Students Need To Be Taught Differently

Jessie Rivera

It’s a very well-known fact that many low-income schools have a lower graduation rate compared to
many higher-income schools. According to many pieces of research, the social group you fall under
impacts the amount of stress you experience. For example, Experts at Pew Research Center found that
the percentage of low income people who experience medium to high distress is 56% whereas the
percentage of high income people who experience medium to high distress is 35%. Many people in
low-income schools may not have the resources they need to learn properly. This can cause them to
become more stressed and less focused on their education. There are many people in school who learn
differently. When we were younger, we were always asked about our learning styles. However very
rarely were we given those resources we needed to learn properly. Usually, we’re only taught to
remember the necessary information we need to use in our final exams, quizzes, and essays. Rather than
learning we’re instead forcing ourselves to remember. We sit at a desk 7 hours a day and are expected to
simply learn, write, and show our understanding. But these teaching methods aren’t very helpful for
those who can’t seem to learn that way.

My brother was a student at NHS when he decided to drop out. He was always someone who
got into a lot of trouble, but never did he give up on his future. My brother is a very passionate guy
who always seeks to learn something new. But despite this, he still decided to drop out. I never fully
understood why he didn’t finish high school, until one day he explained to me why he never really liked
school. He explained that the way school teaches us was never for him. Usually he was always handed a
piece of paper and expected to finish it by the end of class. He’s smart and good at math, but the way
teachers taught frustrated him. He said that the way they teach isn’t for everyone, and usually they
make a lot of students feel as though they’re not smart enough. Instead of hearing teachers explain the
topics he was learning, he’d much rather learn hands-on. But in the public school system, such
opportunities are not really available, especially in low-income schools. He lost interest in school and
decided to drop out to work full-time. Today he’s in a community college learning how to become a
mechanic.

During a peer-interview project back in September, my friend Percy said almost the exact same
thing. Percy is 15 years old, hispanic, and a sophomore at North High School. In this peer interview, I
asked them to explain one of the main issues they experience at school. They said, “At school, they
always give us a lot of resources but never really explain it to us… Without extra-support, my
motivation to continue learning plummets. If it were me, I’d make it so students who learn differently
are provided different learning methods.”

Everyone is unique in their own way. We all learn differently than each other, yet we’re still
taught the same. Teaching methods at school are not very inclusive for everyone and this causes many
students to feel unmotivated to continue learning. Higher income students are more likely to graduate
due to the different opportunities they are offered. But what about low-income students? A lack of
money affects the education of our students because they’re never given different learning
opportunities. Those who learn hands-on should be in a class that lets them do so. With more money,
we could create classes that teach and support students in a way they can understand. Classes that use
diverse teaching methods could help more students graduate instead of making them feel less qualified.
Grades shouldn’t define us as humans, however school makes it feel like they do. When students can’t
learn a certain topic, they usually begin to blame themselves. But usually it’s just the way they were
taught that didn’t work for them.

With more school funding, we could create classes that teach students in a way that helps them
actually learn instead of forcing them to remember information. Students deserve to feel more
comfortable and liberated at school so that they can be motivated to keep learning.

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