Saturday, May 30, 2009

Does Learning Go On At Claremont?

by DD

Have I learned anything in my three years here at Claremont? Well, let’s see … in Math I learned to do quadratic equations, in History I learned about the Constitution, in Science I learned about Quarks, protons and neutrons and in English I read about the Holocaust – all very important and interesting and I appreciate the knowledge, but there are three things that I’ve learned here at Claremont that I think are even more important than reading, writing and arithmetic.

For starters, I’ve learned about empathy. I was in band class a couple weeks ago, a day or so after Ms. Briggs got her wheelchair, and I noticed that Ms. Briggs was having great difficulty controlling the class. As I watched this go on for 10-15 minutes, I suddenly came to the realization that it must be really tough trying to control a class of kids who not only barley ever do as they’re told, but basically don’t care about what you have to say. Because I came to this realization, I wrote a letter to Ms. Briggs to let her know that I think I understand how she must feel when people act up in her class. Ms. Briggs, like many teachers at Claremont, is frustrated because she’s working so hard so that her students will be ready to go on to high school, and what she gets in return is oftentimes inattention, disrespect and apathy. Because of what goes on in the classroom, I have empathy for Ms. Briggs. I wish I’d understood this concept earlier, but I will take it with me to high school and hopefully be a better person for it.

I’ve also learned about compassion. I really feel sorry for many of the teachers here at Claremont because they have to deal with so much every day. I’m embarrassed to say that sometimes I’ve been a part of the poor behavior that goes on in their classrooms daily, but I really hope I’ve learned from the past. I know how hard teachers work – my dad’s a teacher – and I just want all my teachers to know that their hard work is appreciated. My eighth grade teachers – Ms. Cristancho, Mr. Smith, Ms. Negash, Ms. Thaler, Mr.W, Ms. Briggs – they all want to make a better life for their students and it’s just not fair how poorly some of their students treat them. Teachers only want their students to become better people in the end.

And finally, I’ve learned about respect. Many students don’t care about anything and treat their teachers like they would treat a fellow student rather than a figure of authority. Each and every teacher deserves respect because they work so hard for all their students. Not only are most teachers these days underpaid and underappreciated, but they never get a break. It’s always something – poorly behaved students, pay cuts and layoffs. Nobody gives them even close to the amount of respect that they deserve.

Because of the teachers here at Claremont, I’ve learned three very important concepts. If middle school has taught me nothing else, what I have learned is that I need to have respect, compassion, and empathy for all my teachers. I truly think I’m ready for high school now and I have the teachers here at Claremont to thank.


Anonymous said...

nice job!i like your writing

Araxi said...

wow, really powerful! And you raised a very good point; We don't only learn academics at school. We learn much, much more!