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Reaching for the School Mark with Certainty

The word float from the line “students will float to the mark you set” by Mike Rose, I think perfectly describes my experience in Education (Rose 2009). It seems to me that as I wade through my school years , I was floating to a mark which I can barely make out , having the image of being reachable yet at the same unreachable. I believe that my own home life as well as the school system is responsible for the reachable and unreachable contradiction.

My own home life, being raised in a single parent home, is characteristically hard. Aside from the fact that my mother had to work two jobs just to put food on the table, I had to endure her physical abuse brought about by stress and her own frustrations in life. To shield myself from such a generally turbulent home life, I had to transfer from one home to another, from one grandparent to another, like a ball toss to and fro which left me dizzy and shaken most times.

This of course brought a nightmarish set up to my school life for I have to change school constantly. With an unstable family unit and school life, I never felt secure, rather I always had a feeling of abandonment, like I was floating away to God knows where because the secure anchor below was cut off. My school life added to my burdens. I could not find relief from its four walls but in some aspects tends to maximize what I lack. I felt sad that no one ever dropped me off from school, no one ever picked me up, and no one ever cared.

Moreover, in school, I often felt like an orphan and teachers would often give up on me because they felt like I was not trying enough and they did not understand what I was going through. My seeming forgetfulness brought mistreatment from them for they think it is a sign of my lack of interest in schoolwork, but the truth was I was just too preoccupied with my own personal problems. They seem not to have any interest to dig further so they have no idea how needy of guidance and security I was.

Sometimes I think they were unfair for in my opinion they focused more on the students who were already doing well and whose parents always checked in on them. As school progress, so was my floating dilemma intensifies, for I felt like I was pulled to float in two directions: to float away from the rigors of school demands and at the same time to float towards its demands so that I can be accepted by others. I feel like I can reach the mark yet at the same time cannot reach it due to some unexplainable prohibiting force. Fortunately, in high school someone rescued me from my school woes.

A teacher named Maria Carrera nurtured me and took time to talk to me always. She knew that something was wrong and therefore made the effort to help me deal with my problems. As she dig further from my struggling facade she began to understand why I was so tired all the time for she learned that I had to work fulltime throughout high school. That experience in a way had provided an anchor to my floating life, and I feel that for a while I was secure. Finally someone in school listened to me and was trying to bail me out from the pit.

Finally there was someone who tried to lighten my burdens and refused to criticize, judge and assess my personal worth through my scores. Finally someone dig further than the exams, quizzes and lectures and was reaching out to the person within. It was such a relief! I feel like someone was freeing me from a prison where I was unreasonably kept fort a long time. As I contemplate on my family life I feel like I was cheated out of a good education. There was not enough guidance and attention from my parents, especially with regards to my academic life.

In her book, Pushed to the Edge, Donna Corwin stressed the importance of parents preparing their children for the challenges of school, from competitions and peer pressures as well as the demands of getting good grades. But what happen to me was the opposite, I have to find my way out of those challenges on my own, and since I do not have any strong foundation I was not as competent as I should have been but had to struggle with my writing and study skills. I believe the educational system is also responsible for my set backs in academia.

Its attention are only focused on scores and grades and marks , never assessing at first what could prevent the students from getting good scores or even finishing their education. In my opinion, grammar schools should have mandatory counseling sessions for every student at the beginning of the year to see if anything is going on at home that may prevent the student from succeeding. They should remember that school results are not dissociated from the students who made them. Home life and school system highly affects the educational life of a person. In education, there is always a mark to reach.

The ability to reach this mark is governed by how good home life and school system is in preparing the person to reach the mark. In both areas, I think, in my experience, that there should be less focus on the mark but on the persons who make the mark. Then in that case, the students can clearly make out the mark and not to be entangled in seeming contradiction of its being reachable and unreachable at the same time.


Corwin, Donna G. (2003). Pushed to the Edge. New York: Berkeley Publishing Group. Rose, Mike. “I Just Wanna Be Average. ” Online: http://userwww. sfwsu. edu/~mmartin/Rose. pdf Accessed 2/02/09

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