type your message below

Your e-mail:

(or contact Karl in other ways)



High school and college are different. I think most people can understand that. So why are they so darn similar, even though they're two totally different worlds?

Really, think about it. High school and college consist of students in two, much different stages of development. Those in college are usually more "adult-like" than their high school counterparts. Also, the majority of people in college can legally drink alcohol, making it less scary than high school, since those people will also be able to stomach and not get totally crazy with two beers in their system.

The school buildings themselves are much different in college and high school, as well. High schools are usually pretty self-contained structures, usually at the most only consisting of two or three different buildings, but most often just being one big complex of adolescence. Colleges are pretty much little towns populated with all sorts of different people who are paying just to live there.

And that's one of the key differences between college and high school. High school is free, and you're pretty much made to go. Whether you like it or not (unless you're really brave and decide to drop out) , you're stuck there for four years.

College, on the other hand, is exclusive. It's the Playboy Club of education. If you have the credentials to actually get in, you'll have to keep up your grades and life to stay. Here's a couple of ways you could get kicked out of a college, which would never happen in a high school: getting too low of a grade, throwing a huge party at your apartment, or looking the wrong way at the school's president.

So what does this mean? Students in college want to be there, but not always so in high school. Once a student looks at their bill for a couple of college classes they could've taken in high school, they then realize, "Whoa, maybe I shouldn't have gotten stoned every day before first period... Oh man..."

Since students have to be in high school, does this mean teachers shouldn't have to be great since the students themselves aren't directly paying? No. That's warped thinking, but I think that some public school teachers have this concept in their minds.

Of course, treating high school kids like college kids doesn't work, either. Just take a look at a class I'm enrolled in at Bismarck State College's Vocational-Technical Center, which is for classes at the college that high school students can be enrolled in and earn high school credits for, all while having "college-level" instruction.

There's a problem with this: we're in high school, not college. We're not paying to be there for our two hours every day. We're just there because we filled in a couple bubbles on a computer sheet. However, the teachers have in their minds that we should be treated like college students, which is wrong. We need strictness, or else we'll overwhelm the college professors who are used to being able to say, "You're talking? Get the *expletive* out of my classroom."

So where's the happy medium? Well, teachers must treat us high school students for what we are. Teachers must be inventive with us, and give us a reason for coming and giving the teacher our time. We have to be there, but that doesn't mean we have to pay a bunch of attention. We just have to pass, nothing more. The real catch for teachers: make us want to get a grade higher than a D-minus.

One of the only things I can think of for students who get low grades is that the teachers aren't giving them a reason for coming. Kids have to be there, but we don't have to pay attention. A teacher must make us want to learn. Otherwise, I don't think they should be paid.

Questions? Thoughts? Concerns? Dinner and a movie? Contact us.
Karl Becker, the author of all these articles, uses New Tricks for his writings.

Try it out now!

© 2004 KB Productions | contact us


... High school and college are different. I thin...

The URL for the page is: