February 18

A Poem by the 10th Graders

Using the poem HOWL as their guide, students Lam Ha, Embla, and Dawn in 10th grade EAL wrote the following poem, updating the 1951 poem by Allen Ginsberg.
-Ms. Kearns

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by instagram, facebook, and tumbl,
creating new identities for themselves through their profiles,
looking for self –esteem and fame, burning for admiration,
connection to the impossible in the fictional world they created, who pose, and post, and share,
who sat up at attention in the blinding darkness of popularity,
floating across the social media,
who gave up their brains for looks.

February 3

Should Schools Teach Personality?

Students in Ms. Kearns’ class read an article from the New York Times entitled “Smarts vs Personality in School” by Anna North. They discussed the vocabulary and points made by the author in class. The writer does not come out and give her own opinion, so students were asked to give theirs.

Lam Ha: I disagree that schools should teach personality for several reasons. First, personality is one aspect of human that helps define who they are, and while people are growing up, the personality is developed. Therefore, shaping one’s personality is a hard work and takes much time from life, not just easy like when the article says that it could be taught at school, then you can have that kind of personality right the way.

Second, since the teaching of personality that some schools want to apply include things like openness (which according to the article, is characterized by qualities such as creativity and curiosity), it may not fit to all students. Especially the ones who are introvert in this case, because I think that it is harder for them to catch up with others who are more extrovert. Furthermore, when the schools apply these kinds of teachings, the introvert ones may not do well in classes and that just create more problems to solve.

Additionally, schools are the places to help students develop and expose to new things, therefore I think that schools should guide students to good and right directions, not change one’s personality and make them become who they are not.

Dawn: I agree with this article, it is very important for people to learn personality. Some people do not know how to control themselves or to respect teachers, I think that people should learn how to do this. If there is a person in your class who is not good with self-control he can take up a lot of attention from the teachers and this will affect the entire class. As stated in the article, “We need to pull back on thinking that this is the only game in town.” Here the author is talking about intelligence, in my opinion it is very important to be intelligent but it is also very important to learn basic characteristics, such as self-control. Intelligence will give you the opportunity to go to college and to get a great job, however your characteristics also play a very big part in this event. If you know how to control yourself, have patience and be curious it will help you much more when you are older.

When students are being helped by how they should be more themselves in a good way they will overcome challenges and they will show better results, as said in the article “Students are now willing to do the hard thing instead of always running to what was easy.” I think this  is right, because if there is a good teacher that is motivated to let the students show their best results within their ability, students will also be more motivated to become this way and to work harder. However Alfie Kohn says”dogged persistence isn’t the best approach to every situation, even if you don’t crash and burn by staying the course, you may not fare nearly as well as if you had stopped, reassessed and tried something else.” I also agree with this in the way that if someone doesn’t get along with the way you are trying to pursue them an idea, such as teaching someone to control themselves, if you do this over and over again the student will become frustrated and won’t work along anymore and only work against you. In conclusion I think that personality should be though at schools for the people that need it, it should not become a mandatory subject.

So-Eun: Personality plays a significant role in social life. It is great that some schools teach qualities such as self-control, grit, and curiosity as part of the regular curriculum. With these qualities, it is easier to affiliate into society. For instance, human nature tends to form cliques through similar personalities. However, here rises several questions. Is it possible to change one’s characteristic through the school curriculum,? How do we know whether students have these qualities? I believe students’  personalities are unlikely to be rated since it is subjective. In addition, it might be challenging for some students, maybe can lead to failure for them, because they might be very introverted, contrasting “gritty” personality.

Since every students are different, schools need to approach in different ways, respecting their individualities. I agree that teachers should help students find the right path for them depends on their personality, rather than changing their personalities. Customized learning might be the best way for individual students to figure out their interest. However, not everyone has an opportunity if one goes to high-populated school with little money. To sum up, I think it is a good idea to teach personality to students, but schools also need to have a personalized approach for it.