The Difference Between A Students and C Students: Why Getting Cs Might Be Better for You

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The difference between an A student and a C student seems like a big deal. A students get awards and scholarships to keep studying. The grade certainly gets more important as you get older. However, grades are more often a reflection of mentality towards cooperating with the system established your teacher.

Some of the world’s most famous scientists were historically poor students. This includes Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein. So it’s too simplistic to assume that the difference between an A student and a C student is intelligence.

Instead of assuming that A is good and C is bad, what would happen if we reverse that question? What does a C student look like that could be an actual advantage over their peers with higher GPAs?

C students don’t assume the teacher and the textbook are correct

C students question commonly accepted assumptions. Some of the world’s greatest startup founders grew grew their into a household name because they refused to assume what everyone else took for granted. If you’re getting a C, it could mean you are willing to view things as they truly are and question assumptions instead of following what everyone else accepts.

C students take time to enjoy life

Many adults work hard in careers where they focus on economizing every minute of every day, but it’s alright to stop and smell the roses. It’s healthy to appreciate life, and sometimes success-driven A students can miss this in their quest for GPA excellence.

C students think about the future

An A student is someone who reacts to the requirements set by their teacher so they can get provide an appropriate response in the present and get a good grade. C students can imagine what the future could look like and follow their imagination instead. They trade a short-come outcome for a worldview that could be super valuable in 5-10 years.

C students hate the 5-paragraph essay

Let’s face it: no one reads a 5-paragraph essay unless they are in school. The truth is that your ability to use English will represent the limits of the world around you. The research process it teaches may be valuable, but the format is useful only for getting As. C students find more creative ways to express their points through extensive reading.

C students have bumps and scars, and that’s a good thing

First, if you experience bullying you should speak with a trusted adult. That is not the kind of bump and scar we are talking about here! Instead, the bumps and scars are the failures, frustrations, and bad grades that keep your grade at a C. These are not simply good stories to tell friends later on. A C gives you the opportunity to develop your character and resolve to really do something instead of fitting into the “good student” mold.

Not all C students are equal

If you are getting Cs, spend most of your time playing Fortnite, and scroll through Instagram for hours a day, it might be better to focus on getting As. At least then it will be easier to get a nice job later and have time to play.

The big secret adults don’t tell you is that life later on can be extremely easy for you if you work hard while you are young. But if you do not work hard now, life will be much harder when you get older.

So if you are getting Cs and think critically about the world, take heart! There is more to life than grades.

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Physics and our universe: 10 things you didn’t know about Stephen Hawking

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Physic and our universe make for a fascinating discussion. Stephen Hawking made an incredible impact on the world for his ability to understand the universe in complex ways. Here are some of his greatest ideas about aliens and black holes, plus a little about his background.

Hawking believed in aliens

Hawking believes in a low probability of finding intelligent alien life in the next 20 years. With a huge universe, Hawking thinks it’s very likely  intelligent alien life exists somewhere. However, the cosmologist also thinks humans should be careful about contacting them. Such life forms would likely try to destroy us or at least use earth for resources. In 2010, Hawking publicly stated

if aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.

Even so, Hawking supported Breakthrough listen, a research program dedicated to finding alien life but not contacting it.

Hawking was a pop-culture icon

An increasing number of scientists today are developing public personas of their own, but none has made an impact like Stephen Hawking. For years, he’s made public appearances and guest starred on popular TV shows like The Simpsons, Futurama, The Big Bang Theory, and Star Trek. These cameos often showcase his staggering intelligence and trademark dry humor alongside some light good-natured self deprecation. As a result, he’s become a household name for people of all ages. References to the scientist can also be found in a number of songs, comics, video games, and movies. This proves he really influences every part of pop culture.

Hawking was a betting man

Stephen Hawking loves making science bets, but his track record does not impress. He once bet that the existence of the Higgs boson would never be proven. However, scientists found the Higgs boson at CERN in 2012 thanks to the Large Hadron Collider.

Before that, Hawking teamed up with fellow theoretical physicist Kip Thorne in a bet against John Prescott about the black hole information paradox. Hawking and Thorne believed the information that falls into black holes get destroyed, but Prescott said no. The public found out about the original bet in 1997. But it wasn’t until 2004 that Hawking officially admitted his opinion on the matter had evolved.

Hawking was a mediocre student

Like many of our greatest thinkers, school was initially not a great time for Stephen Hawking. Hawking earned average grades at best. In 2010, professor Hawking admitted that he was a lazy student from grade school all the way to his time at Oxford. He didn’t really learn how to read until he was 8:

I wasn’t the best student at all. My handwriting was bad and I could be lazy.

Even so, his schoolmates saw his potential for greatness and nicknamed him Einstein. Fortunately, one math teacher inspired him in both math and science. Mr. Tata opened his eyes to a blueprint of the universe itself. Once he was diagnosed with ALS, Hawking really began to consider his own mortality. He focused on his work to make something of himself in the time he had left.

Hawking was a great rower

While at Oxford, the young Stephen Hawking felt bored with classes and needing social interaction. To try something new, he joined the school’s boat club. Before his illness, he was one of the most important members of his crew. With his strong voice and slight build, the role fit him perfectly.

Hawking actually proved to be a bit reckless, steering his crew through narrow spaces and often damaging the boats as a result. One of his crewmates even labeled him the adventurous type. His dedication made him very popular with his crew and soon his social life was booming with parties and friendly practical joking.

Hawking was British

The casting of British actor Eddie Redmayne as Hawking for the 2014 film The Theory of Everything may have surprised some people. After all, the computerized voice we know and love has an accent that’s decidedly not British.

Today, the digitized voice has become his trademark. However, Stephen Hawking really was born and raised in England. In 1985, he underwent a life-saving tracheotomy after contracting pneumonia. Unfortunately, the operation robbed him of his ability to speak. He began using a specialized computer program to communicate. Hawking spoke with an American accent using his now computerized voice. He also underwent many upgrades to his method of communication after 1985, but he copyrighted his voice and kept it as part of his identity.

Hawking was a prolific writer

Even though he can’t physically write or speak, his old speech system worked well. Hawking wrote five books with it including A Brief History of Time which topped the Sunday Times bestseller list for over five years, longer than any other book besides the Bible and Shakespeare works.

Though he was already famous within the scientific community, Stephen Hawking truly came to the public’s attention in 1988 with the release of A Brief History of Time. He had wanted to write a science book that would actually connect with readers, and he succeeded by covering everything from black holes to quantum theory. It became a best-seller, spending almost 150 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and selling over 10 million copies.

