The State of American Education

Growing up in America, I have developed certain expectancies of my country and what is to be gained through its various institutions. America is currently in the need of altruistic leaders with heightened awareness towards child development in early education regardless of a school’s location on American soil. This can be accomplished by engaging children in arts and education all while providing a safe haven for them to engage in peer interaction. It sounds simple but not all institutions are created equal, some lack funding while others vary in tiers within our educational system. America, while considering itself a powerhouse among nations, has a responsibility of providing educational systems and institutions the ability to properly prepare a young mind for success. Whether or not America has provided that is debatable.

The focus on education is important for families; especially those who are surviving in areas of poorly developed educational institutions, which is typically based off the area and its politics. How our youth see our country is greatly determined by their atmosphere and upbringing, similarities to the school system are more than coincidence. It’s simple to think that we can balance the opposites of poor performance in education and even tip the scale in our children’s favor by replacing poor educational institutions with solid educational arenas along with hiring well to do teachers. Planting seeds of inspiration in the hearts and minds of our youth may be more difficult if the children find themselves bored or distracted within the classroom due to disinterest or difficulty learning. There is a stronger possibility of engaging a child when the focus is on our child’s strengths and interests. Implementing artistic and emotional expressions as courses is important for a developing child’s mind. It can challenge their way of looking at the world by connecting with others on a level separate from strictly industrialized standards of learning as we are used to. Creative inspiration can come from teachers who have developed their craft through lived experience and practice. By applying these crafts to education, children can have fun all while strengthening their intelligence. Because not all children have the same areas of interest, we need to be able to adhere to all angles of learning and growth. This will allow them to feel a want for education and not have the typical humdrum approach to school. We cannot lose the interest of children who show creative and artistic qualities over those with more analytical minds. We mustn’t force them into molds; rather we should encourage their want for art and music and develop disciplines and leadership through these types of courses.

Former ways of teaching and learning worked for America when it was in its industrial stage but as we further our journey through technological advances and status roles within households continue to change, standards are altered and academic direction should only be in a forward motion along with it. Children of all genders have seen opportunities become available but at this point the possibility of obtaining these opportunities varies depending upon what economic class the child is from. Living in an impoverished area allowed me to see the difference between public and private school teaching for both demographics. Being in a private school in an impoverished area for all of my adolescent years, I was fortunate to have scored high on standardized tests, proving to be at the top of my class. How that varied from public education in the same area was dramatic, in where the quality of my education was far greater than what was offered in public schools. However, in comparison to public schools in other areas where poverty was not so much an issue, my high marks from the impoverished private school education only placed me at a mediocre acceptance level when I transferred school systems. Schools in areas where poverty was not a problematic issue were able to offer developed art and music programs, all the while having teachers care and concern be primarily focused on the child’s best interest. Private schools in these same areas were much more advanced academically and artistically with their programs. Because an area is poor, children are forced to have poor education in that area. By looking at worldwide rankings in education, America is proving itself as a country that cannot and will not look out for its own during early education. Young students are pitted against each other in competition of admission to the better schools within each district. Competition is great but the variation between academic environments should not be so stark. I believe we can change that reality of academia in America.

For my family, America is not just a country but also a home where we wish to have our future generations advance and prosper. The idea of giving back and continuing to develop our poorer communities is a passion of mine. There should be fun, educational atmospheres for children, regardless of their location. Finding funding for these areas can prove difficult especially in impoverished areas. I come from a background of educators, social workers, caregivers, and artistically/musically inclined relatives who have all benefitted from education in various ways. Through creative approaches toward education and the allowance of self-expression and creativity, my family has instilled in me the importance of mental development and its effect on peer relations in education and beyond. They’ve prepared me, taught me, led me, and inspired me to become an asset to my community and country. Unfortunately, not all students have that advantage. Because of this, teachers in this current era need to be able to wear more than the hat of educator. Some teachers are fulfilling roles that are missing in some homes. Fatherless children look up to male teachers while children from motherless homes can look to female teachers as role models. In some instances home life in America is too difficult for a student and a teacher may feel as though they need to counsel their student. In areas where violence is high, teachers have to take on a role of protector.

There are many factors that come into play when approaching the role of teacher. Academic administrations expect teachers to balance the workload of the state’s curriculum while taking on whatever outside challenges effects their students’ lives. How teachers deal with this pressure may affect the quality of their teaching. With less government funding toward education, communities are forced to depend on themselves for the success of their institutions. The focus on America’s budget could be reevaluated when determining what shares are applied to expenses for education, but realistically it’s a matter of what is done with the budget when appropriated to each individual council. As a community member who hopes to one day raise a family, I would like to see fundraising opportunities in support of academics that proudly sponsor courses in arts and music in neighborhoods. This would compensate for the lack of government funding toward our schools that could suffer from possible budget cuts. One issue is getting great quality educators to poor quality areas. An incentive of higher pay would be nice but if a school is too poor to afford accurate, current textbooks or teaching software and materials then it is up to the teacher to be creative in their teaching approach. If the teacher cannot do this then the child will fail to gain a quality education. This is where art and creative mindsets can be useful once more. Fundraising is one way that communities come together for one overall goal. Placing education at the center of a community provides a strong foundation to grow upon. Gaining the support of private investors becomes problematic when you cannot connect with them. Art and music are great when bringing people together. It is often the attraction for entertainment and allows communities to bond over one shared interest. Why not allow early opportunities for all children who wish to develop skills in these areas?

It is with high hopes that we as a country can start seeing the importance of art and creativity in the classroom. While we want our children to be intelligent, it takes knowledge and understanding of cultures to live together and gel as a society. Art and music are important parts of social interactions whether academic administrations choose to realize it or not. The arts help by providing us a release from everyday stresses. Every person has a possible appreciation for art and music; it is all a matter of taking notice. Depending upon its production, art can appeal to more than one human sense. While math and science are major necessities, we cannot expect to run strictly off of their principles. Educational institutions need to provide options for self-expression and development and the arts are a perfect way of doing so. If we can find a way to keep these areas of education in our school systems, we may be able to retain the interest of education in our youth. This will further strengthen our communities and the quality of students that make up its future leaders for generations to come.

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