I grew up in Midland, Michigan my whole life and I can honestly say that the education I received throughout my life has been magnificent. My teachers taught me everything I need to know and how to be successful in a classroom. But let me just reassure you that I only meant IN THE CLASSROOM. Even though that I can recollect and explain the wonderful education I’ve been given, I’ve noticed that my teachers have lacked teaching some very important criteria: what you need to know to live in the real world. All students are just given information then tested on it with pencil and paper. Not many teachers show the students how to apply the information we learn to life. I mean, most people eventually learn how life functions on their own, but wouldn’t it be more beneficial to be taught how we can become rich, how to buy a house, or “what are the best ways to get the best career opportunity possible?” As an adolescent, it seems to me that life as an adult has so many secret gateways to success that can’t just be taught from a textbook or tested by an examination.
Many of the teachers, who have taught me, seem to be prosperous individuals, yet they only know so much information, so why don’t they teach us their ways of what we ONLY need to know when we’re older? I don’t think I can recall how many times I’ve asked my math teacher how proofs will apply to the real world and their response is always, “just know it.” I don’t get it. I am in a .2 math class, it’s not likely that many of us will become rocket scientists which makes me wonder why teach us this math if it doesn’t apply to our ideal future. It’d just be great to be lectured about how proofs changed my teacher’s life or will change my life, if not, it seems like the biggest waste of time. If we wanted to major in rocket science, we should learn the criteria then, not now.
For example, my father, who is a well-trained surgeon, will look at my math homework and ask me why I even use sine, cosine or the quadratic equation. He is a successful doctor who graduated from Northwestern Medical School (one of the hardest schools to get into in the nation), and he doesn’t even know the criteria that my teachers insist that I know in school. Instead of teaching nonsense, teachers could be teaching us the basic math that we need to know for life in general, which is what my father does know. Let’s be realistic here.
Even though many teachers looked past my questions about the criteria they taught us, one teacher actually told me the truth. She admitted that teachers give us the beneficial information, but a lot of the small details are useless. I’m not a good test taker and when I do poorly on a test by missing the small facts, I always tell myself this one thing: it’s not how much knowledge you can apply to tests, but how much knowledge you can apply to life.