However, Hawking’s more impressive feat came in completing this comprehensive work even with nearly full paralysis and an inability to speak. Hawking authored many other books afterwards as well including George’s secret key to the universe, a science book for children.

Hawking’s speech synthesizer was state-of-the-art

Stephen Hawking synthesized voice is instantly recognizable to anyone who hears it. Despite his medical issues, his amazing speech generating device allows him to communicate. The first model worked entirely via a clicker clutched in his hand. This led him to select words and commands on a device attached to his wheelchair. However, ALS paralyzed Hawking’s body. He lost the use of his clicking hand. This resulted in an update that allowed him to choose words by moving his cheek muscle. As his condition got worse, a team at Intel added more updates. This made it possible for Hawking to more quickly open documents, construct sentences, and prepare full lectures.

Hawking never won a Nobel Prize

Stephen Hawking was a genius and his theories advanced our understanding of the universe. But his trophy case is missing one of the highest honors in science. Hawking earned other great distinctions by becoming a fellow of the Royal Society in 1974. He also received twelve honorary degrees over the years. However, his known work is the theory that predicts that black holes emit radiation that gradually evaporates.

Because Nobel Prizes are reserved for confirmed discoveries and Hawking radiation is still technically theoretical, no award has yet been granted.

Hawking inspired the world for decades after his diagnosis

After noticing some newfound clumsiness and slurred speech, Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS in 1963. The doctors told the ambitious 21 year-old that he only had two years to live. Shortly before this bad news, he had met a pretty girl at a party. Despite his diagnosis he and Jane Wilde began dating and were soon engaged, which Hawking credits with giving him something to live for. Against all odds, Hawking continued to try to live normally for as long as possible.

ALS did eventually take its toll, but not his life. Thanks to groundbreaking technology and the help of family and friends over 50 years later he defied the odds.

Content from WatchMojo

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5 Reasons Why Finland Has The Best Education System

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There are many reasons why Finland has the best education system in the world, but here in the United States, we still love to brag about being number one.

Except when it comes to education. To learn about the state of education in the US, click here.

In education, the US regularly ranks around 37th in the world. Frankly, many of us are lucky we can spell USA well enough to chant it in sporting events!

But Finland consistently rates among the best in the world in education. The small Nordic country best known for giving the world Nokia phones, angry birds, and heavy metal music is actually a leader in world education.

Not only does Finland have the highest high school graduation rate in Europe but on International tests, Finnish students regularly rank near the top in reading, math and science.

And the Finns do this without overloading kids with endless hours of homework or turning school into mindless drudgery.

So why does Finland have the best educational system on earth (or maybe Singapore too)?

Here are the 5 reasons that set Finland apart:

Reason number 1: No child gets left behind

Finland provides all families, particularly low-income families, with a huge social safety net. The Finish government sends a baby box of supplies to every family with a newborn child. From then on, childcare is heavily subsidized. This allows most families to send their children to some form of early childhood education.

Finland’s public schools also concentrate on making sure that every student achieves basic proficiency in the subjects that they study. This is one of the reasons why the achievement gap that exists between the rich and poor is so low in Finland.

Reason number 2: They’re way more relaxed

Finnish children don’t even start school until they turn 7. Once they’re in school, they get almost triple the amount of recess time as American students. They’re rarely assigned homework until high school and they almost never take standardized tests. In fact, Finnish students are only required to take one standardized test and that’s not until the end of high school.

Reason number 3: Teachers are actually respected

Becoming a teacher isn’t easy in Finland. There are only 8 universities that offer the Master’s programs required to earn a teaching credential. Furthermore, only one in ten applicants get accepted to the programs, so it’s no surprise that teachers in Finland receive roughly the same level of respect as doctors and lawyers. Thanks to powerful unions, Finnish teachers only spent 4 hours a day in the classroom and take 2 hours a week for professional development. They also don’t have to deal with merit pay.

Reason number 4: Finns believe that less is more

When it comes to education, patience, hands-on learning, and focusing on problem-solving are more important than listening to lectures, mindless test preparations, and memorization of information that students will probably forget as soon as they leave the exam room. Finnish teachers don’t race through lessons to cram as much information as possible into student’s heads so that the students can then spit that information back out on a standardized test. Instead they give a priority to moving slowly and taking as much time as necessary to thoroughly investigate fewer topics but in much greater depth.

Reason number 5: Finns have fewer social problems

Finland may not be a socialist paradise, but it’s pretty close. Almost everyone in Finland is middle class, so income inequality is a big issue. Almost all Finnish kids come to school well fed, rested, and ready to learn. There are no metal detectors and no cops patrolling the school hallways. Finland also has far fewer immigrant students. Only one in forty students in Finnish schools have immigrant parents compared to US public schools where one in five have immigrant parents.

That means there are not nearly as many kids in Finland schools who are trying to learn math, science and history in a completely new language while also trying to learn that new language itself.

What can Americans learn from this?

So should we in the US just admit that the Finns know education better than we do and go ahead and abandon our system and adopt theirs?

That would be quite difficult.

There are plenty of ways to learn from countries like Finland that do things very differently but have a proven track record of achieving better results. Our role is to be more open to what educational innovators are doing around the globe. If we could stop shouting ‘We’re number one” long enough to listen, that will be a great start.

Content courtesy of The Young Turks

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Why Singapore Education Is Better And What the United States Can Learn From It

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This article describes the state of education in Singapore. To read about the state of education in the US, click here.

They budget for education in both money and land resources

Every weekday morning across the small island nation of Singapore, children arrive at state schools while the children come from different economic and cultural backgrounds. They are all offered the same quality of instruction with 20% of the national budget devoted to education.

Singapore has developed a well-resourced and world-leading educational system. With the world becoming much smaller and more globally competitive, we will explore what’s going on in the Singapore education system and find what we can replicate in the United States.

Teachers receive highly focused training

What’s remarkable about the places that out-compete America is that they focus on collaborative environments where kids and teachers can thrive. They also focus on building the best professional class of teachers possible.

Teachers are the heart of education so it stands to reason that schools that trains teachers are the heart of the whole education system. In Singapore, the National Institute of Education trains all teachers in the school system. Top performing students are selected for specific subjects and teaching positions. The candidates are then given a rigorous 21st century training to prepare them for a lifelong career in education. The Singapore education system is always open to look at new domains of study. The total ultimate focus is, “how do we prepare a better teacher so they can bring the best education to the students in the classroom?”

