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How Listening to Students Can Help Schools Improve
emily_berry_b
Smaller schools in comparison to larger schools possess more advantages. Some of these advantages include greater safety, a stronger community, and improved relationships between teachers and students. Larger schools appear to be more disconnected from their students, 26 percent of students felt that their teachers did not know them well enough as oppose to the 92 percent of students who attended smaller schools. Although, larger schools have some positive aspects such as, more offered elective courses, more resources to supplement special education students, as well as foreign exchange students, and finally extracurricular activities, and sports.

When it comes down to it, regardless of the size or population of the school, student-teacher relationships are one of the main keys to ensuring a students motivation and success in their education. When students had the opportunity to voice their own ideas and opinions on what they believed would create a more motivating learning environment they said, organization, patience, passion for the subject, respect, and a sense of firmness where all characteristics a teacher should possess in order to create the ideal learning environment. Although some adults would disagree with the structural criticism received by the students, they need to realize that overall to create a successful educational system they must take the students ideas into consideration as those are really the main focus after all. Why run a school if none of the students are even remotely interested in what the school has to offer, or possess a lack of motivation for themselves and their educational career? Isn't the purpose of school to engage students into learning and growing so they can do great things for our upcoming generation? Overall, our high school students our the future of our world.

As well as personal relationships between adults and students, violence and safety needs to be taken into consideration as a serious matter. Less students are likely to come to school if they feel uncomfortable, or cannot look at school as a safety zone which it should be. Another disadvantage with larger schools is their ability to monitor violent activity or discrimination that may occur with the higher population of students and increase of ethnic diversity. Smaller schools are less likely to have these issue because the majority of the student population is tight-knit with each other. When students were once again asked to voice their opinion on the matter of safety, most students had similar ideas for disciplinary action as those that adults have already. This displays high school students maturity level and gives them more reason to have a say in how the high school system is run.

The last issue to be taken care of is the pressure from adults to students to score high test scores on the state wide tests. These tests are the deciding factor whether a student has the ability to graduate or not, which is extremely unfair. Although these large tests show a good example of how well a student is learning, the individual needs of a students needs to be taken into consideration. Each student is different and although one student may test better then another, that does not necessarily mean they are a better student then maybe that of a student who had test anxiety and cannot concentrate within a limited time setting. A state wide test should be a contributing factor to the decision of a students graduation, but as well as a cumulative grade based upon how well the student participated in class. Less emphasis should be placed on JUST a test.

Overall, there are a variety of contributing factors into the success of a high school student. The size of a school does have some effect on the learning environment of a student. The three main points that need to be stressed to adults working in the educational system should be, teacher-student relationships, safety and violence, and lastly pressure from tests. High school students are maturing young adults that are going to be apart of our futures world and they need to be able to gain the skills of integrity and decision making. The perfect place for them to test these skills is in the school setting where they can make decisions that greatly impact their own educational career. After all, schools are meant to enhance student learning, so why not listen to what they have to voice regarding what will help them find more excitement in coming to school everyday. This may after all result in less drop out rates which is a increasing issue in American schools and life.

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