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Problems in my High School Campus

A high school campus is a hotbed for problems. These problems range from the very mundane to the seriously complicated. The cocktail of hormones in a high school campus and the tension that learning most often creates make for a very conducive atmosphere for problems to arise. While these problems may vary in shape, size, and type it is a fact that one problem may arise from a single, seemingly innocent root; and while it is not all the time that this root cause may be addressed immediately, there are ways to remedy other more tangible problems, if not palliatively, at least until the root cause is finally identified and addressed.

In my own high school campus, the situation is no different. This is due largely to the fact that adolescents are the same everywhere in the world. Some may consider the students the root cause of the problem, but in my own opinion, the students merely respond to situations, and make the matter of surviving in a high school campus a serious issue to deal with. The problems that I have identified in my own high school campus can easily be categorized into three major categories; problems involving the physical environment, problems involving the social environment, and those involving the organizational environment.

The problems involving the physical environment are the lack of nature-friendly areas within the campus, the garbage problem, as well as the vandalism in the campus. Those involving the social environment would be the existence of peer groups that have different or opposing interests, the lack of peer support for some students, the inability of some of the students to cope with the social system of high school, and other individual problems that tend to have causes outside of the school campus like family orientations, personal problems, drug addiction, alcoholism, pregnancies, and financial conditions.

Finally, the third category which is (your family name) 3 organizational environment problems would include issued involving the staff, faculty, and administration; these are the inability of the organization to relate to the students, the hostile attitude of some faculty members resulting from sometimes inaccurate general stereotyping of students, the incompetence of some faculty members in the teaching profession, and the lack of discipline of the students who are a vital part of the educational organization.

In a high school campus it is important that the students are given ample exposure to the ecosystem to help them appreciate nature more and to reap the benefits of a green environment at a tender age. In my campus, there are no areas on site where students can sit under a tree, relax, read a book or chat with his/her friends. This may be viewed as a potential problem because eventually the students will have a weak appreciation and concern for the ecosystem. This will result to various other problems that are associated with an unhealthy environmental concern.

Students may become more careless about their trash, hence causing a garbage problem inside the campus. Other than this, the absence of trees and plants in the campus can accelerate the effects of air pollution on the young students; because there are no trees or plants, more emissions will be in the air and students will be more exposed to high temperatures because of the absence of natural shade. In addition, students in the campus also tend to throw their garbage anywhere, resulting to eyesores on the walks and on the grounds.

This is compounded by the problem of vandalism – while some consider it a form of art, the destruction of property is a crime punishable by law, and aside from just this, there is the growing concern of vandalism being a very unsightly view for visitors and for the students themselves. The presence of vandalism speaks very less of the kind of high school that we are in. (your family name) 4 Social problems also exist within the high school campus. The most common of these problems is the existence of peer groups and factions that tend to isolate other students.

Isolation is a problem that can be very common among adolescents, and to add to this, factions are also almost always involved in conflicts that result to violence inside or outside the school. These factions, more than just being nuisances, also affect the learning process by disrupting it at times. There are also students, who require a more intimate mode of support in their learning, and because of the impersonality of a high school campus, these students are not able to acquire that kind of support from their peers; and in the end, their studies suffer.

Affirmation and constant encouragement from peers can do miracles to a growing adolescent’s perception of learning, and the absence of this affirmation and encouragement can do great damage. Other than these, there are also students, who because of underlying emotional or psychological problems are unable to cope with the discriminating high school social system. These students in particular are most likely to end up isolating themselves from the rest of the students and closeting themselves, away from the social circles, and possibly, away from the prospect of more holistic and quality learning.

While in these students, the problem mostly originates from situations outside of the campus, the effects of their individual and personal problems serve to dislodge their attention from the issue at hand which is the acquisition of knowledge through high school education. Finally, there are also problems that exist in my high school involving the organizational system or the institution. The inability of the faculty, staff and administration to identify or relate to the students causes a widening gap between the student and any institution of learning.

