Brooks 2.0 Post-Mortem

post·mor·tem

pōstˈmôrdəm/

noun
1. an examination of a dead body to determine the cause of death.


My school rolled out a system at the beginning of this year that they lovingly refer to as Brooks 2.0. It is not, in fact, a 2.0, or even a 1.0. Can there be 0.0s? My point is that it's terrible, and a huge step backward for education, and I'm here to explain why.

So what is Brooks '2.0?' It is a new growth mindset supporting curriculum and timetable, which supports independance and hard-working students... in theory. In application we had our class blocks cut in half and replaced with Open Centers, where you're free to go where you please until you aren't, and teachers seem to think that's an excuse to not teach us anything. I wouldn't normally care, less work is better, right? But there's just as much work, just no instructions or explanation for how to do it!

Here's a true example: My Social Studies teacher assigns us a ~12 page notes package, and expects us to have half done by the next class, and the other half done by the class after that. Classes are 2 days apart, and we get no working time in class. We're supposed to juggle our other work and get 3 pages done a day in our free blocks, which while that's hard it isn't impossible... except the only textbooks are in the Library, which remember how I said you can go anywhere until you can't? The library is one of the rooms where you can't, and my Socials classroom is in use by other classes. We aren't allowed to take the books out of the class, so basically we're expected to inherently know the contents of the entire textbook and be able to write it onto a notes sheet for him to see.

Another class that does something ridiculous is my Science class. The teacher there refuses to accept work in the class, because he's 'teaching,' which consists of showing some youtube videos and maybe scribbling something on the board after that, and tells us to go to a different room during our Open Centers to hand in our work. There's a catch about Open Centers though: Once you go into a room, you aren't allowed to change rooms (in theory, people don't actually stop you but it is against the rules). Meaning that if we go hand in our work, we have to spend the entire block in that room, which is crowded and loud and annoying.

Of course, this isn't bad, guys, it's smart. It teaches the children independance, and it allows them time to persue their passion! I'm writing this in school right now because of Open Centers. It's the GROWTH MINDSETTTTT! NOPE. Don't even start. The only reason I'm writing this is because I'm too stressed to actually focus on upcoming work. Teachers have a paying job, they should be keeping the school running, not us. I wouldn't even be here if by dropping out I wouldn't be forfeitting my chance for a successful life.

Here's what the new system really is. An excuse for the teachers to offload stress onto us students, who are already coping with way more than them. If they remove responsibility from themselves, then it's our own fault that the entire class is failing, not their teaching skill. The core ideas to promote the growth mindset and allow freedom aren't bad, but as soon as you offer a bunch of people a way to do a lot less in their job and not get in trouble, you can bet they're gonna take it and play it off as some revolutionary new teaching method.

Whatever.

Sidenote: I will beat the crap out of the next person who uses the term 'Growth Mindset' to protect their butts when they make a stupid decision or as an excuse to be lazy.

April 4th 2017