Let my teachers teach

The first day of school seemed... unusually long.

The first day of school seemed… unusually long.

Emeline Root

   When I sat down in sixth hour on the first day of school and saw that we were going through the same PowerPoint we’d gone through in first, second, third, fourth… and fifth hours, my shoulders slumped. Not again.

   Although the ideas behind the icebreakers and the mandated instruction are important – they are meant to build a sense of community in each classroom and to highlight the school focus on PRIDE- the effect is minimal.

   There are two reasons why icebreakers are ineffective. First of all, few students enjoy them because they’re so painfully awkward. Secondly, many people already know most or all of the people in their classes. “In classes with people that I know, I don’t need to do an icebreaker, and in classes with people I don’t know, it’s just awkward and uncomfortable to do icebreakers. Plus, for some people, icebreakers can be really stressful,” said Sr. Jacklyn VandePoel.

   A second problem with the first day lessons is that it seemed to rob the teachers of their energy. I couldn’t help but notice how unconnected some teachers seemed to be while they were following through the PRIDE PowerPoint, and mechanicly giving directions for the icebreakers. Teachers are much more connected both with their topic and to students when they get to teach how they want.

   Another reason the pride PowerPoint and icebreakers aren’t necessary is because of how redundant they are. It really got to me and other students by the end of the day. I would much rather have a variety during the first day of school: maybe in first hour we would do an icebreaker, but in second hour we’d learn all about the teacher, then in third hour we’d go through the syllabus, and so forth.

   All teachers have PRIDE posters in their classroom-students know what it stands for and can follow it. Teachers are responsible enough to emphasize PRIDE, and students will always get to know each other through working together during class.

Teachers already knew how to execute the first day of school well. The mandated PowerPoint is unnecessary; teachers should be able to teach how they want on day one.