A Twelve Year Old Girl's Wishes for School

My daughter, Isabella, and I were sitting in bed reading and writing. We started having a conversation about school. 

I wanted to see what her perspective was on her current education and asked her, “What do you wish was different about school?”

Her answers are sure to echo many students across the country…

I wish teachers taught us real stuff.

I wish I could choose how I show my learning.

I wish I could redo the work I do poorly on. I would choose to do the work over again, or something different.

I wish I could create things and use technology instead of completing worksheets.

I wish the teachers all trusted us. If you make a mistake they won’t trust you anymore (especially if you’re one of the “bad kids”).

I wish we went outside of the classroom to learn. The only field trip we had was to a roller skating rink. There was no learning though.

I wish I had better relationships with my teachers. I trust them with my test grades but not with my personal life.

I wish teachers didn’t give lectures on stuff we know just to make us feel bad about it.


Looking back at what she said, I see a lot has to do with the relationships she has with her teachers. The focus is on trust. My daughter wants to trust her teachers, and she wants her teachers to trust her. 

I also noticed that my daughter values more of a project based learning education and standards based grading assessment practices. This aligns with what I perceive to be best practices in education, moving away from one dimensional learning (worksheets) to multi-dimensional learning. 

I leave you with a question:

What do your students wish?