Should Teachers Be Able to Show Movies After AP Exams?
May 20, 2018
One of the greatest criticisms of the modern, standardized-test-reliant educational system is the fact that teachers are instructed to teach to the test. While this may be unfortunate, and a lot of the integrity and sincerity in teaching may be lost along the way, it is alas true that most classes are structured to teach all the material necessary to succeed on the test and only the test before the exam date. Teachers must race the clock and breeze through subjects only thoroughly enough to secure a high passing rate on their tests, regardless of what it is they’d like to spend more time on. And while it would be nice for them to go back and reteach certain subjects in more detail, by the time students have completed the exams they’ve been working toward passing all year long, there is a sense of communal exhaustion and depletion of interest that takes over the classroom. The lack of motivation that plagues both students and teachers alike at this point would be a menace to fight in order to carry on teaching after the exam. In order to meet the required number of school days, however, school drones on sluggishly for a few more weeks, and there is no harm in filling that time with in-class movie watching. In fact, most private institutions and colleges end school as soon as final exams have been completed. There is no reason why teachers should feel guilty or like they are wasting time by playing movies after their students have completed their exams, for their job has been done.
Finals are over, all exams have been taken and students are sitting in school watching movies all day. While tests may be over, school is not. If students were only meant to learn until they take a final, then school would end once finals do. But it does not. Instead of sitting and watching movies all day, something a student can easily do at home, why don’t teachers teach things that truly interest them and their students. These few weeks between exams and summer vacation are a chance for teachers to forget about the mandated material that they must cram into their students heads in time for testing and truly teach. Science classes can focus on doing more hands on learning; English classes can write and read for enjoyment. These few weeks can turn into productive lessons on things that may change students’ view on the world. While students are understandably exhausted from hundreds of days of studying and preparing all year for their exams, watching movies is not the solution. Despite this, not all movies are a waste of a student’s time in school. In fact, some movies can be used as a part of a lesson to better explain a topic or concept, but it is when movies are shown with no educational value that they are a disservice to the classroom. By learning things they are actually interested in and genuinely like, students should not feel as pressured because there is no test on this material, no graded assignments, just simply learning to learn and enjoying it.