and even to their promotions in work. Mr. Principal students deserve to have a class that will allow them to have an upperhand in classes, interviews and applications. Every student has the ability to have straight A’s and be successful, but not all of them have the skills needed to put their abilities to work and help them not only in Middle School, but for the rest of their lives.
Mr.Principal you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The admiration of both your staff and students and the incredible feeling that comes from knowing that you’ve made a difference in your students lives. Without a doubt, thanks to the Critical Thinking Class your school could benefit from the increased academic abilities of your students. This class will help students for generations to come, if you could go back in time wouldn’t you want to be given this chance?