Walking around this campus demonstrates how importantly the government views the National Institute of Education. Singapore is a nation where square footage for the land is worth its weight in gold and diamonds, and the government still gives nearly 40 acres devoted to teacher education and development!

Teachers operate in a collaborative environment

Kids in school are happy to learn there, but equally important is what the teachers are doing in every classroom. Teachers can explain what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and the connection between what they’re doing and the learning that kids are accomplishing.

In math classes, there is a really interesting pedagogical method focused on visualization instead of memorization. Students use blocks to see what’s more and what’s less.

You also see as part of this a real focus on language immersion so that kids are understanding what more than means and what less than means. Overall, there is a recognition that post-secondary education is important for all students—not only the top performers!

Real-world education

The state of the art Institute of Technical Education involves businesses in shaping their curriculum and preparing students for employment. Students develop and market products that require some scientific knowledge such as dish soap. Then they pick up other basic skills for entrepreneurship when they go and work for someone else. They learn to appreciate how business or operating will be able to contribute more to the organization.

At the Tampines school, eight-year-old students learn how to us MS Excel. The education system engages with them in such a way that technology is infused as a tool to accomplish tangible objectives. Teachers are constantly working with each other in a collaborative and trusting environment to enhance this effort.

Accountability is replaced with empowerment

Finally, teachers do not talk about test-based accountability. Principals don’t talk about test-based accountability. This is the education standard in Singapore.

Originally posted in AFTHQ.

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Elon Musk on Education: “I Don’t Give a Damn About Your Degree”

Elon Musk On Education Harvard Degree

Serial entrepreneur Elon Musk on education has some uncommon opinions. He is the founder of Tesla and SpaceX. Musk holds American, Canadian, and South African citizenship. He lives in Los Angeles, and he doesn’t give a damn about your degree.

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Q: Elon, do I need a degree?

A: There’s no need even to have a college degree at all or even a high school diploma. If somebody graduated from a great university then maybe that’s an indication that they will be capable of great things but it’s not necessarily the case.

Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, and Steve Jobs didn’t graduate from college but if you had a chance to hire them that would be a great idea.

The key is to look for evidence of exceptional ability. If there’s a track record of achievement then it’s likely that that will continue into the future.

Q: Elon, how would you describe yourself?

A: I have a high innate drive and that’s been true even since I was a little kid. Back then, I did all sorts of risky things that I now realize were actually crazy. I care a lot about the truth of things and trying to understand why those things are true. If you’re going to come up with some solution, then it’s really really important that you know the truth and can anticipate that.

Sometimes I see things that seem quite clear and obvious to me, and I don’t understand why they aren’t so obvious to everyone.

Q: Elon, how do you educate your five boys?

A: I created Ad Astra which means “to the stars.” It’s different from most schools since there aren’t any grades at all. I’m making all the children go in the same subjects at the same time like an assembly line. This is because some people love English or languages, some people love math, and some people love music. It’s important to develop different abilities at different times and cater the education to match individual aptitudes and abilities within each subject.

I think it’s also important to teach problem solving or teach to the problem and not to the tools. So let’s say you are trying to teach people how engines work. You could start by the more traditional approach to teach all about screwdrivers and wrenches and even have a course on screwdrivers and wrenches.

But this is a very difficult way to do it. A much better way would be to show the engine and say “Let’s take it apart. How are we going to take it apart? Oh, you need a screwdriver. That’s what the screwdriver is for.” Then a very important thing happens. The relevance of the tools becomes apparent.

The regular schools just don’t do the things that I think should be done like the principles of focusing on one subject at a time and teaching directly to the problem. I actually hired a teacher from the school they were at who also agreed with me that there was a better way to do it.

The kids really love going to school, and I think that’s a good sign. I hated going to school when I was a kid. It was torture! So the fact that they actually think vacations are too long and they want to go back to school is a great sign.

Q: Elon, what do you have in common with Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Larry Ellison?

A: Those are pretty different personalities between Gates and Jobs and Ellison! All three of those were technologists but with different types of skills. Jobs was obviously very focused on aesthetics to integrate with the technology. He really answered the question of what people wanted even when they didn’t know themselves. Jobs was obviously not afraid to break boundaries.

Gates would probably be better at raw engineering and technology than Jobs, but not as good on aesthetics.

All of these guys were obviously very driven and they’re very talented and they’re able to attract great people to build a company.

The ability to attract and motivate great people is critical to the success of a company because the company is just that. It’s a group of people that are assembled to create a product or service. We all so often forget this elementary truth. So if you’re able to get great people to join the company and work together towards a common goal and you have a relentless sense of perfection about that goal, then you will end up with a great product.

If you have a great product, people will buy it and then you know you’ll be successful. It’s pretty straightforward.

Q: Elon, are you fearless?

A: I wouldn’t say I’m fearless. I feel fear quite strongly. If what we’re doing is something I think is important enough, then I just override the fear. But it’s not as if I don’t feel fear. I feel it stronger than I would like.

If the stakes are high and it’s really important, then I should overcome the fear and just do it anyway. It’s kind of annoying, I wish I felt it less.

Q: Elon, which venture that you founded would you say was the most risky at the start?

A: SpaceX. I thought it had the lowest chance of success. I thought both Tesla and SpaceX would fail at the beginning. What I thought was, “well, I’ll take half the money from PayPal and if I lose half of it that’s okay.” But then of course the companies encounter difficulties and then you have a choice.

1. Let the company die

2. Put all the money into the company


I really didn’t want the companies to die, so I put all the money into the company. Then I had to borrow money from friends to pay living expenses.

Q: Elon, what was your best idea ever?

A: Coming to North America was my best idea. I think these things would not have been accomplished anyway you know anywhere else. It’s really hard to start a company, but California and Silicon Valley is very conducive to startup companies. Whenever I read books in South Africa, it would seem like the cutting edge of technology was in Silicon Valley. So that’s where I wanted to come to move to this mythical place.

Q: Elon, are there things you regret having done or not having done so far?

A: There’s lots of things, but life is short. There’s lots of things that could be done that one can’t necessarily do. Overall, I think I’m pretty happy with where things are, it’s hard not to be. Things are in a good place right now.

I’d like to see humanity go beyond Earth and have people on Mars. That would be really great. I’d like to see widespread adoption of electric vehicles and renewable energy. These are great things and I think they would be really cool.

