The Importance of Personalized Education


Freshman year was tough, and being virtual didn’t make it any better. However, with optimism, I persevered. I tried to make everything work to the best of my abilities. I was well aware that I needed to take high school seriously as a good percentage of your work ethic in high school determines the outcome of your future in life.
Throughout the duration of my freshman year, I was getting good grades in all my classes except one: US History 1. Essentially, my history teacher didn’t have any learning diversity in his curriculum. All he did was assign articles that mainly consisted of reading articles and answering questions. If I’m being completely honest, there isn’t a single thing I can think of in regards to what I learned that year. If anything, I think I just learned to be stressed.
I truly believe that you don’t really learn anything when reading articles and answering questions. You mainly just focused on the idea of trying to answer the questions from the reading, rather than gaining anything from the article. It’s an annoying game of hide-and-go-seek. The answers are hiding for you, and you’re trying to seek for the answers to complete the questions. I don’t think playing hide-and-go-seek is learning. I had a huge problem with this as this work felt so repetitive and perpetual. So, in the democratic society we live in, I felt as if I should use my freedom of speech to talk about this issue.
I first talked to the director of curriculum about this, and I wanted to make sure that I didn’t speak on this issue only from the perspective of me, but instead, from the perspective of everyone. I knew other people in my history class had the same issue as me, and I knew that the more voices of students I could get in the conversation, the more successful I could be in making a change to the repetitive perpetual curriculum display. The director of curriculum told me that I could initiate a survey to get students’ opinions on the issue, so I created one. After doing this, I was to get this survey approved by the principal. The survey was rejected due to federal law. Apparently, there are some rules regarding surveys in New Jersey that restrained me from sending the survey out to students. Obviously, I was a bit infuriated with the situation, but the principal allowed me to speak with the supervisor of social studies. I would speak on behalf of me and other students struggling with the same issues as me. The supervisor told me, “things would be different next year,” and, “I should at least try to complete my assignments.” I listened to what the supervisor had said, and with the help of a tutor, I vigorously completed some of the assignments. Eventually, I managed the pass with a “P” in the class. I didn’t receive a number grade for the class, so nothing affected my GPA.
Now, this was a year ago, when schools were being empathetic of students’ needs. They understood that students, especially ones that were fully virtual, weren’t receiving the best quality education. I was definitely happy about the fact that nothing affected my GPA, but now in retrospect, I was extremely distraught about the situation. For one, I felt as if I was being pushed around from person to person. It seemed as if nobody wanted to listen to a problem that not only I had, but other people in my school did as well.
And I think if anything, it’s important that teachers listen to a students perspective if they have inconveniences with the curriculum display. Students are the ones living through the enduring activities the teachers assign. Telling a student that they can’t make any further amends is really disheartening. It is really sad knowing that they’re opinion (which should be heard the most) isn’t even being acknowledged. From where I stand, I think teaching is a selfless act. A selfless teacher wants to see they’re students succeed, and wants to make sure that a student is learning to the best of their abilities. When a student is telling you that they physically cannot do the work that is being presented to them, it’s an issue on the teacher, not the student. And, this comes to my final point: Why Hunterdon Central Should Have Personalized Education.
Students have different ways on how they can learn best. Some are visual learners, others are auditory learners, etc. The list can go on and on. For me, I’m definitely not a hide-and-go-seek kind of learner. Students know how they learn best, and what type of learner they are. Students want to have good grades, and want to feel like they’re learning to the best of their abilities. In order to see those phenomenal grades, students need to learn to the best of their abilities- which selfless teachers at Hunterdon Central should be ensuring. For this to happen, we need to cater to the type of education the students want. Catering to the type of education a student learns best fulfills this desire of a student learning to the best of their abilities, and the last thing they’d probably be complaining about is the work being repetitive and perpetual. As a result, students will actually feel like they’re learning, and probably would receive better grades in their classes. Parents will be happy knowing that their children are receiving good grades. Selfless teachers will feel happy knowing that they’re students are learning to the best of their abilities. Now, is that a good rep on Hunterdon Central? Unequivocally, I wholeheartedly believe it is.