Before you read.
Eleven years have passed since my first days of school. What a journey it’s been. From the happy years of elementary school to the stressful life that is high school then to the future of the yet to be discovered college years. I constantly read articles discussing how bad our education system is. How bad my city’s schools were. I’ve seen people move houses so their kids no longer have to attend these “bad” schools. They leave in fear that their kid won’t be successful in education. Whatever that means. The constant bashing of America’s schools and my county’s schooling system led me to write this essay. Finally a good story of American education. This is how I achieved success through education.
Chapter 1. Elementary
Easiest years of my life. I have always been one of the “gifted kids”. Of course me being gifted does have a lot to do with my success through education. Being gifted in my opinion just means you don’t have to try as hard. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible for anyone else; it’s just harder. Back to elementary, Kindergarten through about 3rd grade was just basic knowledge. Reading, writing, even coloring was taught. Nothing stressful, nothing hard. Easiest three years of my life. Throughout this story I will talk mostly about two types of education. The things they teach you in school, and the things you learn which they don’t teach in schools. So pretty much book smarts and social skills. These three years in my opinion were about building social skills. This is the first time you’re around other kids in your whole life, so they needed to focus on this. Lot’s of group activities. I consider myself a very social person, most teachers I’ve had would say “too social” if that exists but you get the point. I credit this to my early years. Although they are the easiest years, these three years affect your life the most. I was taught to be social these early years and guess what nothing's changed eleven years later. Although I have some very shy friends I went to elementary school with who even back then secluded themselves. That’s a recipe for disaster. Secluding yourself from any group is a great way to fall education. Both the things you're taught side and the things you’re not. You achieve 0 social skills from being by yourself. Zero. The argument “Some kids prefer to work alone’. To be honest now a days I also prefer to work alone but I don’t. When you have a job. You will be required to work with others. So I think this is just something that they need to overcome to succeed. I’ve noticed these secluded kids are usually the ones that “fail” education. The early elementary years for me were to get you social. Next up, 3rd and fourth grade. Finally some math. Once again top of my class. So much so they secluded a few of us gifted kids so the rest of the kids had the chance to learn. Which was… odd but I still learned what I needed as did they. 3rd and 4th grade was my first experience with standardized testing. It didn’t stress me too much back then as I got 600’s on multiple tests. Fourth grade was where I met some of my best friends to this day. This was a great year. Overall, throughout elementary school I was taught both an adequate amount social skills due to my involvement with sports at recess and activities outside of school, and also a good amount of book smarts. Everybody gets weary when told their child is going to that elementary school I attended, but I turned out alright. Which is why I’m writing this. To put the “you can’t succeed at ______” rumours away. You can succeed whichever school or even country you go to.
Chapter 2. Intermediate School
Intermediate school. The you’re old, but not old enough school. I was put in the “gifted” class for the first time. It was a great experience. Finally people who want to be there and have ambition to learn. School still wasn’t hard but it was fun. I switched classes half way for both years I attended. Which opened me up to a huge variety of friends. 5th grade I got switched into the GT (gifted and talented) class where I met friends that I will share classes with for four years in a row. And in 6th grade I got switched to a different GT class with the other half of kids I’ll know for the rest of my life. This was also the first year I played an instrument. The trumpet. I was also really really good at the trumpet. But this opened me up to another huge selection of friends. These two years increased the level of learning and tests. Had what’s called MAP testing which was kinda like a placement test for your following year. I placed consistently high on these tests which allowed me to take higher level classes during middle school. Intermediate school was probably my least favorite of the four. This is when kids started becoming bad. Cussing all the time not paying attention. I also got made fun of these years for being fat. Notice how I didn’t call it bullying as most would. This is not bullying. I simply was fat. I didn’t cry or sue the school. I got skinnier. Just look at me now I have the 2nd school record ever for pull ups. This is also how you succeed in education. You fix things not cry about them. This skill learned helped me later on in life when facing challenges. Learning to overcome obstacles is essential to succeeding at education. The things I was taught were fun and hard. Finally challenged in school. Band was also great. Tons of new friends. I went from one grade having maybe one hundred kids to one grade having 500+. However these were my least favorite as the school was overcrowded and all the kids changed.