Watch the original interview here. Getting a job is hard. Here are some ways to decide if you should get a normal job or start the next SpaceX

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The shocking truth about student debt


Getting out of student debt should be the number one priority for college students. But reality does not allow for such simplicity.

For 28,000 of America’s most service-oriented graduates, payments come with an altruistic approach: the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Congress passed PSLF in 2007 to discharge outstanding loan balances.

Here are the conditions:

  1. Make 120 non-consecutive loan payments
  2. Work full-time at one of the following:
    • Governmental organizations: federal, state, local, or Tribal (for example, government agencies, the military, public schools and colleges, and public hospitals)
    • Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations
    • Nonprofit organizations that provide certain types of public services, such as education or health services

Sounds simple right? PSLF motivates people with student debt to work in underserved communities by providing the incentive of loan forgiveness.

However, the Department of Education reported last month that only 96 of the 28,000 student debt holders applying for PSLF actually got approved. Kevin Maier represents one of the few who managed to successfully complete the original repayment program and describes the entire system as “poorly managed.” Maier made the understatement of the week.

Maybe Cory Doctorow summed it up best when he wrote “In theory, thousands of people should be having their debts wiped away this year. In reality, less than one percent of the people enrolled in the program will see that happen. The rest are screwed.”

Screwed as in they need to start all over again because they didn’t follow a technicality. 10 more years of payments.

Part of the problem consists of paperwork. The Department of Education states thattoo many borrowers wait to submit their employment certification form until they have been in repayment for several years, at which point they learn that they have not been making qualifying payments. . . . [Borrowers] should continue to submit this form both annually and every time you switch employers.”

Which makes me want to throw up a little bit in my mouth. Publicly-serviced school loans demonstrate that American bureaucracy systematically confuses and frustrates the people with student debt it supposedly serves.

Silent Undermining of the PSLF

A little context explains this. Back in December 2017, GOP Representative Virginia Foxx of North Carolina attempted to remove the program altogether along with the opportunity to have loans forgiven for the 28,000 student debt applicants faithfully contributing to public service.

March 27, 2017, Foxx stands with Trump

Maybe Foxx realized the PSLF program didn’t work at all and wanted to save face for the Department of Education. But borrowers with student debt didn’t see it that way. Her actions sparked many a petition to resist the bill and make individual voices heard before Congress.

Perhaps for these reasons, the government realized something fell through the cracks well before their September report and the terrible completion numbers. In May, the Department of Education created the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. TEPSLF forgives Direct Loans under non-qualifying repayment plans in the PSLF system by providing (you guessed it) a new set of rules.

Mercifully, Kat Tretina did everyone a favor by explaining what those new rules mean in plain English.

Seth Frotman on the left
April 2016, Frotman (left) visits SVA’s National HQ to discuss student veteran issues

The Shocking Truth behind the PSLF

But that doesn’t explain why this system complicates so many things in the first place. For that answer, Former Student Loan Ombudsman Seth Frotman’s August resignation paints a more complete picture. In his final letter, the  writes “The current leadership of the [Consumer Financial Protection] Bureau has made its priorities clear—it will protect the misguided goals of the Trump Administration to the detriment of student loan borrowers.”

If there’s one thing that’s certain, next month’s mid-term elections will play a crucial moment for those who want to hold their politicians accountable. Young and old alike must stand their ground, seek out the truth, and act on their convictions. You can find out how to register at

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Four Examples Of Great Educators And What We Can Learn From Them

When I think of all the teachers I’ve ever had, I am amazed at the many roles they have to play for their students’ success. In addition to being educators, they can be mentors, role models, knowledgeable experts, a sympathetic ear, even a fellow student! Whether you’re a tutor, a schoolteacher, or a university professor, you’ll find yourself playing these roles, and the very best educators play multiple roles seamlessly. Here are a few teachers I’ve had and the lessons that all educators can learn from them.


Mrs. Berens: 4th Grade

4th grade was arguably my greatest year of school, period. I’m not kidding. I had it all: good grades, popularity, an active social life, and so much more. I also developed a genuine love of learning, which I owe to the efforts of my teacher, Mrs. Berens.

Mrs. Berens seemed to know everything and was eager to share all that knowledge with you, ready or not. She was a real-life Ms. Frizzle! We covered a ton of subjects every day: Math, Science, History, English, and did a lot of group work in each of them. I remember when she gave us multiplication speed tests, and then instructed us to get with two to three other students to compare answers and correct our work. Everything was a collaborative process in her classroom, and I loved it. The classroom itself was FULL of resources we used during our free time. There was a huge bookshelf that I loved to pick from because she always had the best books that weren’t always available in the library. It was a space designed to maximize learning, but that wasn’t even the best part. Mrs. Berens not only encouraged excellence, she expected and demanded it.

And she rewarded excellence in the best ways: special field trips, lunches, computer privileges—once, when we achieved a reading goal she had set for us, she arranged for our class to attend a movie premiere in Hollywood! She had influence!

The Lesson: Passion

I loved Mrs. Berens because she played a strong leadership role in our learning journey. She set a high standard, expected us to achieve it, and allowed us to be curious and discover new things in the process. With her, learning was a true pleasure, and I understood that attending school was not my duty, it was my privilege.



Mrs. Rosemann: 6th Grade

As an unruly 10-year-old, I lacked the self-control to focus on my studies sometimes. Take an absentminded child, add a newfound access to video games, and you’ve got a kid who’s not always paying attention in the classroom. Mrs. Rosemann changed all that.

She seemed wonderfully odd to me when I first met her. She had fiery red hair that looked out of place paired with her usual dark blazers. As it turned out, her fashion sense was a perfect illustration of the kind of teacher she was. She struck a balance between stern and empathetic, serious and silly, kind and cold. When teaching math and science, she was all business. When we got to reading and art, however, she’d prance around the room, vibrant and animated. Mrs. Rosemann ran a structured classroom, and her expectations were clearly laid out from day one. She was a strict disciplinarian: if you were caught messing around, she would call you out in front of the whole class. But she was also a free spirit who encouraged creativity from all of us. In the middle of the year, our class wrote and performed our own Greek tragedy—we made our own costumes and everything!

The Lesson: Discipline

Mrs. Rosemann introduced structure at a pivotal time in our lives. At the start of our preteen years, other things were more important than school, and she taught us to remain studious, composed, and to take our own learning seriously. Most importantly, she held us accountable for our behavior, our assignments, and for understanding the lessons. Many of the best educators emphasize that learning is also YOUR responsibility.



