So you want to go to grad school?
Future grad students of the world unite!
introduction 
10th-Oct-2013 04:38 pm
HI Guys

my name is ariyona Horton, but you can call me Ari. im 14 years old and in highschool.
I jus have a few questions and I wonder if u can help me graduate. okay so um.....

1. if the teachers want us to graduate then why we don't get books?

2. when it comes to English, how do u understand it without txtbooks?

3. I just don't understand world history at all.

im a freshman so its kinda confusing to me .
Comments 
10th-Oct-2013 09:56 pm (UTC)
Hi Ari! My name is Elyse, and I was a middle school teacher for a few years.

Firstly though this community is largely about applying to "graduate school," which means more schooling that people choose to do after college, like if you want to go on to be a doctor, lawyer, professor or businessperson. I definitely understand how the name can be super confusing though.

Secondly, what you asked are great questions that I'd love to help you out with.

1. if the teachers want us to graduate then why we don't get books?

That's a great question, and one that I think you should write to a local politician about. Look up who your local congressman (or congresswoman) is, and who your local councilman or councilwoman is. You can write a letter about it and ask a teacher of yours for help with the wording and grammar. A congressperson is a person who is supposed to represent you to your government, so it can help to inform them that you're having these problems. And usually if you google your street address and "local congressman" or something similar next to it, you can find your representative.

But to answer that question, in part, it's because schools aren't getting a lot of funding, which means they aren't getting a lot of money. Your teachers actually have absolutely no say in this. Schools are each given a budget, and the budgets are given from the government based largely on standardized test scores, as well as the taxes paid by people in your school district, which I know is super unfair. So schools that may not have done as well in the past will get less funding, which means they have to try to raise scores with less resources like books or computers to do so. In short, a lot of times schools just don't have money for books because they're not given enough money from the government. When I was a teacher at a middle school, I worked at a middle school in a very poor neighborhood, and I literally had no books for my classroom until about mid-March. When I would ask the school's principal and administration, they told me that I should just "print things out" for students to read. Problem is, the school I worked at required that you use your own printers and buy your own paper and ink, so as a teacher, I had to pay for supplies for students that should have been included in the school budget but that the school didn't buy. So your teachers reeeaaallly want you to graduate, but a lot of times, they aren't given any money to buy books and stuff, and this is because of unfair things with the government.

2. when it comes to English, how do u understand it without txtbooks?

Reading! Even if you don't have textbooks, I'm sure you have a local library somewhere, right? Go to that library, make a day of it if you want, and sit in the Young Adult Fiction or Children's sections for a bit, searching for things you think are interesting. Ask for a librarian (usually going to the reference desk will help) and tell the librarian what books you've liked reading in the past and ask him or her for help in finding new books. The more you read, the more you learn to read. Also, for grammar and stuff (another big argument I'd have with the school that I worked at is that we also didn't have any textbooks, let alone grammar or vocabulary textbooks), there are plenty of free resources online to help you out. I'll come back after, but try by googling something like "help with reading for 14 year old" "help with grammar 14 year old," and so forth. Also, Khan Academy is a great resource, try googling that and looking around that site.

3. I just don't understand world history at all.

Now this is my FAVORITE subject, and I'm actually going to be going to graduate school for working on topics like this. What about it don't you understand? I'd be glad to help with any questions. What have you been learning about so far?

Edited at 2013-10-10 09:58 pm (UTC)
11th-Oct-2013 01:45 am (UTC)
You're amazing.
11th-Oct-2013 01:48 am (UTC)
seriously. Awesome answer, such grace and helpfulness!
11th-Oct-2013 01:57 am (UTC)
^^ This person is fantastic =) Thank you fantastic person for taking the time to answer this question so kindly.

I would also like to add to Ari, regarding understanding your course material in general, it is always a great idea to be proactive about your education. There are a few ways you can go about doing this. First and foremost, if there is something you don't understand, you can stop after class or during study hall and tell the teacher which parts you're having trouble with and ask for clarification. The teacher is your primary resource for these things and that is their job. You can also go to your teacher and ask them if there are any books or other resources that you could go look for at your local library that might help you understand better. They can recommend a title for you to read along with the class material that might help you learn better. So don't get too frustrated that you don't have resources readily available in your school - there are resources out there if you look hard enough, and *anybody* who works hard enough can get as much education as they want to have.

I hope to see you back in this community someday, asking us about how to apply to college and then grad school =) we will be happy to help you out with both.
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