Schools don’t care about students and are setting your child up for failure.
You are probably thinking, WOAH, that is absolutely not true. Teachers pour their hearts into their students, and counselors work with students to find solutions to their mental health challenges. So how can it be that schools don’t care about students?
I completely agree with you. Teachers, counselors, and other educational support staff care about students, but the school system does not.
As a former classroom teacher, I know how much the teachers, counselors, and school staff care about their students. However, the system they are a part of does not value students as they do.
The school system is too dependent on end-of-year exams to evaluate student performance and the performance of administrators and teachers.
The impersonal nature of end-of-year exams turns your son or daughter into a number rather than an individual, which can have severe consequences for their academic growth and future.
Keep reading to learn how schools’ testing priorities shift the classroom dynamic, how it impacts your child, and what you can do about it.
End-Of-Year Exams are Setting Your Child Up For Failure
The care and compassion that teachers have for their students have not changed. However, their ability to do their jobs had changed dramatically. I want to be clear that I am not calling teachers negligent or incapable and have tremendous respect, and I know their struggle intimately. I see teachers as victims of this system that has turned them into cogs in a machine.
Schools have undergone a dramatic shift in the last several decades. Before the widespread introduction of end-of-year exams, teachers could implement the lessons they thought were the most effective for teaching content standards.
Schools trusted teachers to use their experience and expertise to teach the content. They also had the flexibility to change their teaching approach to meet the specific needs of students. If a teacher found students were lacking a skill like organization or goal setting, a teacher could dedicate classroom time to working on this skill.
Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. Schools are increasingly reliant on end-of-year exams as a measure of student performance as well as teacher performance.
Focusing On Content Is Setting Your Child Up For Failure
The emphasis and value placed on end-of-year exams trickle down and influence how content is taught. With the focus on exams, teachers must prioritize subject-specific content over teaching to the student’s needs.
Due to the sheer amount of content teachers are expected to cover, there is no time to teach the skills necessary for success. Teachers have to deal with content standards that leave no time to teach anything other than the standards. Sometimes, there isn’t enough time to cover the standards, let alone essential soft skills that won’t be on the exam.
Beyond the classroom, the use of end-of-year exams highly impacts school administration and its approach to creating an effective learning environment. School administrators have to prove that their school is meeting standards. The pressure to meet standards means teachers must spend more time and energy preparing students for the exams rather than focusing on what students need to be successful adults.
The reality is that schools are not necessarily interested in the individual student’s success. They are more concerned with their overall performance as a school and how they measure up to other schools in the district.
This approach leaves no room for meeting the individual needs of the student. I would argue that it punishes attempts to spend time working on essential skills and other non-testable characteristics.
So even though teachers and school staff care deeply about the students and want to do what is best for them, the system prevents them from doing this. Instead, teachers are forced to treat your children like a number.
The Effect of Impersonal Teaching and the Modern Classroom on Your Child
Focusing on teaching to the test and end-of-year exams sets your child up for failure. Instead of learning essential skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration, your child must memorize facts they can quickly look up on a smartphone. These types of tests can reinforce bad study habits.
Additionally, teachers don’t have the time to address the student’s individual needs. The rapidly increasing size of classrooms means that teachers do not have the time to meet with their child one-on-one and give them the attention that they need.
As a result, your child is learning information that may have little relevance to them, which can cause them to check out of school. Additionally, students who have difficulty understanding or retaining the content will likely fall further behind their peers.
Perhaps the biggest problem is that your child will not learn the foundational academic skills needed to succeed. Without these skills, they may have difficulty achieving in college or the workplace.
Learning skills like goal setting, routine, organization, and foundational skills will give your child the grounding to learn skills in the future. They will be at a disadvantage in college or the workplace without the time to practice them. School is setting your child up for failure.
What You Can Do About It
Providing individualized attention outside of school is the best way to ensure your child learns the necessary skills. Investing your time and energy into helping them with their academics can go a long way in teaching them the skills they need. However, this can be time-consuming and cause conflict between you and your child.
Tutoring is also not a great option because tutors focus on content rather than skills. A tutor will teach your child the same information that they are learning in school for their end-of-year exams.
The best way to get your child the individualized attention they need is to hire an academic coach. An academic coach specializes in helping students develop their foundational skills and will treat your child as an individual instead of a number. They will work to tailor a plan specifically for your child and help them become a well-rounded student.
About the Author: John Hyde
I am an educational coach specializing in teaching students academic fundamentals and a growth mindset.
After graduating from Duke University in 2015, I taught at a public middle school from 2016 to 2019. Although I loved working with students in the classroom, the public education system was not teaching students the skills essential to academic success.
I left the classroom in 2019 to start Academic Empowerment Academy. Since then, my coaching program has helped hundreds of students realize their academic potential by assisting them in building confidence and empowering them with the skills and mindset to meet their goals in school and life.
If you’d like to discuss how I can help your teen be more motivated, foster good habits, and improve academic organization/performance, Book a Complimentary Discovery Call Here.
Hi I’m John, author of this blog, academic coach, and founder of AE Academy.
I help teens reach their academic potential by empowering them with academic fundamentals, a growth mindset, and critical thinking.
If your teen is struggling to reach their academic potential, or isn’t learning the skills they need to succeed in school, we should connect.
It’s on me – Book Your Free Call Here