I’ve taught high school students in this country but I’d never actually been inside an American high school until yesterday. So I decided to share my impressions with my readers.
As you can see on the photo, the school is very beautiful. Many American schools look like penitentiary facilities on the outside, which is why I’m happy that our local school was designed by somebody who doesn’t associate education with incarceration.
Inside, the school is really beautiful and very clean. Classrooms are decorated with course-related materials, photos of students, and things students made themselves. Students look very happy, comfortable, and excited to be there. There are endless lockers for students to use. In my country, the concept of school lockers is non-existent and it is a horrible drag to lug around all of your stuff with you all day long.
Bathrooms are clean and they have doors. Soviet school toilets never had doors in the stalls, so you can imagine the daily joys of urinating, defecating, and changing your sanitary pad in full view of your classmates. This is why I was very excited to use a high school toilet that had a door.
Of course, we need to remember that this is considered to be one of the best schools in the area. We are a small town but our high school graduates thousands of students each year. People bring their kids from all over the region to our school.
One thing I found strange is the environment in the classroom. I don’t know whether it is always as relaxed and undisciplined as it was during the class I visited. Maybe it’s just the personal style of the teacher who taught that particular class. I’m used to a much higher level of discipline in the classroom, so I was quite taken aback by the amount of talking, shouting, walking around, and discussing things that had nothing to do with the class that was being taught. I’d say that about 15-20% of class time was wasted on this unruliness.
I loved being in this school. The moment I walked inside, all four generations of teachers in my family that came before me awoke and started screaming with joy. There is something very special about being in a school. It gave me such a positive charge of energy that I kept walking around with a goofy smile on my face until the end of the day.