Ms. Bullard: 9th Grade English

Following my middle school years—where I had been puffed up and praised for doing well with relatively easy work—Ms. Bullard shattered my idea of what good academic writing was and forced me to improve my skills—or suffer the consequences…

I’ll never forget that first day: We were a bunch of arrogant freshmen, straight out of junior high, sitting at our desks, waiting to receive a worksheet to fill out for 45 minutes. But it never came.

Instead, Ms. Bullard told us to write an essay about our summer reading. With a thesis, supporting evidence, specific details, a conclusion, and everything. Without the book. Using memory alone. It was a bloodbath.

After that, the real work began. She taught us two important things about academic writing and communication in general: how you say something is as important as what you’re saying, and if you’re going to take a position, you’d better be able to back it up. Her class was rigorous. It was frustrating. It felt impossible. If you managed to break into the “A” range, you felt like a champion because you fought for it.

The Lesson: Humility

With knowledge comes pride. The best teachers give you a good kick in the shins and make you forget everything you think you know so you can start learning from a new perceptive, which ultimately makes you smarter. Even though it was a freshman English class, Ms. Bullard treated us like seniors. She expected nothing but clear, excellent writing from us, and that’s what we had to deliver if we wanted to survive. She was a relentless, unforgiving coach—just what we needed.



Mrs. Haus: 9th, 10th, and 11th Grade Biology (AND Chemistry)

Science was one of my favorite subjects in high school, and it’s all thanks to Mrs. Haus. A lot of students complained about her because she gave a lot of homework, although I later realized the reason why. Much of the learning process is repetition, and her classes were all repetition, all the time! In high school, test preparation slowly takes precedence over actual learning, but not in Mrs. Haus’ class. She taught for understanding.

In my freshman year, she gave us packets filled with a list of that week’s science terms for us to define, as well as a ton of short answer questions that we had to complete with thorough explanations. One week, we had to explain the process of Meiosis, and if we left out a single part, we could expect corrective red marks all over the page.

The devil was in the details.

Her pickiness followed me on to 10th grade, her 6 week summer Chemistry course (which was brutal), and ESPECIALLY to AP Biology, where I wrote, reviewed, and rewrote answers for her all year.

But here’s the thing: her obsession with detail was only half of her winning teaching style. She also focused on getting to know each student and our weaknesses so she could help us learn in our own ways. She knew that I’d skip over the smallest details, so she made me revise assignments again and again until I learned to be thorough.

And it worked! I scored high on the AP test!

The Lesson: Perseverance

Even though she was incredibly nit-picky, Mrs. Haus taught me that anything worth doing is worth doing correctly. Excellence is all about the small things that can make or break you, and my time with her was a testament to that fact.



The great educators in our lives have all played roles besides that of “teacher” in order to teach those core values that help us succeed. Good teachers stick to the material, amazing teachers go beyond it. The best thing about that is, every teacher has the opportunity to be a great educator if they’re willing to walk the extra mile.

For more stories like this one, study tips, homework help, and one-on-one live tutoring, check out!


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People Come Before Things: A Learning Strategy For A Digital World

Learning Strategy Digital World

by Jacob Hallman

The way students learn is changing in a world of constant connectivity, but that doesn’t mean standards for learning should follow suit. Critical thinking ability, 1:1 investment in students, and time management skills should continue to be the keys for success in education. What we learn should change with the times. How we learn should change with new technology. Our learning habits should never change as they will forever be rooted in discipline, adequate rest, healthy food, and social support. 150 years ago, Harvard founder Charles Eliot realized that US students needed training to act as considerate observers, explore changes happening in the world, and embrace quick decision making to fill new positions in previously undefined careers. This attitude of openness is the key to how humans learn, and Eliot built a new system for a new age rocked by the Industrial Revolution. As for Aristotle, he was a guide on the side helping students apply reason, develop skills in logic, and communicate convincing arguments. Those values still matter today, 100%. Part of the challenge for educating the next generation lies in how to cultivate those sensibilities at scale with new technology. Before technology, the key to success in future educational systems will start with embracing the standards of the past in preparation for the unknown. Comprehension comes before performance on any test score, every day. This is true across industries as well. In music, Grammy award winning producer Quincy Jones wants to work with producers aware of historical context, but standards are devolving:

“…producers now are ignoring all the musical principles of the previous generations. It’s a joke. That’s not the way it works: You’re supposed to use everything from the past. If you know where you come from, it’s easier to get where you’re going.”

If we want to innovate in science, mathematics, engineering, or any other subject, we must learn the best practices of those who came before us. Entrepreneur Mark Cuban had it right when he publicly commented in 2017 about a world where education in the liberal arts will be the preferred field of study in a volatile job market. Students of liberal arts critically examine the past. Pundits, scholars, and think tanks can theorize on the future all they want, but just like in Eliot’s time, young people will have new positions to fill in previously undefined careers. To embrace the future, we must remain committed to classical development and study of acquired knowledge, especially since technical abilities developed today will become obsolete tomorrow. We have an unprecedented array of tools with the emergence of the Internet, and it is critical that students learn how to use them. Strong online learning habits will precede knowledge. The parents and teachers of successful students will stand on the front lines for communicating these values:

Students will learn how to think for themselves.

Critical thinking skills are compulsory. On the Internet, information and misinformation will continue to coexist on the same channels. Students must learn how to evaluate incoming information, consider the origin of the report, and filter out erroneous or fallacious material regardless of whether the insight is convenient or not. Otherwise, learning devolves into a race to the bottom where the loudest voice and most compelling story becomes the truth.

Students will apply discipline in their time online.

Life on the Internet is incessant click bait. Ads and entertainment are synonymously packaged through social media and video content, which are addictive. To learn, students should engage the Internet to learn new languages, to enroll in online courses, to access books, movies, and music, and to conduct research to see what scholars have to say on subjects of study. When engaged in these activities, parents and teachers must train students to stay focused. This starts with avoiding rapid shifts in attention as much as possible.

Students will identify where they spend most of their time.

