What Would Middle Schoolers Change?
I decided to ask my students to list the 10 changes they would make in our middle school. I thought I could guess several of their choices. And indeed I was correct. I imagine that our lists would be similar, no matter where you teach. Here are the top ten choices of my students, in no particular order:
1. length of school day-most agreed on 9:00-2:00
(our school starts at 7:49 and ends at 2:30)
2. no homework
3. real sodas in vending machines
4. dress code-they want to wear whatever they want
5. cell phones-they want to be able to call and text all day long
(they can have cell phones at school, we just don't allow them to use them)
6. allow backpacks in all classes
(they have to leave their backpacks in their first period classes and pick them up after school)
7. no AR goals-Accelerated Reader (also known as “AR”) is a district wide reading program, which will help to “accelerate” the process of learning how to read well and becoming a good reader. Accelerated Reader gives students immediate feedback as to how they are doing. This individualized program is focused on each student’s individual reading ability levels.
(each language arts class has them set an AR goal for each quarter and then I have my students on a Read 180 goal....the nerve of us wanting our students to read more!)
8. no ELD or ASD-meaning: no extended learning day(to work on their homework) or after school detention(where misbehaving students go to sit in absolute silence while finishing their homework or reading a book-I am the detention warden)
9. no ID's, no planners, no binders (we have them wear an ID during school hours and each teacher checks to make sure they are wearing them correctly; they carry a binder to all classes to keep them organized and inside their binders they have a school planner to write down all of their assignments for each class and if they have to leave the room for any reason: bathroom, water, errand, etc., they have to fill out the information and the teacher has to sign it)
10. better lunches (some wanted different restaurants to come prepare their lunches every day)
I would like for you to have your students fill out their top ten changes and send me your list so we can compare.