Did you know that one of the leading causes of students hating school life in the UK is attributed to hate crimes? According to recent figures, hate crimes average up above 62% in colleges and schools annually.
It's one of those phrases that you might hear from, majority, if not all, student's mouths these days, no matter whether you meet them on the street, a cafe, or converse with a friend of a friend over the telephone. "I hate school" is perhaps the mantra every college or school student wakes up to every day.
And for those who hate it the most, it's like a blender, grinding and sucking their life fast.
Think of your own school life. How do you remember it? Do you have fond memories of it? Did it pass by so quickly, you didn’t even get the time to sit back and evaluate what was happening? Is it all just a blur? Or was it the same day every day for years on end, with dull, aching mornings that began with the thought, God, I hate school…?
(If you relate to the last part of the above question, the following content might just help you a little bit more!)
It shouldn’t come as a surprise these days—not to mention post-COVID stress, for everyone involved in the education system—that early morning classes and strict uniform dress codes are no longer the sole reasons students hate school. Now, more factors come into play. And the targets of this 'hate' are not just high school or college students, but even younger generations are observed to exhibit a certain amount of disdain when someone even so much as talks about school life.
Let’s look at some other commonly reported reasons why students hate school and what can be done to motivate them.
There are many reasons students hate school. However, some of those reasons we've all heard, read about and perhaps even experienced personally. They are reasons like:
Interesting read: According to a UK study, shifting a student from an ‘average’ learning environment to a better one, one that perhaps facilitates learning further, directly improves yearly student performance.
This list can go on and go…and it still won’t be an exhaustive one. There will always be more and more reasons coming to everyone’s attention about why students hate school. Such obvious reasons are already on the table. Such reasons, as psychologists would call them, are ‘observable.’
But in fact, it's the unobservable behaviour, facts and situations that are troublesome. Since they can't be observed directly, they cannot be measured as easily, either.
Interesting read: UK undergraduate students, when asked about their education during these stressful COVID times, claimed they'd have hated it if they were fresher. That just goes to show how even older students realize it's hard for the younger ones, especially during these times.
These rather ‘unobservable’ reasons of why students hate school can be because of things like:
Did you know?
Sometimes, a headteacher, departmental head, or someone higher up in the chain of command might decide that a certain student is not fit to continue studying in their school. So, they exclude students. Apart from disciplinary cases, other reasons for coming to such conclusions include racism, prejudice, students’ financial matters and the like.
High student exclusion rates in a given area suggest schools’ preference to release students from their system altogether. A low exclusion rate suggests a school’s choice to let a student continue studying there after some mishap, but after putting certain measures in place.
Schools can exclude students either for a temporary period or permanently, depending on the reasons for exclusion.
This list, too, is not exhaustive. There is always more than meets the eye. Even if a student appears calm on the inside, it doesn't necessarily mean nothing is wrong. Factors like those listed above, the 'unobservable,' need to be assessed carefully in students, so a practical solution can be achieved. One that not only eliminates the problem the student might be facing but motivates him/her to learn better, perform better and indulge further in school life.
So, what can a parent, a teacher, an entire school board, or perhaps just the student themselves do to make them hate school less?
It's not that practical to 'make' someone hate or love anything. However, a certain boost can be given to students to help them cope with the difficult, stressful school life. The responsibility falls not just on teachers, but on other school personnel like the departments, school heads, deans, board of administrators, etc. Then come the outside parties, mainly parents, friends, and classmates.
The process to motivate students—to help them cope with school life better, to prepare them for what’s to come—is a complicated process. There are many hows and whats involved. But if they are approached step by step, this overwhelming process might just become simpler.
For instance, they can:
Such direct steps, although they probably won't directly motivate students per se, will help students stay focused and engaged in school. And that, in time, can become a catalyst for making students hate school less.
School heads, as well as the school board, administration and other concerned parties, can introduce and/or modify how certain things are run. For instance, they can:
There are multiple pathways parents can take to ensure their children stay motivated to learn. After all, their school grades will reflect on their transcripts. However, despite the importance of school and extra-curricular school activities needed to succeed later in life, parents should remember what’s most important. Their child’s mental, physical and emotional well-being.
There are multiple financial support opportunities for students whose families might need it. Counsellors involve parents alongside teachers and students alike, in group discussions on how to help their students stay motivated, perform better.
If parents realize their child is having a hard time coping with the hectic work schedule, they can reach out to teachers; see if there’s a timetable they can help their child follow for timely work submission.
Like this, there are multiple options parents can explore. However, they all involve some degree of involvement with the concerned school personnel. Also, clear communication with students is necessary to find out what’s distressing them.
As a student, there are a couple of self-help tips and tricks you can try, such as:
There are, of course, many other things you can do, as a student, to stay on track. However, it's important to first ask yourself things like:
As stated above in the beginning, it's more practical, less idealistic, to help students cope with school life than it is to 'make' them love school.
Recommended: Are you experiencing problems at school? There are platforms you can easily reach out to for help. School life is tough, and everyone deserves a helping hand in coping with it.
There are multiple reasons why students today hate school. Some are very basic, common and easily observable reasons, such as exam stress. However, more serious reasons include comparatively unobservable reasons, like a negative social culture at school that promotes racism; a high school exclusion rate; an environment that isn't many learners friendly, etc.
Some direct steps can be taken to help students stay motivated, such as modifying teaching methods and materials used in school. But not all help tactics are that direct and may need reaching out to higher authorities, such as school counsellors, school board heads, etc.
Not just students, but parents, teachers, school administration and heads, etc can all take part in helping students stay clear-focused and motivated to keep performing better at school.