Today I had the opportunity to sit down, at lunch, with a very special fifth grade student. I thought it would be interesting to get her perspective on some of the questions, I have about public schools. While her responses were not necessarily earth shattering, they were candid. I won’t add any analysis at this time, but feel free to share your perspective in the comment section.
Me: What do you enjoy most about school?
Alina: I enjoy seeing my friends, and my teacher, every day.
Me: What do you like least about school?
Alina: I honestly don’t know. I don’t really have anything. I really like school.
Me: If you were given one day to study anything you wanted what would it be? How would you learn about that topic?
Alina: I would study science, because it is fun and you can try new things. I would read science books and try a lot of science experiments.
Me: How do you use technology at school?
Alina: We use it to look stuff up, but not to play games. We use sites like dictionary.com. We don’t use it a lot, we mostly have textbooks.
Me: How do you use technology at home?
Alina: I play games, like Minecraft. I also use it to learn new things. Like when I started to play Minecraft, I had no idea how to do it, so I looked it up on YouTube. I also use YouTube to learn songs, and how to draw things.
Me: Is there a class you don’t have that you wish you did?
Alina: I wish I had art class.
Me: What do you think is the most important class in school? Why?
Alina: Probably math, because it helps you figure stuff out. Like if you work at a restaurant, they usually have cash registers, but they might be broken. You just need math to know what is happening…a lot.
Me: How often do you hear about the AIMS test (Arizona’s high-stakes standardized test)?
Alina: A lot. Like in math, they will say if you don’t have a label, it might be counted wrong on the AIMS. Or, they say this is important, it will probably be on the AIMS test.
Me: How much homework do you have. How does it help you, and what don’t you like about it?
Alina: We have a lot of homework — usually three, or four subjects. It’s hard to explain how it helps me. Extra practice and help…I guess. I don’t like that we have so much homework.
Me: What do you want to be when you grow up? Why?
Alina: Either a teacher, or a veterinarian? Wait, is a veterinarian a vet? Yeah…a teacher, or a veterinarian? I would like to be a teacher because they get to be around kids all the time. I would like to be a veterinarian because they get to be around animals all the time.