Why Don't You Stay?

Examing Trends in Student Drop-outs by Brittani Morrissey

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From My Experience:

What causes students to drop-out of school? While there is clearly not one answer that will fit every student, we can definitely see trends. Some reasons students give often include other responsibilities such as family or work, not doing well/unable to pass, and some are just plain bored (Hall, 2014, p.105). From my experience, the most common reasons I encountered for my high schools peers dropping out were teen pregnancy and low educational aspirations. The students with low educational aspirations also seemed to not have respect for authority and were often in trouble and did not seem to care about punishments. These students, from what I gathered, did not have stable lives at home and nobody was pushing them or rooting them on in school. They got attention from acting out and consequently getting in trouble. These students, my brother being one, saw themselves are “bad” and did not really try to change or fix that image. Instead, accepted their circumstances and eventually gave up and quit school. I think that the way districts handle student discipline and how teachers educate students should be looked at in order to help these “bad” students see their potential. Had someone been able to express to my brother the value of an education and what all he could achieve in life, things might have turned out very differently for him and many others. Being able to fill in the gap that is missing from home should definitely be considered by educators. No, you cannot always fix the problem, but being a voice of reason when one is not available to the student can be a great resource for the student.

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Teen Pregnancy:

The other students I encountered who seemed to drop out were teen moms. My first experience was with a girl being pregnant was in my sixth grade class. SIXTH GRADE. This is before I had even noticed boys, before my mom had “the talk” with me, and before school had started sexual education class. With that said, there is definitely something to say about the individual factors people experience and their chances of becoming a teen parent. This did not really happen again until high school. In high school one of my best friends got pregnant our senior year. She did not graduate with us. This directly correlates with studies that show that teenage mothers are less likely than their peers to graduate or receive a GED by age 22 with only 2% earning a college degree (Hall, 2014, p.118). These moms would greatly benefit from an education. Not only would the future for their child be greatly improved, but society as a whole will be improved the more it’s citizens are educated. I’m not sure if it’s true, but the rumor was that my high school had a day care for the student’s children. These children were looked after and cared for by teachers and students taking child care classes. If it was true, bravo to my high school. I think it is a great idea to allow moms to stay in school and also giving other students hands on experience for their future careers working with children. Hopefully drop-out rates will continue to decline and we as educators can help keep success rates high!

References:

Hall, Gene E. Introduction to Teaching: Making a Difference in Student Learning. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2014. Print.


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