Furthermore, there are certain faculty members who take a step ahead and base their approach to the students on general stereotypes – like the stereotypes they have of adolescent students, those (your family name) 5 with a different religion, and those who belong to a different race, in particular. This general stereotyping either causes the teacher to employ a hostile approach, or one that excludes the student from instruction. This can be very demeaning and damaging to the student’s ability and capacity to learn.

Some teachers are also not very familiar with their subject matter and tend to become very incompetent in their profession. It should be noted that the transfer of knowledge requires that the source is knowledgeable enough to initiate this transfer; otherwise, the information transferred is very inaccurate or useless to the receptive party. Sometimes incompetence can come in the form of low quality teaching approaches. Approaches that are old-school can be very boring and can therefore hamper the transfer of knowledge.

Finally, in this category is the problem of discipline which is common, not only in my high school campus but in many other campuses all over the country as well. Discipline should come hand in hand with education otherwise, the standard of education suffers. Unruly classrooms, teachers who do not have the respect of students, smoking in the lavatories, bullies, and disorder in the cafeterias are all classic signs of the lack of discipline among students.

There are many approaches to solving these problems and if the school would just consider the voice of the students, much of these solutions can actually come from the students themselves. In the problem of the school environment, the school or student organizations can launch tree planting campaigns and advocacies against improper solid waste management. The school can impose stricter penalties on littering as well as on the destruction of school property or vandalism.

A more optimistic approach to the problem of vandalism would be to come up with a venue for student expression such as a free wall where everybody can do and write what they want. Adolescents have so much excess energy and this energy has to find a way out, so if (your family name) 6 the school does not provide venues for release, the students will tend to just make do with whatever is available, regardless of the law or the institutional rules and regulations. In problems involving the social environment, the school can come up with a peer assistance program that will help counsel other students.

Most of the time, adolescents respond easily to those in their age groups and having a peer counsellor or a peer support group in the school can encourage a healthy exchange of ideas and the eventual opening up of students who have a hostile view of the campus social environment. This will also help in allowing individual problems to surface; this alone can have many beneficial effects to the social situation in the high school campus. All these should be done with education in the background, otherwise, the attempt will be vain and the real problem of the difficulty in the facilitation of education for these kinds of students is overlooked.

With regards to the problems of the organizational environment, teachers, staff, and administrators should be more understanding when dealing with the students on the concept that adolescents are not only very sensitive but also have a leaning towards indiscriminate, irrational, and unreasonable retribution. Most of the time, the problem is a result of a vicious cycle that begins with the teacher, and levelling up with the students would help break this chain of unproductivity.

Teachers should also be more open with their perceptions of the students; they have to give the students a chance to prove themselves, if not once, or twice, even more because, after all, their job is to do just that, to encourage the students to become the best in whatever they are doing. Academic problems can be solved in the same way; students who tend to be weak in a particular subject are simply so because they either have a general perception of the subject at hand or enter the classroom with a negative perception of that particular subject, hence, no (your family name) 7 further progress can be achieved with this kind of mindset.

Teachers should also take every opportunity to enhance their educational approaches. The adaptation of more innovative means of knowledge transfer employing other, more unconventional media will make the learning process more interesting. Learning should not be limited to the four walls of the classroom. Finally, to remedy the discipline problems, the approach should not be the ‘punishment’ approach, otherwise, students would tend to harbour fear instead of the desire to be of service to the institution. A ‘punishment’ approach becomes a potential hotbed for other discipline related problems.

A more effective approach to discipline with adolescent students would be the ‘reward’ approach – instead of punishing a student for bad deeds, a reward should be given for good deeds. This positive approach is more understandable to the complex mind of the adolescent or teenager. These problems are what I have in my own high school campus, and although I may just be one of the many students, my concern is directed towards being able to learn whatever I can in high school; things that I know will be of great use to me when I move on to conquer the real world.

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