Monthly Archives: November 2016

Students can help themselves be successful

By Michael Taylor

Staff Writer

American high school students are failing. How can they be successful?

Students can stop rushing and do work slowly and accurately.

Instead of focusing on the amount of homework they have, they can do a small part of it.

If a student is getting stressed, they can take a five-minute break, then continue, or try a different approach to the work.

Students can ask their friends for help. They must make sure their friends don´t give them the answers.

Students can also email teachers if they are really struggling. This site offers ways to ask for help effectively.

If a student is getting stressed about schoolwork, I recommend quietly thinking or meditating for five to 10 minutes.

If a student needs to remember something for a test, they can try to write in blue ink, which has been shown to spark creativity. This will increase their chances of remembering what they write. Writing it down at all is helpful to remember things, and using quizlet flashcards also helps some people.

Students can create a small power station in their room where they can recharge. It could have some of their favorite things, like photos, fresh flowers, marbles, stuffed animals and anything else they think is appropriate. This is a small area where they can feel at ease to take the stress of the school day off.

Chamomile tea is also proven to have a calming effect, in case of a particularly tough day.

I don’t recommend watching a television series to calm down, because this will distract students from their work. Instead, they can pick up a book or take a nap.

Following these tips could make students more successful.


Students want more flexibility

Students aren’t doing well for a reason

Students want more flexibility

By Michael Taylor

Staff Writer

Izzy Watjen, a sophomore at Summit Tahoma High School, argued that the American school system is ineffective in teaching students what they need to know for life. 


Izzy Watjen wants to see school adapt.

She disapproves of the amount of homework teachers assign. “Most schools give five to six hours of homework, and grades are viewed as more important than the students’ well being,¨ Watjen said.

Watjen thinks schools are not taking into account individual differences. ¨One of my favorite quotes is, ´Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid,´ which I think exemplifies our school system,¨ she said, citing an Einstein quote.

She thinks traditional tests and lectures are overrated. ¨It is very boring to sit and listen to lectures and take tests all day, and the students don’t care about school anymore because of it,¨ Watjen said.

Watjen thinks schools should stop pressuring students to get good grades. ¨A lot of students have depression and/or anxiety, and the pressure to get good grades sends some over the edge,¨ she said.

She also has some advice for schools. ¨Stop stressing grades’ importance,¨ Watjen said.


Students aren’t doing well for a reason

Students can help themselves be successful


Students aren’t doing well for a reason

By Michael Taylor

Staff Writer    

High school is supposed to teach teens, but America’s school system is highly flawed.

According to a 2015 study by the Princeton Review, only 10 percent of students say succeeding in school is important because they value learning.                        

Over 40 percent of high school students in the study reported that their main academic drive is getting into college.

Furthermore, 50 percent of students in the study said their parents encourage them to do better when they receive bad grades, while 77 percent of parents say they do.

According to Shireen Jaffer, a 2011 graduate of Palo Alto High School and a 2014 University of Southern California grad, students are taught to fear failure and discouraged to think imperfectly.

The Princeton Review also found that stress is preventing students from succeeding. Although failure is a growth opportunity in the real world, it is punished in high school.

Students in the Princeton Review study said that they spent one-third of study time feeling worried, stressed, or stuck.

Ms. Jaffer said students believe school discourages teamwork and genuine learning.

Parents aren’t doing their part. The Princeton Review study said 64 percent of students feel they cannot turn to parents for academic support because their parents are not familiar with concepts.

The study also found that parents of boys are more likely than parents of girls to say their child’s favorite subject is math, even though boys and girl choose it equally. This would mean that schools are promoting gender inequality.

Finally, the study also found that 43 percent of students say their parents check in about their grades more often than monthly, leaving 76 percent without the support of their parents.


Students want more flexibility

Students can help themselves be successful