Ability starts with cultivating a strong sense of self-awareness in young people. Only afterwards can students build on skill sets through Internet connectivity. Furthermore, career choices aren’t a question of passion and following dreams. Teachers and parents owe it to the next generation to help students define and build on what they are good at before giving them resources and access to experts that will stimulate growth. Otherwise, Internet access will provide little guidance to the undirected mind.   These three ingredients form the foundation for meaningful learning. Once complete, solutions to build on a clean and clear mind are in place. Fortunately, there’s plenty of help available! CEO Patrick Brothers leads Navitas on a mission to accelerate innovation in education. He suggests that ‘one size fits one’ as the new way to learn and that this is a distinct shift from the current education system emboldened by Charles Eliot in the 19th century. Eliot would disagree. He saw a world where:

“The natural bent and peculiar quality of every [child’s] mind should be sacredly regarded in [their] education”.

Eliot sensed the power of a child’s unique outlook as something to build on. He was the one who invented the undergraduate major and minor to fit individual learning interests. He just didn’t have the tools to make personalization exist at scale via 1:1 learning. 1:1 learning is the future, and Eliot looked at student development as a matter of faith and God-given ability. The knowledge economy championed by Brothers looks at student development as a market opportunity. Regardless of the point of view, both Eliot and Brothers could recognize the cultivating of the individual mind as an individual process.

The upper class has always invested heavily in the education of their children, but the market opportunity of 1:1 learning combined with the cost savings of scale will make this service available to increasingly large sectors of the population. 1:1 learning will be especially important as families trend toward dual-income middle-class homes with little time to drive their child to the nearest tutoring center. 1:1 learning will be especially important as digital natives grow up in a world of constant connectivity. Getting caring and competent adults as a service for 1:1 learning has been traditionally hard to scale, but prices are coming down quickly. 1:1 learning can affordably accelerate personalization, and there are tremendous advantages to finding a tutor on the Internet.

As technology continues to improve with the eventual arrival of singularity, there will always be an added benefit to working with a teacher tangibly invested in a student’s learning process. Even if an entire human being was successfully replicated and digitized, the difference between a computer and a person will always have an emotional distinction. A human cares about my learning progress. A bot tweets my milestone on my MOOC. Secondly, learning requires that a student fundamentally admits that they have not mastered the content. The embarrassment of that admission can be reduced by finding a tutor online, an individual disconnected from the social stigma of someone in real life that a student might feel judged by. Besides reducing travel time, a third reason for online learning is that it increases efficiency by adding focus to learning sessions via a medium where tutors are literally on the clock. The tutor’s future work opportunity depends on their ability to provide timely input and avoid unrelated tangents. Finally, students can use online learning sessions to freely connect remotely with classmates who can empathize with their learning challenge and help explain subject material directly.

The bottom line is that 1:1 learning with teachers and classmates offers a pragmatic and effective 1-2 punch available within clicks. Having worked in education for 10 years, I see a world where the quality of learning is diminishing because of digital solutions that separate humans from each other and simplify the complex to the point of irrelevancy. This is accented by an ineffective test-bound system teaching a generation of students that the answer matters more than the process of getting to that answer and appreciating the meaning of that answer. As a result, the quantity of knowledge students bring to established college programs is diminishing on an annual basis.

The systems of higher education aren’t changing, but our ability to think independently, stay focused, and increase self-awareness is trending down. It is time for that to change. It is time to make technology a part of the solution by efficiently connecting students with talented tutors. At home, students need adults that can help build effective learning habits. Online, students do not need scalable learning management systems and multimedia interactive curriculums. This is a recipe for diluted learning because knowledge starts with engagement with people first, not technology. Ultimately, successful learning is impossible without the core needs of a student being taken care of in their home.

From the Carter to the Trump administrations, politicians have been sensitive to these changes in society. There is a general sense that it is harder to provide adequate sleep, good food, discipline, and social support to children than it used to be. Some single-parent homes might pull it off with the help of extended family, but there is enough racial and social inequality that not every family could effectively overcome these basic needs for learning. Tomorrow’s leaders need support and development opportunities. They benefit when we provide a strong foundation for them to build on. No matter what learning tools are in place, only when we learn how to take care of our young people can they truly embrace the opportunities around them to excel.

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How To Use StudyGate’s Free Group Meeting Tool

How To Use StudyGate's Free Group Meeting Tool

At StudyGate, we’re committed to making learning accessible to every student! To accomplish our mission, we’ve created a FREE group meeting tool that allows you to meet up and study with anyone, anytime, anywhere! Here’s how it works:


1. Go To and select Group Meeting

From the StudyGate home page, choose the Group Meeting option, shown below:

Free Group Meeting

Before you do this, make sure you have a StudyGate account! It only takes a minute to create, and just like this, it’s free!


2. Start The Free Group Meeting

After you log in, select the option to start the group meeting.

Free Group Meeting


3. Create Your Group Meeting Room, Round Up Your Friends, And Start!

After you click “Start a group meeting”, you’ll arrive at this screen:

Free Group Meeting

First, you’ll create a room. It’s free, by the way. Did we mention?

Free Group Study Tool

Enter a name for your group meeting room, and feel free to be as creative as you like…let’s say your group is studying for a math test, you could call that room “The Quadratic Occasion”! Maybe you’re a bunch of chemistry students who share a love of horror-comedies, how about The Atoms Family?

Next, you’ll gather a group of your friends to join you in the free group meeting. Group meetings can host up to 8 people! Once you’ve agreed to meet with your best friend, or your physics project group, or What’s-His-Name from English class, you’ll share a link with them.  You can also enter their email addresses and send them an invite, as shown here:

Free Group Meeting

Then, all you have to do is click the link, and you’ll enter the group meeting, where you and your friends can study all kinds of subjects in all kinds of ways…for free! Let’s take a look:


4. The StudyGate Live Session Whiteboard

This is what you’ll see when you enter a free group meeting:

Free Group Meeting

In the top right corner, you’ll see video images of you and all your friends in the room- you can speak with each other via video chat! Below that is a text chat box that you can use to type out what you need. At the top is a selection of drawing and typing tools that you can use for any subject! Create text boxes, drop in some shapes, or draw freehand using  a variety of tools and colors! Write essays and code together with our text and code editors! Fix your mistakes with the undo/redo buttons, and switch between three different panels to make your work more efficient! And it’s free!


The StudyGate group meeting tool is incredibly useful for any and all of your learning needs! With this, you can get some real studying done with your friends, no matter where you are! Click here to try out StudyGate’s group meeting system, and if you’re looking for homework help, study tips, and one-on-one tutoring, click the button below!



