11/10/2010

NZ school system sucks...still

A few months ago, I posted an article about the NZ school system (click here to read it) that suggested raising the bar to get into university. I don't know about other districts, but I do know I have a few suggestions about Stratford High School.

The first one would be to actually have classes for the whole school year. I realize that this is a radical idea, but it might just work. See if you follow my train of thought....

The school year, this year, is suppose to end on the 10th of December. Missy's last actual 'class' will be on Friday, the 12th of November, because she has final exams spread over the next few weeks. Apparently, the school is not equipped to actually keep her in class and give the tests at the same time, so her whole class has 'study leave' for almost a whole month. 

The 'seniors' (grades 11-13) 'prize-giving' (that's the equivalent of 'awards night' for those not familiar with the term) is Thursday. During school time. But only after having at least one 'practice' for it--making at least 2 days that Missy could be in class. 

Obviously, this schedule upset has thrown off the whole school because Otterboy and the other 'juniors' (grades 9-10) have the day off. I mean, gee, who would have seen this annual day coming?

My second suggestion for Stratford High School is yet another radical idea. It is to actually read the transcripts of the incoming students and use those to place the 9th graders juniors in the correct class. I'm pretty sure that the primary schools keep records. And, I'm equally sure that they are, for the most part, accurately kept. I think it would be a nice gesture to actually put them to use. I bet the teachers who wrote them would be thrilled to know they are used instead of simply taking up file drawer space. This would give the high school a whole extra year to actually teach the kids something instead of herding them all into classes for a year to babysit and then determine the classes they need.

I have another suggestion for teachers: Appreciate and encourage your students who are eager to learn more than the rest of the class. Otterboy is a typical teenage boy, but when he comes home and complains that he's bored because he's done all the work and the teacher doesn't take enough interest in him to keep him focused in the subject, it breaks my heart.

Now I know this is a lot for the school to comprehend--especially, when they can't even put enough effort into their permission slips to tell me everything I need to know before I turn my precious child over to their care. But, they need to start somewhere. Enough students have been cheated.

2 comments:

Cate said...

Oh I TOTALLY hear you!!

Hey - I'm an ex highschool teacher who turned to homeschooling her own teens, so that says something ;-)

Naturally Carol said...

Don't think that Australia is any different. My children often were allowed to visit the local shops for periods at a time or didn't have to go to school at College Level, year 11 and 12 because a teacher was away at School Camp or sick and they didn't have a replacement! My daughter missed a whole semester of photography class and I wasn't told until early the next year! My youngest son skipped out of school after roll call regularly and the school never ever rang me, his sister saw him one day at the bus stop on her way somewhere else! No wonder kids are not committed if teachers and the Education Dept aren't.