Chapter 3. Middle School
Because I did so well on my placement tests, I got put into a program called Integrated Math and Science. Which means exactly what it says. The program literally integrats math and science. I was put in a class of the top notch students of all the school. The program entirely focused on math and science. Which molded me to the person I am today. Entirely focused on math and science. This program also focused a lot on group projects. Which led to my failure in this system. Being in constant groups with your best friends for 3+ years makes you get a bit distracted. I got a C in algebra one and a C in English. Went from being a top student to being a C student. 8th grade was a bit better. No C’s all A’s and B’s which is still pretty bad by my standard. I didn’t even get a good knowledge of what we learned. I still can’t tell you what I learned in Algebra one. But aye these were the funnest 2 years of my life. A class full of best friends. I also had a great band director. He made that class so much fun. That class is the reason I came to school. He inspired me to become a professional trumpet player when I grew up. But tragedy struck and he was fired. Nobody really knows why to this day. He was there for 25 years and they just fired him. I remembered crying that day. My Idol was suddenly gone. And for no good reason. I felt heart broken. Except this moment, middle school was great. I had tons of fun in the IMS program, band inspired me and sports were great. My soccer team went undefeated that season. Met 22 more people due to this team. My academics suffered sadly. However I didn’t lay in the towel and say I failed because the system/school is bad, I got a tutor over the summer and changed everything.
Chapter 4. High school
The best years. Can write a whole story on this alone. Let’s start with 9th grade. High school was the first time I have ever felt part of something really. Everyone was like a whole group. All the spirit days and sports teams and fans of sports cheering for other sports teams. It’s such a different experience. After bad academic years in in middle school, 9th grade was a huge confidence booster. I got a 98% in Algebra 2. As opposed to a C in Algebra 1. I found out I was smart again. Was at the top of my classes in everything. I don’t know what it was but something changed for me. Maybe a sense of how important this really is. But I have been a great student ever since. My band class doubled in size which led me to meet more and more friends. I joined the swim team, track team, and soccer team. Which once again opened me up to many more friends. As you can tell I take opportunity to get as much friends as possible. My social skills have thrived because of this. I got my first girlfriend this year, I was really challenged in school, I participated in a huge amount of school activities. Ninth grade was just an entire new experience for me. Next up is the tenth grade years, another great year. This was both my hardest, and best year academically. I got all A’s for the first time since 6th grade. Top of my class in pre-calculus, engineering class, chemistry, history. I succeeded in literally everything last year. Engineering class also had a huge influence on me. I caught onto it so well and so easily. I finished assignments as soon as possible just so I can do my own side projects and 3d print my models. My ease of these assignments inspired my want to become an engineer. Swim team this year was great. I got voted captain even though only juniors and seniors are only allowed to be captain. Now onto 11th grade. The grade I'm currently in. Although I'm only a month in, I have lots to talk about. This year I have my first AP (advance placement) classes. College level classes. One is AP Language and one in AP Physics. AP Language is the more difficult of the two. Physics is incredibly easy for me. I got a 106% on our first test and a 96 on our first quiz. I find physics incredibly interesting. It all just makes sense to me. AP Physics is my easiest class. With history and calculus closely following. I am also still on the swim team and soccer team and track. This year I participated the most school wise. I have gone to every single home game osbourn has to offer. I went to all the spirit week days. I have been to a lot of class meetings. I have taken every opportunity to increase my social skills. High School has been super fun so far and I’m only halfway done.
Chapter 6. The Future
I plan on attending the University of Cincinnati to get degrees in architecture and civil engineering. I will use my math skills taught throughout high school to help me achieve this. I am taking both architecture and engineering classes at osbourn and I plan to continue doing so. I will use the writing skills taught in AP Language to help write essays during my college years. Most importantly I will use all my social skills to help me have fun in college and in life.
Chapter 7. How to succeed
I succeeded throughout my educational career due to my want to learn. Not only in school but out of school. Social skills is just as vital as book smarts when it comes to life. Over these years, I took on tasks that would increase my social and leadership skills. I got a couple of jobs joined various soccer teams. Took part in every school activity there is. This is what you need to succeed. A good amount of knowledge and the ability to interact with others. If you have these two you’ll love going to school! And more importantly, you’ll succeed. There it is, finally a successful story to listen to. I hope this gives you a different perspective on the American education system.