The Purpose of School - An Opinion Essay

The Purpose of School - An Opinion Essay

By the Sweet Gum Upper Elementary Community 

A strong school at any level should be many things for its members, but most importantly, it should provide a creative environment where students learn about themselves and find their unique place in their communities. There are many ways schools can make an impact on a child’s mind. That’s why having a safe, creative, and healthy environment is crucial for children. There are four main ways a school can support children and communities. The four main ways are: health, preparation, discovery, and contribution. Schools should not only teach you mathematics, reading, and writing, but should teach you how to learn to live a healthy and meaningful life. 


Could you imagine going to elementary school with no breaks between academic work, or not being allowed to move out of your seat during a work cycle? You have to feel healthy and confident in order to learn. Health includes knowing how to take care of your body and mind. Schools should promote health by helping you learn about yourself and how to take care of yourself. Socializing is an important part of health. For example, talking to friends about life and work, and not having to wait for a break to socialize. Some examples of how schools can promote health include freedom of movement (being allowed to move during a lesson or work time), physical activity like P.E. and recess, learning about human development and nutrition, and socializing with peers throughout the day. All schools should have a nurse and a counselor to support student mental and physical health. 


Learning to be healthy when you're young prepares you to stay healthy later in your life, like learning to eat nutritious foods and having a healthy mindset. School should help you prepare for your next step by helping students meet their goals, by giving lessons about topics of interest, and by teaching basic skills so you can learn how to be independent in life. When asked about this, Keaton Purse said: “Preparation gives meaning to life.” When you are building new skills, it's easier to reach your goals and full potential. After you've done that, it becomes easier to discover more things! Preparing helps you discover the passion for multiple things such as programming, sports, physics, and art. When you have a prepared environment, it's easier to practice and discover more things. The prepared environment means you have all the materials and things you need to learn exactly where they should be. 


Discovery has been part of human nature ever since our ancestors discovered fire one cold night on the savannahs in Africa. Without discovery, we would have never gone to the moon, created the cookie, or cloned the first sheep! Schools should teach kids to discover the world around them and explore their interests. One way you can explore your interests is to have freedom to choose what to explore. Some schools do this very well but others do not have as much choice in the curriculum. 

Independent discovery is vital to brain development. Schools should be a place for independent exploration and discovery, so you can learn about yourself and your peers around you. School should be a place where you can test theories and experiment, where you can see that there is not just one way to do things. For example, people do long division and subtraction in different ways. You can find out what’s the most comfortable way for you to learn and do your learning according to your personal learning style, while being flexible socially and intellectually.


While humans have discovered and invented many incredible technologies, we have also caused many global issues. Schools need to show kids how humans have contributed to inequality, injustice, wars, global warming, pollution and show them how they can help to stop them. Schools should make kids aware of the damage that humans have brought to the earth  by teaching subjects like history and environmental science. The goal is to create a healthy relationship with each other and animals. We believe that if schools teach kids about these problems they will grow up and try to solve them.

Schools are places where you learn subjects that will help you get a job in the future and make money, and have a place to live. You can only get the job to be a writer if you know how to write, and you can only get the job to be a doctor if you know about health, and you can only buy or sell things with knowledge of mathematics. Many schools have teachers or experts who can teach about health and how to be an independent person. Some schools will have nurses or counselors you can speak to about yourself and how you feel, and about how to stay healthy throughout your life.

If they are created intentionally, schools can help you with almost everything you need to have a meaningful, healthy, and safe life. In conclusion, school should be a place that provides safe spaces to discover, meet new people, prepare for the future, teach kids how to keep themselves healthy and happy, contribute to the world, and most of all, develop them into strong, independent people

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