Ms. Hunter why do you ask us to do more than minimum?

I work at an after school program for a private school outside of Harrisburg, PA. I observe students after the school day is over. It’s has been very interesting to watch the dynamics between the staff, students, parents and educators. I have a friend who graduated from their high school program which from my understanding is rigorous. Most of the middle schools that I work with won’t be going to the upper school.

It pains me to see students waste so much of their time on their mobile devices because they had too many study halls or that their time in study club is equivalent to a social hour. How can I create a sense of over achievement for these students to put aside video games and instead read a book? I talk to them a lot about how fortunate they are that they not only go to school but are afforded private education. Sometimes I look at my students and wonder how they know so much about the opposite sex but aren’t equally exemplary in their academic pursuits. There is no shortage of people caring here, but its clear that a conversation about the schools culture hasn’t been addressed.

I can only imagine what struggles are facing public schools that may not have an as engaged PTA. Or the fiscal resources. How do you breed self motivating excellence especially when you don’t have direct influence?

“Ms. Hunter why do you ask us to do more than minimum?” is a question I hope to never be asked again…