What should school teach us - through the eyes of a thirteen year old girl

AmCham intern, 13-year-old Simona Vašáková, offers her first-hand look at the education system.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: SME)

I was born in Brussels and spoke French since childhood. My parents are both Slovak and when I was six years old we moved back to Slovakia. It was an obvious choice to enroll me and my sisters into the French International school in Bratislava. Since it is a private school my point of view might differ from other children in Slovakia.

Now that I am in 9th grade, I can reflect on my experience so far. There are both advantages and disadvantages to studying in a private school. My school offers a lot of opportunities, like this internship which is an obligatory part of my education. I also appreciate the multiple trips to different countries, where I get to discover new places. For example, last year we went to Berlin. We learned about the Cold War history and being there made it more real and significant to remember. I would like to encourage teaching more at the actual places rather than in classes and only through books.

Also, I like the diversity of cultures within an international school, which influences the students to become open-minded and more tolerant. Since the classes are smaller in number, each student receives more personal attention. However, it can also affect the atmosphere in the way of meeting friends. From my personal experience in a small class, you may face rejection and truly struggle to find new friends.

What I like about my teachers is that they are understanding, friendly and receive the needed respect during class. I have never experienced teachers in public schools but I can tell from what I heard from my friends that teachers can be kind but sometimes also difficult to respect, while they teach. I guess it is because they do not manage to give personal attention to each student. One thing that I like about public school is that every student has the chance to make a lot of friends and spend time with them. While I am studying up to 4 PM they finish earlier.

I have noticed that there is a big difference between each public school. Some offer their students various opportunities and a good education; others struggle in motivating their students in wanting to learn.

When I think about motivation I do not think about grades. In fact, in modern education methods, students do not receive grades. Motivation should be the desire to learn and the desire to become better. I think teachers play a big role in inspiring their students. Unfortunately, teachers not always have the opportunity to be creative and teach outside the curriculum. Maybe the curriculum could have more interesting topics that would truly be useful in our lives.

A good education is one that helps us discover who we are, and what we want to do later on in life. In order to succeed, education needs to prepare us for the professional world. That is why it should help us develop our talents and skills, help us learn about different professions and even experience them. This will help us make a good choice and start thinking of ways we want to contribute to the world.

Each one of us should try to do things which will help the world, even though he or she may not benefit from them. Because older generations did that for us, hoping it would improve our lives, we should do the same for the future generations as well.

For me school, is the place where you live out your childhood. It is a place with a lot of memories and a place full of friends. But school is not just that, it helps you grow, achieve and succeed later on. It is a place where you learn, discover and most of all have fun.

School should prepare us for real life. In order to achieve that, it needs to be more practical, help you set objectives and help you achieve them later. It needs to encourage knowledge and teach how to apply it, promote creativity and focus on developing speaking skills. The environment created should be motivating and joyful. That’s why teachers should be passionate and knowledgeable in their field. And most of all committed to the students’ advancement and achievement.

In my point of view education is a process that prepares you for real life and gives you the tools to advance in society. For example, innovations and computer science should be the focus of today’s schools because these skills will definitely be a part of our future.

I feel that both in private and public schools there is something to improve. I would like them to motivate students by making the topics and lessons more interesting. The most important focus should be on helping us become better people who are just, honest, generous and caring towards others and the world that we live in.

Simona Vašáková is student at the French International School in Bratislava and intern at AmCham Slovakia

Originally published in Connection, the magazine published by AmCham Slovakia

(Source: AmCham)

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