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Books, Reading, and the Social Aspect Of Learning

The Social Aspect of Learning

The best kind of learning is social and collaborative. I find that avid readers (read: nerds) demonstrate the perfect example of this process. The act of reading itself is solitary and contemplative, but when two people come together, the discourse that ensues can be animated, thrilling, emotional, fulfilling. And it only took one special student to open my eyes to the social aspect of learning.

Her name was Brenda.

Brenda was in fourth grade. She was one of a kind—short and assertive, inventive, reserved at times, but often quite mouthy, independent and smart as a whip. I met her one day as we were doing arts and crafts. She was sitting alone at the edge of the table, hands shimmering with glitter, completely absorbed in her work.

She was building a pineapple out of cardboard. It looked pretty good, too—I remember she had cut it so precisely to give it the texture of the real thing. She sprinkled glitter in the ridges to really make it shine. “That looks great!”, I said as I sat next to her. “How was school?” Any parent—any adult—knows that a child’s only answer to this question is, “Good.” That’s all. No details, just “good”. So you can imagine my surprise when she actually told me.

That day, there was a book fair at Brenda’s school. She had begged her mom for money for a few things—a pack of gel pens, a slime kit and, most importantly, the latest Diary of A Wimpy Kid book. She went on and on about that: she told me how she and her friends were reading the series together and that they had started a club, about her favorite character and so forth.

Then she asked me, “What’s your favorite book?”

I paused. I hadn’t read anything in a while. Work always kept me busy and I was often too tired to read when I got home. Still, I wanted to give her an answer—she was eager to chat and a bit of a loner sometimes. Then I remembered something:

On the lowest level on the shelf in the corner of my classroom, there was a clear box filled to the brim with all kinds of books. I had chosen all of the books myself, so you know this collection was in good taste. It’s important that you know that. Magic School Bus, Amelia Bedelia Magic Tree House, Roald Dahl books, I had them all. If you were a child between 1989 and 1997, our book collection was a treasure chest. Solid gold, I’m telling you. It belonged in the Smithsonian.


I dragged the box outside and over to where Brenda sat. “Look at these!” I said, and together we sorted through all the books. I showed her a few of my childhood favorites, including Corduroy, about which she remarked, “That’s a baby book.” She picked up A Wrinkle In Time (“This book is weird”), Matilda, (“Can I have this?”) and that Charlie Brown book about the girl who gets sick that is actually way too dark for children (“I want to read this one!”). One by one, she yanked out the books, scanned the covers, and laid them aside, until her eyes fell on something she liked.

“What’s this one?” she asked. It was Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, one of my favorites. It’s a story about a young boy who’s raised by ghosts in a graveyard and is affected by all sorts of dark and supernatural events as he grows up. It’s touching and can get genuinely terrifying at times—still didn’t dampen her interest. She flipped through the pages and scanned both covers thoughtfully.

So I said what any bibliophile would say at this point:

“Do you want to borrow it?”

She beamed. “Can I?” I agreed, under one condition. She had to tell me how she liked it when she finished. And let me tell you, it was a joy to see her reading it. Sometimes I’d find her laying in the grass, or underneath a tree with her nose buried in that book, and every now and again her face would light up with discovery. She finished it within a week, and she ran up to me one afternoon, and gave her opening statement:

“This book is SO violent. I didn’t know that guy was a vampire!”

Then off we went. I admitted to her that it took me a while to realize “the guy” was a vampire too, and we talked about which characters we loved, which ones we hated, the ones that we wished hadn’t died, and so on. That gave way to a full-on debate! Soon, she was lecturing me about literary themes, the importance of parental love, and loneliness before pointing out every single similarity between this book and Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, which was the inspiration for Gaiman’s work (I told you she was smart).

Here’s the thing.

We were just talking about a book that we both liked, and that mutual excitement gave way to genuine and educated discussion. Brenda brought up several great points that I hadn’t even thought about! Then, our discussion led to the both of us to discover things we had missed while reading! The more you discuss, the more you think, and the more you think, the more receptive you are to learning new things! And one book was all it took!

Every week since, I brought her a new book each week that I think she would enjoy. We bonded over The Tale of Despereaux, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Coraline, and so many others. Every time we got together, we discussed the books, argued about the characters, raved about our favorite parts, and taught the other about something new they had missed. Learning can take place anywhere, at any time. Trading thoughts, challenging ideas, it’s one of the most social aspects of life. Every time we got together, I was reminded of the following quote from the great Nora Ephron:

Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it’s a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s imagination after a day that’s all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.


To me, that sums up everything about the social aspect of learning. For more stories like this one, homework help, study tips, and online tutoring, visit!




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Four Ways To Stay Motivated And Finish The School Year Strong

Stay Motivated

It’s May! That means state testing, prom, research projects, just a bit more homework than you bargained for, and a whole bunch of other things that can really take a toll on your focus. It’s easy to start slacking right around this time of year. The end of the school year is in sight, summer’s on the way, the weather’s nicer, everything seems more upbeat and relaxed. But you’ve got to stay motivated!

Don’t fall for it!

There’s a lot you can do to sabotage yourself in this critical time in the academic year. It’s okay to stop and smell the roses every now and then, but you’ve also got to stand up straight, square your shoulders, and put in the work. Here are four ways to help you do that:

Organize and Prioritize

If there was ever a time to stay organized, this is it. With so much going on in school and at home, it’s important to keep every date, every obligation, every meeting straight in your head. If you don’t already, keep a planner handy to write down things that you know you need to take care of in the future. Then, rank those things from most to least important. Now,  you can direct your attention to the things that need it the most, and you’ll feel less stressed as a result!

Be Mindful

Speaking of stress, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with everything that’s going on around you. In the midst of all the chaos, take time to slow down and understand what you’re working on. Group projects and research assignments pile up during this time of year, so it’s a good idea to be especially aware of your work habits and how you’re feeling. When choosing how to divide your time, be selective! Ask for help if you can’t meet a deadline, focus on delivering quality work, and above all, set aside some time to take care of your health.

Get Some Perspective

The tests you take during this important season can improve or hurt your chances of ending up with that A you’ve been working so hard for, or the high SAT or AP score that will take you to the college of your dreams. It’s a crucial moment! But that’s all it is. A single moment in the vast timeline that is your life. Don’t put any unnecessary stress on yourself. One test does not decide what your entire future will be. Chin up, shoulders back, do your very best, and your future will fall into place, you’ll see!

