Walter Bannerman is a seventh grader at the Global Scholars Academy in Durham.
I am currently a 7th grade student at a public charter school in Durham. In an article written about my current school, I recently made the comment, “In the school I went to before, … the teachers slowed learning down for us…but I didn’t need that.”
I attended a private Christian school and a traditional public school before. In the past, some of my teachers didn’t want me to answer the questions because I “already knew it.” But students need to keep growing mentally, so why stop us from participating to do less?
I think most teachers think restricting above average students from learning more is helping them stay on track for the next grade level. To me, this is a waste of our time. I had a teacher that would punish me or give me extra busy work that was unnecessary for my success if I went ahead of the lesson. If someone makes you do work that you know all the answers to then you could become lazy about doing the work. I also think that is why some above average students get in trouble. They are bored and want to talk to other kids in the classroom.
Teachers need different strategies for different students. For above average students, let us finish early and move on to another topic.
I am currently at a great school where there are small classes, great and encouraging teachers, and a great principal you can meet with if you have an issue. School is more fun when teachers allow you to learn at your own pace.