Happy late Star Wars day to all those lovely people who are, or aren’t, huge fans of the Star Wars series. I could start reciting every line ever spoken in all those movies, I blow my mom’s mind trust me, but I won’t. Instead I’m going to talk about a galaxy, far, far away…or just the future.
No, I’m not going to talk about aliens. Nor the technology…oh wait maybe I am. You see, as a student I spend 6 hours and 46 minutes at school Monday through Friday. I have homework, tests, quizzes, projects, and fit soccer in there too. What makes it difficult, isn’t my lack of the force but the lack of a Jedi master.
I am grade crazy. If it’s not an A I will bite your head off. I’m the kid who does that extra work and makes those of you doing the minimum look bad. Heck, I did so much work on a APHG project, my friends got mad at me. All class period I heard “really Kami?”
So when I got some homework and tests back from a teacher who hadn’t been here for three days, I may have turned to the dark side.
You see, I’m required to come to school every day, go through seven different classes, make time for homework, play soccer, and all the while be a teenager. It’s so hard! When my teacher missed for a “personal vacation”, for two days, what are we to do? We had to teach ourselves.
Last time I checked, teachers are getting paid to teach us Padawans. If YouTube and books are just going to teach us why don’t we change schooling? Maybe we should get paid like students in Denmark. Or, if we’re just going to attempt to teach ourselves, maybe schooling should be changed entirely.
Think about it, 20.5 million 16 to 24-year-olds are employed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. One in every four high school students works, according to newsok.com. I can’t imagine adding another thing to my schedule, and 25% of students already have.
So what if we could change that? Money makes the world go round, and obviously many kids are needing it for so many reasons. We have to teach ourselves plenty of different tasks. If the educational system were mobile, how would that affect our world?
I know, it sounds very far fetched. Use the force…don’t you feel the possibility? Students would have personal adaptive schooling that worked with any schedule. The International Virtual Learning Academy has that in mind. According to their website, their mission is “to provide excellence in distance learning for students needing an alternative path to successful academic achievement by delivering high quality curriculum and educational support online.”
These are their goals:
A high school diploma
College and career readiness
Social responsibility in a global world
Developing responsibility in life-long learning
Learning in the time and place best suited for them
Respecting their studies and their teachers
“IVLA was born on the vision of providing an alternative learning environment for students who, for a very wide variety of reasons, needed academic resources beyond the traditional classroom,” according to their website. “IVLA’s comprehensive online assessment and instructional system, highly qualified and committed faculty, and broad selection of K-12 online courses, provide superior alternative educational opportunities domestically and internationally for:
Advanced students who want to graduate early
Gifted and talented students
Professional actors, performers, and athletes
Group home teens & out-of-home teens
Charter school students
Students needing credit recovery
Non-Traditional students & working teens
Students who have dropped out of traditional high school
Students in public schools needing additional educational resources
Students with unique educational challenges and goal”
This academy’s educational philosophy realizes that we’re all different. Every online student can be successful, just like every public school student is supposed to be. With the “right” amount of support, students will be successful. This support is from the curriculum, faculty, tutors, and, of course, parents. Every academic plan for IVLA is individualized to students learning needs, and supported by teachers, parents, mentors, and students. Students with histories of failure in the ‘traditional’ educational systems are more likely to experience success and acquire the tools needed in the changing world.
And the galaxy. Or not, but you get my argument. I really don’t want to be an “alternative” education student, I don’t see homeschool or a charter being a good fit for me, but if I have to rely on books and online alone, then I’d rather go fully with that. I just want my teachers to teach the subjects they’re going to assign homework, quizzes and tests on. You cannot expect to have a student teacher step in or a sub or just leave it up to us to figure out and then penalize us when we didn’t successfully teach ourselves. I can see schooling changing drastically in the near future. Now, we may not learn to use the force or light sabers, but space ships might be in the running. May the Fourth be with you!