Remember Your Goals

There are so many contradictory things about May. It’s testing season, and you should study hard, but prom is coming up, and you want to party hard. Graduation is coming up, and you feel like you’re finished, but those last few assignments count—it’s not over yet! Take time to remember your goals. What did you set out to achieve? Make them more visible in your everyday life. Write them on post-it notes and stick it in your notebook, on your refrigerator, on your bathroom mirror, EVERYWHERE. With summer around the corner, it’s very easy to get distracted with all the fun things going on, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to stop short of the finish line.


Students, this is time to remain focused and do all you can to finish the school year strong! Keep yourself accountable, check your urges to slack off, and accomplish what you set out to do! For more helpful tips, homework help, test preparation, and one-on-one tutoring, visit us at!

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What’s The Point Of Going To College: A Look At What We Believe Education Should Do For Us

What's The Point Of College?

What is the point of going to college? Is it only supposed to prepare you for the workforce? Or should it broaden the mind and expand one’s ability for developing and understanding new ideas? This question has plagued the minds, the lives, and the relationships between students and parents all over the country for decades.

It’s deeply troubling. But it doesn’t need to be.



A Matter Of Finances

As it turns out, the perceived purpose of college has been in debate for quite some time. On February 28th, 1967, the national conversation took a turn into territory that informs the way many people, students and parents alike, think about college in the present day.

On the day in question, Ronald Reagan held a press conference on the topic of the 1968 presidential election. He was the newly elected governor of the state of California at the time. The reporter’s line of questioning turned to the state budget. That’s when Reagan shifted his focus to education. When asked whether cuts in education were necessary, Reagan’s initial response was:

“…there’s no one in this administration that intends to do anything that will be harmful to education. But we do believe that there are certain intellectual luxuries that perhaps we co do without a year or two without hurting the cause of education. And we’ve asked for their cooperation both at the college and university level, in finding those things that can be done without getting into the real meat.”



Useful vs. Useless Majors

These “intellectual luxuries” Reagan referred to are liberal arts courses. The then-governor cites courses where students learn to organize political demonstrations and repair band instruments as examples, but we can safely extend his point to include many of the more arts-centered subjects as well as the humanities.

This idea—that some courses are less valuable than others and are therefore not considered part of a good education—is one that is alive and well today. If you ask a college student who is still undecided why they have not yet chosen an area of study, most students will say they do not know what kind of career they want to pursue. That seems to be the prime reason why undecided college students cannot choose an option. It is not because they are dazzled by the number of courses available for study. It is because they are preoccupied with finding the right subject that ultimately yields the greatest career and financial opportunities.

Parents all over the country urge their children to earn a degree they’ll be able to “use” in the future. That does nothing but confuse them. Every student thinks: “I want to major in _____, but if I do, will I be able to find a job? Are there even jobs available for this subject area? Will I make enough money to support myself?” It’s a harrowing, ultimately unnecessary thought that only holds the student back and dampens their ambition. The student places all their focus on one aspect of their future—earning a living. It neglects all other aspects that can potentially boost their ability to do so. Here’s what I mean:



Yes, College Should Absolutely Prepare A Student For The Workforce…

There is no denying that a college education is an invaluable resource for everyone. Nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals need to have a thorough understanding of medicine before they can even think about practicing in the real world. Business professionals need to learn about economics, finance, management, and a host of other concepts before they enter the working world. These things are non-negotiable. College can give a student the knowledge necessary to direct their natural gifts and earn a living to support themselves. However, it’s not exactly that simple.



…But It Should Also Refine Critical Thinking Skills And Fuel A Sense Of Curiosity…

Think back to any graduation ceremony you’ve ever attended. Celebrating a group of students who have the intellect and curiosity to someday change the world is the thesis of just about every speech you’ve ever heard. Why? Because good educators strongly believe in equipping students with the tools necessary to create, innovate, and solve major problems in our world. Yes, they want to you make a living, but education is ultimately about progress. Progress for you and your family. Also, progress for the children in our schools. Advancement matters for our society at large and for our world.

Progress takes a great deal of effort and thought. A college education should provide the tools to bring change.



…While Also Transmitting Culture Throughout Generations…

These days, students receive their civic and historical education largely though college. Think about it. In college, students (should) learn the importance of voting, the political process and the lasting impact our lawmakers’ decisions can have on us and our families, the history of many foreign countries and peoples, and so much more. Sure, much of this stuff is touched on in high school, but college is supposed to truly expand a student’s worldview. It is here that we learn about our role in society. These things are a crucial part of education because they ultimately decide our trajectory as a nation. Yesterday’s problems give rise to tomorrow’s solutions, which bring about more problems that need solving. College integrates students into a learning tradition in which old ideas are improved, built upon, or dispelled as per the current social dynamic.



…And Molding Students Into Functioning Adults.

There’s a reason why students leave home when they begin college. Being responsible for a certain number of classes per day, a certain amount of homework per week, and a bunch of extracurricular activities prepares students for the responsibilities of the real world. If you don’t show up to class, you could fail your course in the same way that you’ll be eating dinner in the dark if you don’t pay your electricity bill. Where do we learn to manage our time and commitments? Where do we truly feel the impact of our financial decisions and develop our social skills as adults? College.



Okay? So What?

Governor Reagan’s comments and the short-sighted attitudes that have survived over the years through our limited perception of college should not dictate how our students approach college and their future careers. Yes, of course college should prepare students for the workforce. That’s obvious, especially in our age of hyper-competitive job markets.

But we’re kidding ourselves if we want to pretend that’s all college is for.

Learning is a lifelong process. A professional in any field needs to know how to take a problem and come up with an effective solution, wonder how to change things for the better, and ultimately work well with others to create wonderful things.

While Reagan was absolutely right to emphasize job preparation, we must now include a proviso. Instead of encouraging students to pursue degrees that are directly applicable to certain industries, such as medicine and law, we must motivate them to cultivate their strengths so they will choose a major where they feel can achieve the most success.  Students will find more success in this, because it allows them to rely on their own ambition and work ethic rather than the agonizing luck-of-the-draw approach we currently rely on.

College is so much more than a place to find the best way to squeeze a good living out of our education.  It’s where we grow, mature, and where many of us discover what we think is important in life. Treating it as such will remove much of the stress and uncertainty from the college experience. It will enable our students, now and in the future, to decide on and commit to a path worth taking.

And that is a much better use of all of our time and effort.



For more thoughts on the state of education, homework help, and study tips, visit

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